Playing without nails

Updated on January 26, 2018 in General Discussion
4 on October 8, 2017

I have one nail, ring finger, that won’t stop cracking. Gelatin daily, Hard as Hoof, olive oil, nails as short as Segovia’s — no joy. I’ve heard that playing nylon guitar without nails is possible, and some prefer it for a warmer, if less sharp, sound. Does anyone here do that? Has anyone tried it and found it would not work for them? Thanks.

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0 on October 11, 2017

You can indeed play guitar without nails, but you will have a limited dynamic range.  It is so much easier to push into the string to bring out a melody with a strong nail than it is with flesh.

I have heard of people doing the following (not sure about how healthy this might be).  One idea is coating the problem nail with CA (crazy) glue.  Another is fake nails which is essentially a chunk of acrylic glued to your nail.  A third idea is using some of the commercially available delrin fingerstyle picks that mount on your fingertips.  But these fingerstyle picks are aimed towards steel string fingerstyle, so I have no idea how much they would tear up nylon strings.

I happen to be lucky that my nails which are constantly trashed during guitar making all grow back quickly and strongly so I’m never without them for very long.

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1 on October 12, 2017

Check out this site.

https://rmclassicalguitar.com/

on October 12, 2017

Astonishing tone quality! Thanks.

 

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0 on January 26, 2018

I have the same problem. I use longer nails until the cracks start and force me to cut them back. I don’t like playing with them cut really short and have tried all kinds of fixes for my nails. Nothing works. I have one fingernail that cracks often. If anyone has suggestions that I may not have tried, that would be great.

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