02/11/2019 at 8:02 am #11284
Jeff…this one is for you. I know some players (Led for example) will use thumb and fingerpicks and some, like you, don’t. I don’t like to use them and I have tried to research how to shape the nails, what length is optimal etc. for both playing and fretting fingers. It strikes me that when so much emphasis is put on technique, there is so little info available on nail preparation.
Would appreciate your comments on this.
Mahalo nui loa
Alan02/11/2019 at 8:59 am #11285
Thank you for your message. I like to shape my nails at an angle with a “ramp” from left to right that covers as much of the length of the nail as possible. I shape the nail with a nail file then use a very fine sand paper called Tri-Mite to finish it off. This sandpaper really makes a difference in tone. It warms up the sound. With the nails shaped with this angled ramp I can get a warm sound off the left side of the nail and a brighter sound off the middle and right side of the nail. A slight change of wrist position can change the sound which is great.
I learned from Scott Tennant (a great classical guitarist who taught at the USC Music School). Here is a link I found with information on nail shape a video from his “Pumping Nylon” series:
Let me know if this helps.
Jeff02/11/2019 at 9:31 am #11286
Mahalo Jeff….yes, I’d seen Scott’s video and wondered if this was of any advantage. I have tried to do the same with mine but have not used the Tri-Mite paper.
Appreciate your feedback.04/25/2019 at 7:24 pm #11939
Aloha. I’d like to inquire about fake nails as mine have issues. I’d see Mr. Kamakahi at the store when he’d come over and play Maui’s slack key da kine. He had something going on with his, epoxy nails or the like. Is there a substance you can build a nail with?07/27/2019 at 5:04 am #12641
I know I’m a little late coming to the game but……………………. I just received my order for the Tiptonic Fingernail Pick system (online at Tiptonic.com). I’m not sure how well they will work and wondered if anyone had any experience with them. I will follow up with my own experience once I’ve had a little time. Really enjoying the lessons and the music. It’s a little bittersweet, bringing up the great memories then looking out the window at the desert landscape.
(See you at the MIM in September)08/18/2019 at 12:12 am #12848
I use thumpick and Alaskapiks for other fingers. Alaskas let one play like nail, not like fingerpicks. You need short nail where you put the picks under the nail. Worth to try if the nail doesn’t stand the use.09/12/2019 at 7:00 am #13028
I can contribute to the fake nails subject. Last year, I was bothered by my ring finger nail which kept developing a string-sized gouge. I’d sand it down, it would be back in days. I then cut it back to regrow and discovered I could get 0 tone or volume out of it. This was just before AMC and I sounded terrible.
When I got home I had fake nails put on. Fantastic volume, great tone, hard as rock! For about 10 days. After which, for several weeks, they were in various stages of decay but unfortunately too glued on to get rid of easily. Acetone didn’t work. So it was back to the nail salon and I said take them off or fix them. And so they fixed them. And they were terrific. Great tone and volume, for about ten days, etc.
I then decided to let them grow out altogether and try something else. I next discovered that after they grow out enough for the fake nail to come off, the real nail is (for weeks) weaker than what you started with. Thus, my daliance with fake nails is over.
I do not go in for supplements and I’ll be the first to admit I sound nuts, but I met a guitar playing horse vet while in Montana recently and she recommended I give Biotin and Folic Acid a shot. I also bought a Keratin-based topical for horses called Hoof Hardener. There are some scary warnings on the bottle. Will let the thread know how things turn out
–Calder09/13/2019 at 12:52 am #13037
Neigh, neigh Calder…….LOL
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