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

  1. #11
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    These things are excellent. Put them on when you need them and then just take them off. The nail can be re-used quite a few times. I can strum as hard as I want to and it won't come off.

    http://www.ricoguitarnails.com/
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    ... 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
    word of advice: "pinky"

    On my right hand, all nails except pinky are 2mm beyond fingertip, and pinky is trimmed short like fretting hand (left) fingers, so pinky becomes like a stylus for me on iPad and phone...

    Just think how elite and fancy-man you will look and feel with your pinky extended for typing purposes...

  3. #13
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    Just to join in the conversation, how do you take care of them? I don't think they would work for me, as one of my other pastimes is working on vintage motorcycles. I'm just afraid that a daily dose of grease, oil, gasoline and cleaning solvent would cause problems. If all I did was play the ukulele it might be interesting to give it a try, but with the motorcycles, scraping paint, working in the yard, don't they pull you natural nails?
    Last edited by Rllink; 08-29-2017 at 01:51 PM.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    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
    Lily's Nails is about 5 blocks from my house. I can't be travelling to another town every time I want my nails done, and I'm not worried about staying incognito. Now if I had to get a bikini wax to help my guitar playing, I'd probably head to a different town, but to get my nails done? Who cares?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    Just to join in the conversation, how do you take care of them? I don't think they would work for me, as one of my other pastimes is working on vintage motorcycles. I'm just afraid that a daily dose of grease, oil, gasoline and cleaning solvent would cause problems. If all I did was play the ukulele it might be interesting to give it a try, but with the motorcycles, scraping paint, working in the yard, don't they pull you natural nails?
    Wearing gloves appropriate for the task at hand goes a long way towards protecting them during such activities.

    About once per week they need filing to keep them the correct shape and length and to prevent them from snagging on anything. I use an emery board for rough shaping, a curved nail file that has a rounded shape that matches my fingertip arc for fine shaping, and a glass nail file for 'polishing the edge' which assures that they glide across the string when picking/plucking/strumming...takes all of 5-10 mins nowadays after about 3 yrs...

    If a nail gets split or chipped it gets filed back and I have to compensate my playing technique, if 2 or more get damaged, I have to file them all back to the same length otherwise it is impossible for me to compensate for so many at once.

    Playing with fingertips feels and sounds dead to me, which I had to do only once in 3 yrs when I was NOT wearing gloves and had to cut a big tree branch with a hand saw, up on a ladder and the branch took the saw with it, and the saw blade flipped back and chipped and split all finger's nails P-I-M-A, so they all had to be filed back, and I felt handicapped. Might as well have had Duct tape over my fingertips for 2 weeks while they grew back.

    Since then, I have made sure to have a few packs of different kinds of gloves and will not do anything involving tools without them on my hands, except uke and guitar setups of course....

  6. #16
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    I've been using acrylic nails for years. For many years my thumbnail was still strong enough to not need acrylic but I've been playing so much the last 12 months that I've had to reenforce my thumbnail to. For me its about clean and powerful picking. That's my sound.

    Anyway what should be mentioned explicitly is that once you start down this road you need to keep going back to have them infilled or replaced and your natural nails will be weaker on their own without acrylic. I know I need them done again when they start to catch on the strings when I strum on the back stroke.

    As to solvents and oils my acrylic nails handle a bit of abuse in that regard but I haven't tried it all day long every day.

  7. #17

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    I don't have nails, meaning if I pick with my finger it is only flesh in contact.

    And I certainly don't get a sore fingertip strumming with my index finger? Can't understand how that could happen? Maybe some ultrafast strumming and then get nylon burns? My strings are nylgut, but then I did not get any either with my classical nylon string guitar. So I can't understand.

    The sound is certainly more silent than with a pick, but I play by myself as accompaniment, so it is enough.
    Pick is not IMO right and does not feel natural for ukulele. I have used it for guitar, but there the playing right hand position is totally different.

    I can understand the need for nail if wanting to be heard in a group of other uke players, them all nail or pick players.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 08-29-2017 at 03:35 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sukie View Post
    It's a commitment.
    And this is EXACTLY why I just can't bring myself to do it, even though I have horrible nails that just snap right off unprovoked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Booli View Post
    Janeray1940 has also mentioned Sally Hanson nail care products before.
    Sadly, a couple years back Sally Hansen stopped making the miracle product that I loved so much! They replaced it with some stupid nail polish hardener stuff. The product that worked so well was not polish, but a gel with vitamins (E and A?) that you would rub into your nails and it actually changed the texture, making my brittle nails much stronger and less prone to snapping right off.

    As for those polish-like hardeners - I've found that with continued use, they actually weaken my nails, probably because playing the uke makes the polish flake off, then I have to use polish remover to get the rest off and start all over. I just can't imagine all those chemicals are good for the body.

    So for me - it's a thumb pick and living with the worn down index finger nail.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by janeray1940 View Post
    ....Sadly, a couple years back Sally Hansen stopped making the miracle product that I loved so much! They replaced it with some stupid nail polish hardener stuff. The product that worked so well was not polish, but a gel with vitamins (E and A?) that you would rub into your nails and it actually changed the texture, making my brittle nails much stronger and less prone to snapping right off.
    This stuff was recommended here by someone. I've always had weak nails, but this stuff really strengthened mine, using only a pea-sized dab, 2-3 times a day. The story is, it was originally for horses hooves, and was applied by hand, by the grooms, who noticed a dramatic improvement in their hands and nails too. However strong, my index finger strumming nail still wore down to nothing on that side.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mane-Tail-Hoo...9W0770YZAR34WZ
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    This stuff was recommended here by someone. I've always had weak nails, but this stuff really strengthened mine, using only a pea-sized dab, 2-3 times a day. The story is, it was originally for horses hooves, and was applied by hand, by the grooms, who noticed a dramatic improvement in their hands and nails too. However strong, my index finger strumming nail still wore down to nothing on that side.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mane-Tail-Hoo...9W0770YZAR34WZ
    Worth a try next time I place an Amazon order. Thanks for the recommendation!

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