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Thread: NAILS! Do you grow them?

  1. #1
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    Default NAILS! Do you grow them?

    Hey I was wondering to what extent you ukulele players grow your nails? Do you find that it helps to have nails? which fingers do you grow them out on?

    For me I've been growing my nails for about a year and they are now 4 inches long! haha just joking. I'm still waiting for my thumbnail to grow out longer so I can learn to fast pick like jake.

  2. #2
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    Seems like every time I try to grow mine out, I get them going pretty well, then break one off very deep and painfully. Then I trim them all up and have to start all over.

  3. #3
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    I'm working on a summary on nail-care for my blog. I'll let you guys know when I'm done.

    I grow the nails on my right hand. They increase the range of color and volume that you can induce from a classical guitar and ukulele (playing fingerstyle, of course). That doesn't mean that you can't play without them.

    This weekend, I chipped my thumbnail and had to trim it down. It's ruined my tone and decreased my speed. I guess the latter isn't a bad thing when you're practicing.

  4. #4
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    i grow all the nails out on my right hand for all the same reasons... the pinky is to pick my nose though hehe. but ive been looking for some nail cair tips to help with abrasion resistance.

    my nail on my index finger wears away from all the strumming i do. it litterally looks deformed now.

    ive tried clear nail polish... that wore away after one song.

    i would like to try some press-on nails... but i hear the adhesive is crap.

    and theres no way youre going to drag me into a salon to have my nails done!!!

    really.

    i wont do it.

    haha...

    seriously though, if i dont figure something out soon, i will wear away the nail so far that i will be exposing the nail bed. then im REALLY gonng be ticked!

  5. #5
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    As for me, when I first started fingerpicking style guitar 20 years ago, I could'nt play a lick without growing my nails out on my right hand. It was always a burden to keep them long enough for decent, clean guitar picking. However, do a little work around the house; the nails breaks. Bang the guitar too hard one night; there goes another nail. I tried fake nails, super glue, etc, etc. However, what happened was as I continued to improve my techquiue over the years, my nails length has continued to get shorter to where now they don't even have to come over the skin part at the end of my finger tips to work just fine. (Sidenote:Check out the closeups of Jake's nail on his DVD or on the thumb/pointer lesson he did will Aldrine. His nails are not long at all.) Anyway, in my situation it's more of a half skin half nail techquiue that I've found sustainable. Since now that I also enjoy playing the ukulele, I've found this techquie works equally well on this instrument...with one exception: the single-note fast thumb picking. The down stroke is no problem: nice tone, etc. But the up stroke with the thumb gets more of a hollow "ping" sound than that nice fat tone I want. As of yet, I have not trying growing my thumb nail out for the above reasons. So I'm trying to develop my speed with a two finger techquie using my thumb and pointer finger. i.e. hold thumb and finger together like your handing a business card. Then pick down with thumb and then pick up with the pointer. It's starting to work well but as with any new techquie, it takes a lot of practice to be dead on fast and clean with it. For what it's worth... that's where I'm at with the nail length and the single-note fast picking thing...
    Dude...it's a ukulele! www.dudeitsaukulele.com

  6. #6
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    I grow the nails on my thumb and first three fingers on my right hand because I tend to use four fingers when picking.

    I keep a set of "Alaska Piks" and some sports tape (to keep em on) in my gig bag, just in case I break a nail. The Alaska Piks are pretty good, but they take a little getting used to...if you're a crazy strummer (lots of triples and rolls) they sometimes catch on the string, but if you cover the open areas with sports tape it's not much of a problem. The reason I like em is that one peice of the pick sits under your nail...so it "feels" kinda like a nail (as opposed to regular finger picks)

    It's not as good or as natural as a regular nail...but it's better than nothing

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keonikapila View Post
    I grow the nails on my thumb and first three fingers on my right hand because I tend to use four fingers when picking.

    I keep a set of "Alaska Piks" and some sports tape (to keep em on) in my gig bag, just in case I break a nail. The Alaska Piks are pretty good, but they take a little getting used to...if you're a crazy strummer (lots of triples and rolls) they sometimes catch on the string, but if you cover the open areas with sports tape it's not much of a problem. The reason I like em is that one peice of the pick sits under your nail...so it "feels" kinda like a nail (as opposed to regular finger picks)

    It's not as good or as natural as a regular nail...but it's better than nothing
    hmm that might be something id be interested in.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NukeDOC View Post
    hmm that might be something id be interested in.
    They work pretty well, and you can customize them with a nail file and clippers. Straight out of the package they've got a uniform rounded shape, I take a little bit out of the left side to give it an "edge" (think of the end of the nail where it goes from shooting straight out and starts to curve around the finger) to pick with...that gives me the cleanest sound from em.

  9. #9
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    yes! heres some tips for your nail care. soak your nails in warm water then trim it with a clipper, file your nails only in one direction, push in the cuticle to speed the growth process. i for one always file my nails every week so it grows thicker.

  10. #10
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    i grow my thumb, index, and middle finger out juuuust enough to pick. because i coach gymnastics, i cant stab my kids with my nails. BUT i dont just have my nails grow, i clip them, then file them into a picking look shape and round the top (so i dont hurt my kids)


    and Nuke: if you coat with nail polish like 5 times, it stays longer haha, but thats soo much time going into doing your nails that people begin to think your are queer.

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