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Tantal
07-27-2011, 03:07 AM
I have been trying to grow my nails since I started playing about 6-7 months ago. I have a type of Psoriasis that affect my nails that sabotages my efforts to grow them. Bottom line: I cannot grow my nails to play. I am undergoing treatment for it but it will take 1-2 years for it to clear up.

Now is there anyway or trick to get the most volume out of your Ukulele without nails? String type that helps? Is there a solution that does not require picks?

I am currently using Aquilla Nylgut on my Oscar Schmidt (laminated wood) Tenor. I noticed that if I pluck with a nail (for the odd times my nails cooperate), it requires a lot less pressure with the left hand to fret the note and get a clear note, making moving from one chord to the next a lot easier and cleaner.

Any advice or experience you guys may have with this would help tremedously.

didgeridoo2
07-27-2011, 04:30 AM
Can you grow out your nails enough to try alaska pics? You can cut/file them like you would regular nails.
http://www.alaskapik.com/

mm stan
07-27-2011, 04:34 AM
finger picks work great for strumming....for course you gotta get used to them.....at first I hated them....it's a back up if a nail breaks...for me I had problems when I first started and my nails
used to break alot...I guess for the constant playhing has hardened my nails..haven't broken for a long time now..Knock on wood...

SailingUke
07-27-2011, 04:41 AM
Can you grow out your nails enough to try alaska pics? You can cut/file them like you would regular nails.
http://www.alaskapik.com/

Check out Fred Kelley's "Freedom" picks. A little pricey, but very comfortable and requires no nail to slip them under.

Tantal
07-27-2011, 06:03 AM
Are Freedom picks a soft or hard plastic? I have heard good things about them for strumming with the back of the "nail".

SailingUke
07-27-2011, 06:14 AM
Are Freedom picks a soft or hard plastic? I have heard good things about them for strumming with the back of the "nail".

They are hard and are great for strumming and picking. I use them to protect my nail on my index finger during long strumming sessions.
I have tried Alaska picks, but can't get used to the sensation something is under my finger nail. I can play with or without the Freedoms with no transition.

deadpool
07-27-2011, 06:30 AM
I hate long nails. From all my years of fingerpicking on the steel string guitar, I have developed (sort of) caluses on my finger tips which are serving me OK on the uke. Unless that is contributing to the muddy sound I am getting on the Kala (not an issue with the others though). I tend to really dig in when I finger pick and particularly on the Kelii, volume is not an issue at all.

uke4ia
07-27-2011, 12:30 PM
I keep my nails short, and I've never had trouble strumming loud. I never use a pick except for my tiple. If I'm shooting for volume, I will usually either use a guitar-like full hand strum, or I'll strum with the back of my fingernails. I find that using the back of my ring finger and/or pinky fingernail in strumming helps to emphasize the note I'm playing on the A string.

Magoosan
07-28-2011, 06:38 AM
Hi Tantal:

I also have Psoriasis and had problems with my strumming nails. Once they got a little long, they would just weaken, fold over and break. Tried the Alaska Pics and a few others and they just didn't feel right. Looked around at nail hardeners and discovered something called Nailtiques Plus or Plus 2. Can get it at most Walgreens. A bit expensive, but if you're only using it on a nail, or two, it will last forever. Started using it and it just didn't seem to work. But I hung in there and after 6 or 8 weeks it finally started to work. The nails have now extended and seem very strong. I think the nail just had to grow out of the bed some. Great to finally be strumming without just skin. Makes a big difference in the sound and clarity. Good luck.

lozarkman
07-29-2011, 08:47 AM
Yes you won't go wrong with the Kelley Freedom picks. They are great and much easier to use than the Alaska picks. I use them quite a bit, and they are great for both picking and strumming. Work great for Carter style picking strumming. As close to a nail as you will find. Actually very comfortable. Lozark