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Thread: acrylic nail on index finger for strumming, good idea or not?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default acrylic nail on index finger for strumming, good idea or not?

    ever since October of 2016, due to much playing, i have worn down
    my index fingernail and have been keeping it short - not on purpose
    but simply as the result of much strumming.

    I've been thinking about attaching an acrylic fingernail to my index
    fingernail because my nail has become so short that as I strum, the
    strings are making contact with the fleshy tip of my index finger
    and that hurts me

    anyway, my question, as per the title above, has to do with the
    advisability of attaching an acrylic nail to my index fingernail for
    strumming assistance.

    any anecdotal experiences or simple suggestions will be appreciated.

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@gmail.com )

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  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    USA
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    Default

    Same here, the strumming side of my index finger always gets worn way down, then the other longer side eventually splits, and I'm back to square one. It can never grow out if I'm playing daily. I'm considering the same thing, for maybe index finger and thumb. I already tried a filed down fingerpick, but it just doesn't do it for me.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2011
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    Started having a false nail fitted to my index finger after it wore down too much to strum a month back and it's been great , it's given my natural nail chance to grow for one thing , theres a ladies nail studio near me charges 2 , i'm in and out in 5 minutes . One thing to remember it's thicker at the tip than your own nail so i file down the underside and top to thin it down for a better sound .

  4. #4
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    Apr 2008
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    Twin Cities, MN
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    I have had either an acrylic or gel nail on my thumb for years. At times I've also had them on my index and middle fingers,too. It's a commitment. But you don't have to worry about nails breaking. I would go in every 3 weeks and have it filled. I like it.
    But, I went to see Troy Fernandez one time. I was with him while he was getting ready to perform. He uses fake nails that are glued on just before he plays. So those are temporary. He is one of my ukulele gods...I got to help him put the nail on. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    I have very weak nails (psoriasis) and originally got an acrylic gel nail on my bird finger for playing clawhammer banjo, but I found that it gave my guitar finger picking an unbalanced sound, so for the past decade or so I've been getting the index, bird and ring finger of my right hand done. Susan at Lily's Nails knows exactly how I want them done. I find that if I can see just a mm or so of nail from the palm side of my hand, it suits me just fine. I use both index and bird fingers for ukulele.

    Susan thinks it's really funny to ask me what colour I'd like them this time. After 10 years, it gets a bit old, but she's a sweetheart, so I just smile and nod my head.

    If I can't get into the salon, I'll fill the gap with Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails With Nylon.
    Last edited by Jim Yates; 08-29-2017 at 01:36 PM. Reason: fix typo

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Yates View Post
    ...
    If I can't get into the salon, I'll fill the gap with Sally Hanson's Hard As Nails With Nylon.
    Thanks for mentioning this product. Janeray1940 has also mentioned Sally Hanson nail care products before.

    Over the past year my natural nails have gotten a little weaker and occasionally split at the edges. I prefer to keep using my natural nails as long as possible, so I'm going to get this one you listed above and have it added to my cart on Amazon for my next order...as they have a 2-pack for $6.70 USD via:

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0087AGAV8/

  7. #7
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    USA
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    Update...since my index nail cracked off again, I said screw it, I'm gonna a try a nail salon. One well out of town, to stay incognito. It was rather embarrassing to walk in there, being a big stocky 6'2" guy, but she did a full manicure and put acrylics on thumb and index of my right hand. Despite telling her no gloss, they ended up glossy, so I removed the gloss with 0000 steel wool at home. Looks natural, but longer than I've ever had. She said they get lots of guys in for mani and pedi...who knew? Upon arrival home grabbed my uke, and wow, what volume and power! Will take a bit of getting used to. Only bad thing is that I need to learn how to type on a tablet again, as I'm a hunt & peck guy, and rely on index finger there too . It took over 10 minutes to type this post
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 08-29-2017 at 10:58 AM.
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2015
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    NE Ohio
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    Yes, I have acrylics on Thumb, Index and Middle and it gives me great versatility with the uke - I can play flesh or nail and get quite a variety of sounds. It does make typing on my phone a little harder - buy a stylus!!

    Good luck
    Dennis

  9. #9
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    Ewa Beach, HI
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    Ukulele great Bryan Tolentino swears by acrylic nails on his index and middle fingers - he often posts on facebook his latest color / bling / sparkly choices, he has embraced it and has a good time with it.
    As a reformed guitar player I used to use a pick, no nails at all, and as my nails are very thin by nature I keep them trimmed so no "white" shows at the tip at all and use the flesh of my fingertips - so far so good, but sometimes I miss the power and precision of a pick. I sometimes flirt with the idea of doing the nails myself, but I am far too lazy to keep it up, so I just work on perfecting my technique with no nails. I just try to be Wes Montgomery. I have LONG way to go with that!
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  10. #10
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    Prospect, Connecticut
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    James Taylor uses them. He used to have a video on his website tutorials regarding acrylic nails. It may still be on his website. I've always liked the way he plays. I don't know how much strumming he does, great finger picker though.
    Michael Johnson uses them as well. He recorded the song Bluer Than Blue back in the late 70's. Michael is an excellent guitarist.

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