Guitarists and Nails

Posted 01 Jul 2008 in Musings, Technique

Back in the day when I trained as a classical guitarist, I remember carefully grooming the nails of my right hand, always manicuring them to ensure that they had the nice squarish shape with slightly rounded corners, and filing them with emery paper until they were smooth.  I went to the extent of ensuring I had lots of calcium in my diet, and using a special hand and nail lotion to ensure that my nails were, excuse the pun, tough as nails.  And it was always a sad day indeed I when split, chipped or broke a fingernail, because it would make playing difficult due to the shortened or damaged nail.

This article from Music Thing brought back memories then, with various resources and guides to fingernails and fingernail care.

With my electric and acoustic guitar playing these days though, I use a guitar pick the majority of the time.  On the odd occasion I might resort to finger plucking, but I don’t go out of my way to groom my nails as I used to.  I’m wondering how many of our readers do use their nails on a regular basis, and if so, whether they make it a point to care for their nails?  Is it just a classical guitarist thing, or do other players do it too?  I’ve created a little poll to find out, and feel free to elaborate in the comments. 

[poll id=”2″]

1 Comment

  1. Ian Tan (02 Jul 2008, 16:28)

    I mostly use a pick but also use my last 3 fingers while holding on to my pick. When I solo, I like the nice fat ‘spank’ you get when you pluck the string really hard and it slaps back against the fretboard. Throw in a little finger vibrato and hey-presto, you’re in blues heaven!

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