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cornfedgroove
05-19-2010, 12:57 PM
So I'm growing out my nails...I've tried this several times but have always managed to cut them off before they really got going.

I'm growing out my thumb, index, middle and ring...leaving my pinky short so I can plant it. My problem is that my index is always getting the tip worn off from strumming. I suppose there is no way around this...am I right or wrong.

anyone else experience this?

AC Baltimore
05-19-2010, 01:38 PM
start building thin layers of krazy glue on that nail... yes really :)

RyRod
05-19-2010, 01:49 PM
My nails never seem to get worn from strumming for some reason. I hate it when I accidentally "sand" them down though. For example, if I'm sanding something and I drag my nail across the paper and they get some wierd angle on them. Then I have to file the nail down so it's nice and round again and wait for it to grow back to the length I like. I always wonder what my parents think when they see a 21 year old man sitting in the lazy boy filing his nails.

salukulady
05-19-2010, 01:54 PM
start building thin layers of krazy glue on that nail... yes really :)You can do that, but you can also go get a layer of acrylic or silk nail applied to your nail at a nail salon. Not quite as toxic as pure C A glue (crazy glue) and they won't peel off as quickly. Keep in mind both C A glues and acrylic or silk nails will cut off the oxygen from your nail bed, resulting in you natural nail becoming thinner over time. That doesn't matter if you keep the layers on it. Talk to any woman who's had fake nails for years and removed them. and she will tell you that your natural nail must take time to grow out to get healthy again, but as long as you keep the acrylic on it doesn't matter.

Lots of guitar and uke players have fake nails on their strumming hand. Check out Aldrines thumb nail. He doesn't have fake nails (last time I saw him) but he was blessed with supper strong nails and he keeps his thumb nail quite long.

itsme
05-19-2010, 02:35 PM
I'm basically a classical guitarist, and my nails are my "picks." The truth is, they don't need to be that long to work effectively. Mine tend to rip/break if I don't keep them filed down to a reasonable length.

A clear calcium gel nail polish like Sally Hansen's Triple Strong works pretty good, although I'm usually too lazy to use it. While it's not a high gloss shine, I imagine a lot of guys would rather not be known for wearing any nail polish.

A lot of guitarists swear by Onymyrrhe. I've been meaning to try it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Many years ago I tried some nail fortifier that was a blue liquid, not a polish, that absorbed into the nails and made them very strong. I'm wondering if it was the same thing.

SailQwest
05-19-2010, 02:37 PM
My husband had the same problem when he first started playing. He used Sally Hanson Diamond Strength on the problem nail. Eventually he didn't need it anymore.

itsme
05-19-2010, 02:46 PM
My husband had the same problem when he first started playing. He used Sally Hanson Diamond Strength on the problem nail. Eventually he didn't need it anymore.
They make a "diamond strenth" now? I haven't bought any in years. But Sally Hanson nail products are usually fairly inexpensive and available at most chain drug stores.

ceviche
05-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Sally Hansen's, eh? Would you believe that I already have some? This is a topic that I think could have its own forum--one titled, "Under The Union Jack" (topics relevant or somehow pertaining to former and present UK colonies--yes, the Hawaiian flag has the Union Jack as part of it.). The reason I have some is because I use it for tying chironomid pupa imitations--a fly fishing/fly tying technique that originates from the United Kingdom. Funny/weird how one hobby can actually connect with another.

--Dave E.

penster
05-19-2010, 08:19 PM
I just cut my index finger nail short and play with the finger pad. Mine is worn right down. Probably because I use an index finger strumming style for almost everything.
Penster

ichadwick
05-20-2010, 01:42 AM
Trim them to the quick. Long nails are a liability - they break, tear and snag. Better to use the tips of your fingers and the tops of the nails.

GVlog
05-20-2010, 03:30 AM
Do a Google search for "Onymyrrhe". Many beginning classical and flamenco guitarists use it. I used it for the first four months and it helped.

lozarkman
05-20-2010, 06:26 AM
I Use Sally Hansen Hard as Nails from Wal Mart. Really tough stuff. I work outside a lot, gardening, yard, etc. and haven't broken a nail in a long time. I apply it just to the edge and back about a third of the way, not the whole nail. Cheap, about 2.50 a bottle. lasts a long time. I am sure there are better products, but this works for me. Have toyed with the idea of cutting them and going "bare". Happy strumming and picking! Lozark

pulelehua
05-20-2010, 10:25 AM
I've had playing nails on my right hand for 16 years. One day, quite a long time ago now, when my nails were a bit on the long side, I looked at them front on, like they were pointing at me. I was amazed at how individual they are. I've sinced confirmed this is normal. ;) My personalities are as follows:

Index finger - breaks much more easily than the rest. Needs a lot of shaping on the left side. Need to keep it shortish.
Middle finger - the least fussy. Flattens out in the middle when it gets longer, so I need to keep it shorter than its "flattening" length.
Ring finger - Because of the angle of attack, needs more accurate shaping. Too long and it really hooks too strongly. Also flattens on the right side, which tends to not affect playing.
Thumb - strong as anything. I can keep it quite long, and it's fine. Because of its thickness, actually has good tone when it's so long there's no skin contact.

I say all of this just to illustrate the sorts of things you might need to think about. I don't spend much time on my nails. I sort of know what they do, and if I'm recording, then I tend to fuss over them a bit the day of recording, but other than that, I sort of monitor them every few weeks. It's not a big deal. But I think there I a learning curve.

I've never used any products on my nails, so can't comment on those. Just can't do it. It might seem ironic, but it seems like too much hassle.

E-Lo Roberts
05-20-2010, 11:12 AM
Trim them to the quick. Long nails are a liability - they break, tear and snag. Better to use the tips of your fingers and the tops of the nails.

Same here, but not quite to the quick. Always fixing the car or just banging into doorways... I have adapted to short nails due to my lifestyle. In addition I like the sound of the fingers. You can still get a decent nail-ish sound on your up stroke if your build up some callouses on the tips of your fingers and on the left side of the thumb. The downside is this take a while to build them up. So short works for me...