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View Full Version : Pick Choice ? (for when nails broken)



JedSmith
09-23-2013, 06:37 AM
Hi everyone - I really ripped the fingernail on my strumming index finger today. Its split in such a way that if it catches one of my uke strings it'll cause some real damage. So its best for me to let it slowly grow out. --- Here's my question please: what kind of specific pick would be best to use with my soprano and concert ukes till my nail grows back ? I have some rubber "3.1mm soft" picks, "Wedgie" brand. (Family member plays bass guitar & gave some to me awhile ago). -- You suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ambient Doughnut
09-23-2013, 06:48 AM
Felt or leather picks seem to be the usual choice. I think I'd just use my next available finger though myself.

Failing that you could experiment with bits of card or plastic. :)

ukedenis
09-23-2013, 06:53 AM
Ambient, using a piece of plastic card is hard for the strings.. a felt pick or a leather pick is better :)

Wicked
09-23-2013, 07:14 AM
It really depends on your style of play and the tension of your strings. Sometimes a stiffer pick actually works better than the floppy picks typically recommended for ukuleles.

Personally, I use a pick made of bone.

vanflynn
09-23-2013, 07:15 AM
Try a piece of leather from an old belt.

JedSmith
09-23-2013, 07:19 AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'll give them a try.

river_driver
09-23-2013, 08:03 AM
I play with a hard plastic pick (when i'm not just using my fingers) - I don't find that it's any harder on my strings than fingernails.

OP, if there's a guitar shop near you, the best thing is to go spend a couple bucks on a variety of picks so you can find one that works for you. Single picks generally don't cost that much.

Newportlocal
09-23-2013, 08:23 AM
Fake clear nail tip at nail salon will cost you $3. After you file it, it will look just like the others.

WhenDogsSing
09-23-2013, 08:33 AM
Dunlop 0.38mm nylon (white) picks. Thin and flexible. No damage to strings.

Steedy
09-23-2013, 09:43 AM
The Wedgie rubber picks work pretty well, and they don't have a lot of "pick click" to them.

hammer40
09-23-2013, 10:53 AM
I just recently ordered some Alaska picks to try out for when I break or rip a nail. I'm currently using a Dunlop for my thumb picking since I recently tore that nail below the flesh line. Took some getting used to but doing pretty good with it now. The trick I found is to file it down to what works best for you.

Jim Hanks
09-23-2013, 11:25 AM
Another +1 for Wedgie brand. I play almost exclusively with a pick because finger picking seems to aggravate my RSI issues much worse than the pick.

barrybush
09-23-2013, 01:20 PM
Look at the Fred Kelly freedom finger picks . My fingernails are thin as paper so I have to use some type of pick. With these picks I can strum down or pick up. It's as close as I can get to the feel and sound of nails.

Doc_J
09-23-2013, 01:50 PM
Look at the Fred Kelly freedom finger picks . My fingernails are thin as paper so I have to use some type of pick. With these picks I can strum down or pick up. It's as close as I can get to the feel and sound of nails.

+1 on the Fred Kelly freedom finger picks. Feels and works pretty close to a real nail.

dkcrown
09-23-2013, 04:03 PM
I broke the nail on my index finger on Sunday, but only half of it was torn and it was just "flapping". I managed to glue it back together with crazy glue, sanded the excess off with 600 grit sandpaper, and voila! Good as new. (Takes a long time for those suckers to grow back!)

Moxieuke
09-23-2013, 04:14 PM
I also need to use a pick and found the wedgie rubber ones to be too "sticky." They grip the strings a little too much for my taste. They also make the chords sound a little bit muted. That can be good some of the time, but not all the time.

Honestly, I found the felt picks from Ukeonomics to be the best. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/UKEonomics) I liked them so much I ordered them in bulk. The man who owns it is an active member of this board so you're helping out a fellow uker instead of a corporation.

ralphk
09-24-2013, 05:27 AM
These can be used when you have a nail problem.

http://elderly.com/accessories/items/02-21316.htm

Actually, any fake nail can be simply taped to the fingertip for the duration of the gig. I use the clear tape shown in this kit, available at any first aid counter. You probably don't need the double back sticky tape between the actual nail and the fake one -- at least I don't. Trim the fake nail to the length you want.

It works fine, at least for me.

SailingUke
09-24-2013, 06:07 AM
I like the Freedom picks as well.
I liked the wedgie, but disliked all the eraser dust it left behind.
I broke my nail a month ago and was able to glue it back while it grew out.

JedSmith
09-24-2013, 02:00 PM
Fake clear nail tip at nail salon will cost you $3. After you file it, it will look just like the others.

I've only been playing uke for a few months. If anyone would have told me previously that I'd discuss nail care someday, I woulda thought they were crazy !

My sister-in-law owns a nail salon . . . but I don't know if I'm quite ready for that yet.

Newportlocal
09-24-2013, 02:16 PM
I've only been playing uke for a few months. If anyone would have told me previously that I'd discuss nail care someday, I woulda thought they were crazy !

My sister-in-law owns a nail salon . . . but I don't know if I'm quite ready for that yet.

It did take courage. Lol It was a recent experiment for me, and I am happy with the result. I was having trouble getting thumb and index long enough for tremelo picking.
Lots of good players do it for guitar and ukulele.
Lots of videos on you tube about it,and shaping them.
This is a good file I learned about from this forum.
http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Glass-Inches-Carrying-Sassella/dp/B00283O7LK/ref=sr_1_3?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1380068066&sr=1-3&keywords=Crystal+nail+file

bonesigh
09-25-2013, 07:59 AM
I didn't read the rest of the post but.......this is what I used to do before I started getting my nail done at the salon. I took fake nails and a band aid and put them around my fingers. I could slip them on and off for a while before I had to make new ones (: Now I get 3 acryllic nails done....Just 3, thumb, first and middle.

Strumdaddy
09-25-2013, 07:19 PM
Here's your big chance to go NAKED !!! I used to play classical guitar, for which I needed to keep my nails at an ideal length and shape. I had to be really careful about not damaging them - such a hassle. Now I love playing uke with really short nails... the index finger nail makes a sharper downstroke sound than the fleshy upstroke - giving a pleasing contrast. And for picking I can really dig in under the strings for a plucky, dynamic sound. Give it a chance - you may never go back.

TheCraftedCow
09-26-2013, 09:37 PM
Yep,best option there is. The finger and the strings are always where they have been and will continue to be. It will also protect the nail bed at other times as well. I have been contemplating a cover nail for a fungal fingernail on my right thumb.

vonbiber
09-27-2013, 01:10 AM
Hi everyone - I really ripped the fingernail on my strumming index finger today. Its split in such a way that if it catches one of my uke strings it'll cause some real damage. So its best for me to let it slowly grow out

I've had the same problem.
I started using the middle finger instead and after some practicing it's kind of working

strumsilly
09-27-2013, 03:23 AM
Dunlop 0.38mm nylon (white) picks. Thin and flexible. No damage to strings.

I use the 0.44 when I want my 8 string to be really loud.

justincaseuke81
09-27-2013, 12:59 PM
Try using an "Alaska Pick" if fits over your finger tip and acts link a finger nail.

Slingblab
11-29-2013, 07:48 AM
I considered the aLaska pick for a similar reason - index nail too short and damaged but the instructions for their pick say it goes 'under' the nail. So how does it work if there's no nail for it to go under?

sukie
11-29-2013, 07:51 AM
Fake clear nail tip at nail salon will cost you $3. After you file it, it will look just like the others.

This. .