View Full Version : Strumming finger nail degradation

05-28-2012, 07:58 PM
Anyone having trouble with this, my pointer finger nail is carved down passed where it usually goes now. i also work at a beach and constantly playing with wet nails, and have soft nails as it is. my nail is slanted exactly the angle where i apparently strike the strings.

Should I stop strumming for a while to try and let it go back before I have some kind of permanent damage to my finger nail, any tips on how to combat this.


05-28-2012, 10:30 PM
Hi ya , i have heard of this before and never suffered from it, but i put some different strings on my uke and they seemed to start wearing down my strumming nail, to the point it became very painful to strum the uke.
The solution i remember reading on this wonderful forum, ages ago, i went to a nail bar that does manicures,pedicures, etc,etc and they filed my nail down and covered it with hardening gel, and hey presto it is as good as new, it is like the bionic finger nail, they had the technology to rebuild him :)
So i suggest head off to a beauty shop, or nail bar, they should hopefully be able to solve your nail problems, hope this was of some help :)

AC Baltimore
05-28-2012, 10:51 PM
Yeah wetness will deff weaken them. I would say try to develop a lighter strum and use some regular old nail hardener polish. I have also used light coats of super glue for many years. Always worked great when I did sessions on steel string guitars.

05-29-2012, 06:22 AM
I also advise going to a nail salon. Ask them to paint your finger with gel in clear (or a color if you are so inclined). If I'm going to a retreat or festival where I know I'll be playing for hours and hours each day for a few days, I go and get the clear gel on my nails. The gel is seriously tough stuff and you can't remove it with regular nail polish remover. The salon has to soak your nails in some bizarre chemical and then chip the residue off so I usually just leave the gel on until it grows off.


Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-29-2012, 08:37 AM
Get yourself a small bottle of medium ca glue from your local hobby shop. A couple of drops smeared on the surface of the nail will toughen it up. To make it real easy, get a bottle of accelerator as well. You'll be ready to play in a minute.

05-29-2012, 09:47 AM
I had a similar problem. I use (as Chuck also says) a bead of superglue along the end of the nail. It will last a couple of weeks and then reapply. I use the liquid superglue, not the gel. It takes a few minutes to dry, so I put a piece of tape on the same finger to remind me not to use it while the superglue dries. It may take you a few times to perfect it. It leaves a slightly shiny end on the nail. And it works real well.

05-31-2012, 06:35 AM
I used to have a terrible time with my strumming nail. It was weak and always broke off. Did some research and came up with a nail hardener called Nailtiques Formula 2. Its clear and just brushes on. It doesn't just make the nail stronger because of the polish itself, it actually interacts with the nail and makes it grow stronger. It's fairly expensive ($13 or $14) and takes a month or two before it starts working, but once it started working, I never had another problem. Got it at Walgreens and because you only use it on 1 or 2 nails it lasts a really long time. I bought my first bottle over a year ago and there is still a lot in the bottle.