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Thread: Fingernails, Cut or File

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Nakhonratchasima, Thailand
    Posts
    292

    Default Fingernails, Cut or File

    I trim my nails regularly and most of the time my fingers hurt for four or five days afterwards when I play. I use flesh and fingernails only when playing. No pick of any kind. I tried cutting less of the fingernail but this is hard to control and I still get problems. Does anyone or anyone ever just filed down their nails to keep them short enough to strum and pick a string instrument? If so please explain the way you do it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    848

    Default

    I start with a glass nail files. A couple of weeks ago, I ordered these to finish them:

    https://www.amazon.com/Purpose-Finge...b-c05699555c56

    These generally work better than clippers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I file mine regularly with the nail file on my Swiss Army knife.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,230

    Default

    I use the scissor style nail cutter, and never had any problems. I have to cut them every week to keep them at a proper length, I am glad I dont get 4 days of problems!
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,526

    Default

    I clip the nails on my fretting hand, but not close enough to hurt!

    I file the nails on my picking/strumming hand, and I file them almost every day, not only to keep them fairly short (just past the end of my fingertips), but also to keep them nicely shaped with a smooth edge for the best tone.

    I use glass files and nail shapers that I order from here: Strings by Mail.

    The GF-5 glass files and OH-19 nail shapers are the ones I like.

    The 4-way nail buffers that I get at the supermarket are good for putting on the finishing touches, as well.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    I cut my nails with a small nail clipper that I replace when it stops being sharp enough. I cut fairly close, but not where it causes any pain. I then file my nails with either the built in file, or the one on my mini Swiss Army knife.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    8 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 10 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 36)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    Member The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,802

    Default

    Cut with small scissors, then file off any rough or sharp bits; leave about 1/16th inch.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    395

    Default

    If you are fretting with the ball of your fingertip. Have good posture and hand position nails of normal length, behind the fingertip should be fine. No need to trim back to cause pain. That is totally unnecessary. Strumming and finger-picking fingers need only slight nail overlap. It is the angle of attack that gives good tone. I file every couple of days.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    3,298

    Default

    Right Hand: I cut the nails with clippers. Shape with a file. Smooth with a glass file.
    Left Hand: I cut the nails with clippers. Far enough back that I have a clean fingertip to fret the notes or chord. Sometime I will smooth the nail edge with a file.

    When I first cut the nails back on my left hand, I would have a couple of fingers that were tender because I was catching the tender "quick" holding the nail on. Back after I did a few times, it moved back away from the tip and I don't catch it anymore.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don't begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    --Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    851

    Default

    I regularly file (usually every couple of days) my right-hand nails (picking hand) with a glass file and smooth the edges with a nail buffer. My fretting hand nails get trimmed with a high-quality, stainless steel clipper that is much sharper and cleaner-cutting than the El-Cheapo throw-away clippers. I've been using a Japanese-made Seki clipper for several years with great results. Again, the nails get smoothed with a buffer to eliminate any rough edges that might get caught and torn.
    Larry

    KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    KALA SOLID FLAME MAPLE CONCERT
    JUPITER UKULELE TENOR #77, REDWOOD/SYCAMORE
    ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR" (LOW "G")
    ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR (LOW "G")
    OHANA BK-70M BARITONE


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