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NYG010
07-11-2011, 10:43 AM
Hey guys, so I realized I really hate keeping my finger nail(s) long, it just really bothers me! Is there any way to work around this? I'm assuming you cannot use guitar picks so I'm open to everything and anything really.

PedalFreak
07-11-2011, 10:49 AM
Alaska Picks (http://www.alaskapik.com/) :)

WhenDogsSing
07-11-2011, 10:55 AM
Trim your fingernails and keep them clean. For me, it's like washing behind the ears.

If you want to use a pick, use a pick. No one should fault you in any way over that. I go back and forth between flatpicking and fingerpicking as the mood suits me.

NYG010
07-11-2011, 11:14 AM
Alaska Picks (http://www.alaskapik.com/) :)

I like keeping them so short that they wouldnt even fit over that!!

NYG010
07-11-2011, 11:14 AM
Trim your fingernails and keep them clean. For me, it's like washing behind the ears.

If you want to use a pick, use a pick. No one should fault you in any way over that. I go back and forth between flatpicking and fingerpicking as the mood suits me.
I totally agree with your theory, is there any downside or damage that can be done by using a pick? I hear using a felt pick is the "traditional" way to play?

Hippie Dribble
07-11-2011, 11:45 AM
Elderly Instruments have some great felt ukulele picks... :)

http://elderly.com/search/elderly?page=3&query_start=41&step=20&terms=ukulele%20accessories%20-strings%20-cases%20-vintage&sort_on=catalog&lessthan=&sort_low=&days_since=30&only_catalog=&cname=Miscellaneous%20Instrument%20Parts&instock_only=&catalog=a&sort_high=&only_brandname=

CoLmes
07-11-2011, 11:53 AM
I had a really long thumb nail that I took really good care of. The other 4 I made the nail go just past my fingers.

After seeing Jake last week I asked him about his nails and his thumb nail is barely over the skin so I'm trying that route for now. So far so good, I can still tremolo.

sukie
07-11-2011, 11:54 AM
I had a really long thumb nail that I took really good care of. The other 4 I made the nail go just past my fingers.

After seeing Jake last week I asked him about his nails and his thumb nail is barely over the skin so I'm trying that route for now. So far so good, I can still tremolo.

Thank God you asked, Colin. I felt like a freak last time I saw him. I basically grabbed his hands and told him I needed to see his fingernails. He was VErY nice about it.

crowsby
07-11-2011, 02:00 PM
I can't stand keeping them long either. Once they start to get in the way of my typing, they're too long, and the strum/pick sound ends up being too clicky-clacky and thin. It seems like there's a really small sweet spot, and it probably varies depending on the individual's fingers and strum technique.

redBee
07-11-2011, 02:48 PM
Maybe it is more important to have them at a consistent length?
I got used to play with the fingernails just a little bit grown past the flesh, but when I let it grow a bit further and making it pointier, it felt harder to play because I was not accustomed with that slight difference.
I don't know if I am making sense, but that's what I felt.

patico
07-11-2011, 03:46 PM
if i see me hand from the palm side. my nails are just 1-2 mms.
that allows me a normal strummin and a fast picado when needed.
and also allows me to play with finger or with nails depending on taste.


it's not necesary those big nails i've seen somewhere.

poppy
07-11-2011, 08:03 PM
Same problem Have even tried to grow and they are so thin they break back and hurt. Also If I don't keep them trimmed I will bite them as they drive me nuts.
I have leather uke picks $4 ea way stiff same with felts ,thick and clumsy ,I have used jim "dunlop" nylon .38mm for years superthin and they work for me.these are guitar picks

NYG010
07-11-2011, 08:44 PM
Same problem Have even tried to grow and they are so thin they break back and hurt. Also If I don't keep them trimmed I will bite them as they drive me nuts.
I have leather uke picks $4 ea way stiff same with felts ,thick and clumsy ,I have used jim "dunlop" nylon .38mm for years superthin and they work for me.

Hey sorry did'nt understand what you said..are you preferring leather over felt? What would be the best pick to get?

Ataraxia
07-11-2011, 08:49 PM
Hey guys, so I realized I really hate keeping my finger nail(s) long, it just really bothers me! Is there any way to work around this? I'm assuming you cannot use guitar picks so I'm open to everything and anything really.

Don't then. I personally trim my fingernails all the way down and have no problems at all with trem picking or any other techniques. Your fingertips will develop callouses and produce a much warmer and cleaner tone than nails ever could. I started off filing my nails regularly, going through the chore of maintaining them at the proper length.. and then one day I realized how unnecessary it was. I never use fingernails on guitar either.

wolfybau
07-11-2011, 10:00 PM
ive been having trouble with my nails too, they are very thin and when they are too long it is uncomfortable and imposible to do thigns, but when they are too short when i do rolls downward, the string hits my finger tip after my nail and produces a harmonic instead of a clear tone. i also cant tap with nails too long. i can seem to find a happy medium with this :(

for thin nails , polish seems to help a bit makes it feel better, they make it in clear and strengheners.

@ataraxia you make a good point, I also often play with the skin of the side of my thumb and it produces a much warmer tone that I like so no reason not to just play with the tips of finger that way too if you like the sound. any tips on developing the calouses and toughning them up?

Doc_J
07-12-2011, 01:37 AM
if i see me hand from the palm side. my nails are just 1-2 mms.
that allows me a normal strummin and a fast picado when needed.
and also allows me to play with finger or with nails depending on taste.

it's not necesary those big nails i've seen somewhere.

+1 on that.

Even that small length increase takes a bit to get used to. After a couple months you don't even notice, except that it is easier to pick things up. :)

Ataraxia
07-12-2011, 02:51 AM
@ataraxia you make a good point, I also often play with the skin of the side of my thumb and it produces a much warmer tone that I like so no reason not to just play with the tips of finger that way too if you like the sound. any tips on developing the calouses and toughning them up?

Thanks! :D Yep, It might sound weird but I read this in an online guitar forum a long time ago... dip your fingers in peroxide or isopropyl alcohol, it helps to dry out the skin and callouses will in turn develop much more quickly. It seemed to work pretty well for me, but I also played guitar for 3 hours a day when I first learned.. so it's hard to say what did it haha.

P.S. Great job on the hymn contest! Your video was great, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!

ichadwick
07-12-2011, 03:24 AM
Hey guys, so I realized I really hate keeping my finger nail(s) long, it just really bothers me! Is there any way to work around this? I'm assuming you cannot use guitar picks so I'm open to everything and anything really.

Why CAN'T you use guitar picks? They're as good on a ukulele as on a guitar. If that's your style of play, use them.

As for nails: cut them down to the quick. Use your fingertips and thumb to make the sound. Much better, cleaner and neater.

NYG010
07-12-2011, 03:05 PM
Why CAN'T you use guitar picks? They're as good on a ukulele as on a guitar. If that's your style of play, use them.

As for nails: cut them down to the quick. Use your fingertips and thumb to make the sound. Much better, cleaner and neater.

Well, I'm only telling you guys what I heard..From what I hear guitar picks will greatly reduce the lifespan of the body. Thats why they make felt or leather picks for ukes. Anyone know which is prefferred felt or leather??

Doc_J
07-12-2011, 03:22 PM
Well, I'm only telling you guys what I heard..From what I hear guitar picks will greatly reduce the lifespan of the body. Thats why they make felt or leather picks for ukes. Anyone know which is prefferred felt or leather??


I've a nice used uke with a little guitar pick marks round the sound hole. Wish that person had used a soft pick.

I like the soft rubber picks called Wedgies, and sometimes I use a felt one, but mostly I use fingernails and fingers.

Lori
07-12-2011, 05:57 PM
I think they don't use guitar picks as much because they make plastic clicking sounds on the "nylon" strings. I don't care for the felt picks, they sound a bit dull to me. I don't let my fingernails get longer than 3mm or an eighth of an inch beyond my fingertip. I haven't tried the Alaska picks, but they look interesting. I never know what size to get. I saw a leather pick that a fellow uke group member had, and it was very nice sounding. I would go with leather if I needed a pick.

–Lori

poppy
07-12-2011, 07:51 PM
I have never hurt a string with the Dunlap .38mm they are very flexible nylon and probably have lees pluck than a fingernail. I recently had to order new ones and I got them off ebay for about $5 for 12 delivery was free. My second choice would have been the special leather uke picks I bought at 4 bucks a pop but they are very stiff when compared. the felts I find too thick and clumsy. Reason I had to order new ons is I lose one now and then or end up giving one to a friend till they can get their own. I have never torn one even on steel string guitars , which is where I started using them years ago. I agree a fender tortoise pick which may be the most popular stands a good chance of damaging a string I used to break a couple a night doing gigs when I was in a band. thats when I discovered these.

Manalishi
07-12-2011, 11:38 PM
I never used any kind of pick in 48 years of
playing guitar,with steel strings;and for many
of those years,a 12 string at that!
I keep my 'fretting hand' nails as short as I can
so that no nail touches the string or the fretboard.
My strumming or picking hand,the nails are just over
the end of my fingers,not really long at all,just enough
to use 'as picks' if I want to.

ichadwick
07-13-2011, 12:49 AM
I played guitars for 40+ years and used a pick all the time. Never made a mark on the body of any of them. From a pick that is - I scratched, dented and dinged them from all sorts of other things like buttons, belt buckles, key rings on belts, hitting tables and chairs, banging mics and other instruments... but not picks.

Willie Nelson plays a beaten-up guitar that's seem much longer use and despite its dings, scratches and marks, it's still playable and in use. Longer working lifespan than almost any instrument I've seen. Depends, I suppose, on how you play. I don't hit the body when I strum with a pick.

Picks don't lower an instrument's life: the player does.

For a uke, I recommend a thin, flexible plastic pick which is easier on the strings and less brash sounding. I use Dunlop guitar picks when I play with them (I always use a pick with my Risa and Jupiter Creek steel-stringed ukes). I personally don't like felt picks because I find them fat, clumsy and the sound mushy. I'd rather use my fingertips than a felt pick. Never tried leather picks, though.

poppy
07-14-2011, 09:17 PM
NYC10 did you recieve my reply i cant tell if the pm went or not sorry.

diego
07-14-2011, 10:02 PM
I just eat them :uhoh: yeah, nailbiter

-SRS-45-
07-15-2011, 10:55 AM
I use fred kelly finger picks, they make a really clean loud sound when striking the string and sound lush... heres a vid where I use them, so you can see/hear what they are like....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hXZ2BCANgI

OldePhart
07-15-2011, 03:17 PM
Best pick I've found for classical guitar or ukulele (though I don't use a pick often on either) is the very thin white Dunlop nylon picks.

As for fingernails, I'm finding that since I've been playing more ukulele I simply can't grow my index finger on my right hand out since it broke a while back. I take best care of nails, use an "iron hard" strengthener/polish on my nails, and what have you. But, I damaged the nail about six weeks ago and it just isn't growing back (to be more accurate, it's growing but the tip is also wearing as fast as it grows). I've come to the conclusion that I've been playin so much, and with fluorocarbon strings, that it's been keeping the nail worn down. Kinda sucks.

John

itsme
07-15-2011, 03:28 PM
My strumming or picking hand,the nails are just over
the end of my fingers,not really long at all,just enough
to use 'as picks' if I want to.
Same here. Your RH nails don't need to be really long to use for picking. I tend to get lazy and then when they get too long, one will break or tear down to the quick. :(

poppy
07-16-2011, 09:57 AM
Best pick I've found for classical guitar or ukulele (though I don't use a pick often on either) is the very thin white Dunlop nylon picks.

Thats the Dunlop .38mm and im sure its the same one ichadwick is referring to neat we all picked the same one little inexpensive pick with all that are available our there