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philrab66
08-15-2013, 06:37 AM
Hi all
Just a rant and maybe somebody will have a few suggestions. I mainly fingerpick and one of my nails keep breaking. I keep growing it but it goes in the same place all the time. Stuck a falsey on just so I could play for a few days. I do a manual job where they will get wrecked. Anyway have come to the conclusion that I can not have decent nails. Is there anybody out there who has found any decent picks that are actually usable. I have used a dunlop one but it is so cumbersome.

I do not really like the sound of no nails.

Thanks Phil.:mad:

Skitzic
08-15-2013, 06:50 AM
Try AlaskaPiks (http://alaskapik.com/). I haven't used them yet, but they are always mentioned in these kinds of threads and I intend to buy some at some point. Especially now that I've been trying to do more thumb picking and my nails just aren't strong enough to get to the length I want.

UkeyDave
08-15-2013, 06:57 AM
Hi all
Just a rant and maybe somebody will have a few suggestions. I mainly fingerpick and one of my nails keep breaking. I keep growing it but it goes in the same place all the time. Stuck a falsey on just so I could play for a few days. I do a manual job where they will get wrecked. Anyway have come to the conclusion that I can not have decent nails. Is there anybody out there who has found any decent picks that are actually usable. I have used a dunlop one but it is so cumbersome.

I have exactly the same problem with my right hand index finger nail. Doesn't matter how many times I grow it and file it, IT JUST ALWAYS breaks.
I do not really like the sound of no nails.

Thanks Phil.:mad:


I have exactly the same problem with my right hand index finger nail. Doesn't matter how many times I grow it and file it, IT JUST ALWAYS breaks. I'd love to know what the answer is too.

mm stan
08-15-2013, 07:16 AM
any water is bad for nails, esp warm or hot....keep away from them.....also try those brush on nail hardeners for thin brittle nails.....good Luck....

cdkrugjr
08-15-2013, 07:34 AM
Every classical guitarist I've ever known carries either thin polystyrene plastic or pingpong balls (which are usually made of thin polystyrene plastic...) and a tube of CA adhesive to do "Field Repairs."

They Do tend to play more with their nails than we do, however.

Telperion
08-15-2013, 07:42 AM
any water is bad for nails, esp warm or hot....keep away from them.....also try those brush on nail hardeners for thin brittle nails.....good Luck....

I've also used a vitamin E oil that you massage into the nail and cuticle. You can buy it in the nail polish section, but I am guessing it is the same stuff you'd get for much cheaper in a skincare or vitamin section. It takes time and persistence, but I really believe it helped strengthen my nails, and keeps them from being too dry and brittle.

Additionally, I don't allow my nails to get very long. I feel that my playing is best when the nail is just beyond the tip of my finger. When picking, it should be part nail, part finger tip, to get optimal tone. My nails get wavy when they're too long anyway, so I don't have much choice but to keep them in check. And I never cut my nails, only file them. However, even with good maintenance, I still break one every month or so, and I am back at square one.

You could also try wearing oven mitts to protect your hands, like George Costanza!

-Steve

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
08-15-2013, 07:56 AM
Being a builder it's hard for me to keep my nails in decent shape for playing. My nails are always breaking or getting ground down. Playing with picks feels like starting all over again although I'm sure I could get used to it in time. It also feels like it would limit your technique. I find it helpful to apply a layer of medium viscosity super glue (to my thumbnail primarily) to strengthen it and do repairs. It ain't pretty but it works.
BTW, I've used the Alaska Piks on steel guitar and they do work well.

PhilUSAFRet
08-15-2013, 08:18 AM
I have soft, thin nails. I just have to live with using my fingertips. Not a bright attack, but then we don't all want to sound alike anyway, especially in a group. Good luck with finding a solution you can live with. :shaka:

sukie
08-15-2013, 08:35 AM
I get solar nails put on at a salon. Better than acrylic and cheap.

However.....I saw Troy Fernandez perform last week. We were outside chatting and he asked me to help him glue on his plastic nail. I told him about using solar nails. He said plastic worked great for him. Well, since I will NEVER play as well as he does I figure if it's good enough for Troy Fernandez, it's probably pretty good. Ever seen him play?

Radio Flyer
08-15-2013, 10:06 AM
just a suggestion...in the guitar world finger pickers are know to use Vaseline 'healthy hand&nail'. comes in a pink tube and works.

WhenDogsSing
08-15-2013, 10:55 AM
Dunlop .38mm white nylon picks work well on nylon string instruments.

Raygf
08-15-2013, 11:06 AM
I use Nail Envy on my Index, middle and ring finger nails of my right hand and it does a very good job of keeping them strong. I also keep them relatively short to keep them out of the way so they don't break when I'm doing other things. My thumb nail is another story. I have a vertical split that won't heal. I found these (http://www.ricoguitarnails.com) and gave them a try. Well, I played steel string guitar, nylon guitar and ukulele and the adhesive dot kept the thumb nail in place. I've also been able to have some success with a thumb pick, but I prefer to use the nail and flesh of my thumb.

armchair_spaceman
08-15-2013, 12:28 PM
I've tried a few things in recent weeks after breaking index and middle nails recently (helping my son with his hockey socks...grrrr). Alaskapiks are pretty good, come in a few sizes and can be shaped easily with a nail file (they come a little long for my taste but shaping them is easy). I prefer my own nails but the alaskas are reasonably close in feel while mine grow back. Have also tried Fred Kelly Freedom Picks...also good and easy enough to shape but the biggest size is a but snug for my fat fingers, I find the alaskpiks more comfortable and nail-like. Downside of the alaskas is you need a little bit of nail to hold them on.

FWIW I've tried three different nail strengtheners in the meantime (raided Mrs Spaceman's nail product collection)...OPI, Nailtiques (protein #2) and Revitanail, for me the Revitanail is the standout, the other two left my nail regrowth hard but a bit thin and brittle. I'm willing to experiment, might try her "hard as hoof" next.

anthonyg
08-15-2013, 01:30 PM
I use false nails that are painted on rather than glued on. They are called acrylic nails but maybe acrylic means something different here than over where you are. They are seriously, seriously strong and are going nowhere for at least a month. After a month of outgrowing they start to get a bit weaker but often I still have trouble taking the old ones of in order to have new ones applied.

Given your manual work you may need to have them maintained more often than me but still there is nothing weak about them. Thinking about it I only have mine maintained every 2 months or so. You still have to file them regularly.

Anthony

Liam Ryan
08-15-2013, 05:57 PM
I've always just used the ends of my fingers. I prefer the way it feels and sounds. And no nail maintenance.

itsme
08-15-2013, 07:18 PM
Additionally, I don't allow my nails to get very long. I feel that my playing is best when the nail is just beyond the tip of my finger.
You don't really need a lot of nail to produce a good plucked tone. I played CG for many years before taking up uke and use the same style of picking.

Where I run into a problem is when I get lazy about filing my nails and they end up too long and tend to get broken.

Lori
08-15-2013, 07:53 PM
My nails seem to get tears horizontally, and I patch them with a bit of fiberglass nail tape and some Nailitiques 2 polish. It covers over the tear so it doesn't catch on anything, and can grow out. You might have to redo it every couple of days depending on how tough your activities are on your nails. I try and give it several layers of the fiberglas tape and polish to make it especially strong. It feels natural, and I prefer it to getting an artificial nail.

–Lori

equina
08-15-2013, 07:55 PM
My nails are very short and I cannot use Alaskapiks. I use Fred Kelly freedom picks (http://fredkellypicks.com/freedom-pick.html). I can strum and fingerpick with them easily. Elderly sells them too.

philrab66
08-16-2013, 07:14 AM
My nails seem to get tears horizontally, and I patch them with a bit of fiberglass nail tape and some Nailitiques 2 polish. It covers over the tear so it doesn't catch on anything, and can grow out. You might have to redo it every couple of days depending on how tough your activities are on your nails. I try and give it several layers of the fiberglas tape and polish to make it especially strong. It feels natural, and I prefer it to getting an artificial nail.

–Lori

Hi Lori
I have been looking into the nail repair as you mentioned but my work is to rough on my hands. I would be repairing them daily. I am going to try a few Fred Kellys to see if I can get used to them.

Also do you sell the ukulele charms in a fluke style and do they come with something on them to attach to uke.
Thanks Phil.

philrab66
08-16-2013, 07:15 AM
You don't really need a lot of nail to produce a good plucked tone. I played CG for many years before taking up uke and use the same style of picking.

Where I run into a problem is when I get lazy about filing my nails and they end up too long and tend to get broken.

I have tried to get them as short as possible but it always goes up my nail I think I have a weak part there.

philrab66
08-16-2013, 07:18 AM
I use Nail Envy on my Index, middle and ring finger nails of my right hand and it does a very good job of keeping them strong. I also keep them relatively short to keep them out of the way so they don't break when I'm doing other things. My thumb nail is another story. I have a vertical split that won't heal. I found these (http://www.ricoguitarnails.com) and gave them a try. Well, I played steel string guitar, nylon guitar and ukulele and the adhesive dot kept the thumb nail in place. I've also been able to have some success with a thumb pick, but I prefer to use the nail and flesh of my thumb.

You can buy them glue dots from a lot of shops and work out really cheap. I may have a go with them with some regular false nails.

Lori
08-16-2013, 08:23 PM
Hi Lori
I have been looking into the nail repair as you mentioned but my work is to rough on my hands. I would be repairing them daily. I am going to try a few Fred Kellys to see if I can get used to them.

Also do you sell the ukulele charms in a fluke style and do they come with something on them to attach to uke.
Thanks Phil.

Hi Phil
Yes, I do have charms in the Fluke style, and if you request a jump ring / a zipper pull, it could be used to hang from your uke. I don't have the zipper pull option on the web store yet, but you can email me for more info. ukeleash@me.com

–Lori

ricdoug
08-16-2013, 08:47 PM
I have callouses on the flesh of my thumb and fingertips that do quite an effective job without fingernails. Ric

Raygf
08-17-2013, 02:51 AM
You can buy them glue dots from a lot of shops and work out really cheap. I may have a go with them with some regular false nails.That's a great idea!

stevepetergal
08-17-2013, 03:12 PM
I'd contact Craig Brandau. He says he started using a nail professional and it has worked wonders.

CharlieDog
08-19-2013, 03:59 AM
I used to have problems with my nails too. I started using a product called Nailtiques formula 2 plus. It's just like a real thin nail polish, that they tell you to put one coat on each day. That actually worked for me! As it builds up it forms a nick think, hard finish that even though my nails spit at the ends it stopped them from breaking. Eventually new in split nails grew out, and I I filed off the old nails as they got as long as I wanted, they were no longer split. The thick coating also prevents against general nail breakage. Now I just put on four or five coats the first day. And then just as I feel they need it or I'm going to do some work with my hands. The reason I keep starting over is that after a while I peel the stuff off my nails, probably not a good idea, but its kinda like picking a scab, a nervous habit.

This stuff really works and you can get it at Walgreens. I have not broken a nail since I have started using it, about three months! My finger pucking has benefited tremendously as well as my practice.

Two things.....do your best to keep it off your cuticles, it dries them out.
Used gloves when you do any hard work with your hands. No not moving the law, but like using a palm sander on a deck, carrying boards etc. I gots some thin form fitting rubber palmed gloves made out of nylon at Menards, and I would guess Hone Depot carries them. Try it!

Ok, something else I tried that works as well if not better, is going to a nail salon and have them apply the relatively new gel, that is cured using ultraviolet light. It essentially, the same thing except thicker (that's why I think
its better, I say think because i havent broken a nail since i started using either/both) and much smoother.

I only get two fingers and my thumb done, and its only $6! The process involves two relatively thin coats, then one thick coat, then one thin coat of clear, curing it each time with the UV light. It lasts 7 to 10 days depending on what I'm doing and if I. Can refrain from peeling it off! It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes.

One problem I have is convincing them to only do the three nails, and not shape them, I do that, and to not giving me a full manicure. And also explains what I want a and why. The language barrier can compound, the process, I.e., most nail people around here are Asian. The end result is very satisfactory.

The only reason I go back to using the Nailtiques polish is that I get too lazy to get in my car and drive there. And sometimes I tire of explaining it to a new manicurist.

I'm going to work on my deck next week, so I'll probably go to the nail salon first, because it is thicker.

If you are a finger picker do yourself a favor and try either of these processes, it is SO much more pleasurable picking with real nails