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Thread: Index finger nail wear

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Norwich UK
    Posts
    30

    Default Index finger nail wear

    Been playing now for just over a year and I am finding that the nail on my right hand index finger is wearing down quite quickly when strumming. So much so that when I go to my ukulele club for a two hour session my nail is worn down to the 'quick' and starts to bleed slightly.
    Do any of you have a cure for this sort of thing? I did think of trying some picking clips on the finger but I would think they would face the wrong way when wearing them.
    Would like some help with my problem please.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,936

    Default

    I experience the same thing, especially after a 2hr song circle and after any gigs

    I used to have an index fingernail extending a good 1/4" beyond the tip that used to
    get a 'groove' after being used per the above.

    now it doesn't even reach above the tip, so can't be seen from the palm side.

    All I do is keep on playing, and resting the nail between sessions. I also file the nail
    a bit, not to file away the 'groove' or 'notch' but just to smooth the edges.

    i've never had the bleeding component that you are experiencing, so please take care
    and don't get any infections.

    I suppose what helps me a bit is that I tend to roll strum using my pinky fingernail
    and my index fingernail. Although I still experience the wearing down of the index nail.

    my short index fingernail has been this way since Oct as we were preparing for the
    Holiday Season. and since i play several times a week (songcircles, classes, and gigs) it really
    hasn't had much 'free time' to grow out. So, since Oct it hasn't grown to be able to be seen
    from the palm side! yikes.

    keep uke'in', though,
    but also please take care,
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@gmail.com )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday Songbook & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Saint Andrews Bay, FL
    Posts
    3,770

    Default

    when my index finger gets sore, I use my middle, or a thin flat pick.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Norwich UK
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Hi Uncle Rod & Strumsilly thanks for your input. Apart from only playing in a group once a week I do try to practice a lot. Practicing at home is not too bad, don't get any comments but at the group I do like to try my best. As it is I have a life long habit of biting my nails too (80 odd years of it...!!) but I do give my nails a rest and I don't bite my thumb and index finger nails which I promised my granddaughter I wouldn't. I think I might put a rubber page turner on my finger for this weeks club meet but they wear out so quickly. Must try something else too, just put my thinking cap on.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Englewood, FL
    Posts
    1,172

    Default

    I play a lot and have soft fingernails, so I have the same problem. No nail hardening polish helps. It just scrapes right off, even with multiple coats. I thought about having a med. short acrylic nail placed over my right index finger by a nail salon, but I really didn't want the bother. If I'm playing for an hour or more, I either use a pick (usually a standard Dunlop thin pick) or I use a Kelly Freedom pick, usually worn backwards if I'm just strumming. This simulates holding a pick without really bothering with having to concentrate much on holding the pick. I never really used to like the sound of a pick, compared to fingernail or flesh but I have come to appreciate it over time and like how it saves my nail and gives me more volume playing acoustically.
    Last edited by bunnyf; 05-03-2017 at 03:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,936

    Default

    OK, ready for something radical?!

    how about either SuperGlue or thin Gorilla Glue on the nail?

    I sometimes use either of the above to strengthen a crack or tear especially
    in my thumbnail. in fact, I think the reason my index fingernail has remained
    so short, is because it did tear and hasn't had the time off to grow back.

    anyway, SuperGlue can help and it builds up to strengthen the nail. it might
    be stronger than regular clear nail polish, etc

    keep uke'in',

    PS Note: this will not extend the nail, but it could strengthen it so that it may not
    wear down as quickly.
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@gmail.com )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday Songbook & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    698

    Default

    Yes, I have weak nails, and have tried superglue. I'd never do the whole nail, but have tried a drop or 2 of the gel type (not runny) on a piece of glass, then dip a pin into that, and apply thin coats only to the edge of your index finger's nail. Strengthens the edge for sure, and easy to reapply when needed. For me, it's that, or play with the index flesh, or another finger, since I just can't see myself at a nail salon for a fake. If I don't do that, the playing side of my index finger nail wears down, and never gets long enough, like the other ones.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    95

    Default

    I went to the nail salon and got 3 acrylic nails - thumb, index and middle. I have paper thin nails and they just don't hold up. I visit for a touchup every 2 weeks or so and I have very robust fakes that never wear down. They also give me better variety, as I can strum with flesh or nail and mix the two.

    Consider it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Norwich UK
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Thank you all for your input on this problem. I attended our weekly session on Friday and took along a felt pick which I found I kept dropping as not being used to one it slipped from my fingers. Then I tried a finger pick which wrapped around my finger snake like but I couldn't get on with that as it kept sliding round my finger I think if I had some adhesive surgical tape I could have stopped it slipping. might try that in future. Lastly I took along a tube of super glue and squeezed a little on my nail and that worked a treat. My nail never wore down after that so thats the answer I reckon. All my fellow players had a laugh with me trying these different methods so that was good. Anyway I do appreciate the help and advice you have given me and I do wish you all well in the future. Thank you very much the problem has been solved.....!!

  10. #10

    Default

    I just tough it out.
    I'm way cooler than my kids think I am.

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