Poll: Nail length?
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View poll results: Nail length?
84 56%
59 39%
2 1%
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6 4%
Voters: 151.
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Since I started playing, I've kept mine very very short to avoid any "twang" from my plucking hand. But lately I've been wondering if I should try let my nails grow a little. I played like that once and it sounded like I was playing with a plec. Doing 16ths with one finger sounded a lot better too (yes, like that Dethklok guy).

So, short or long?

Sometimes I cut it too low though, oh the pain.

Anyway short nails = less pain.

You won't have to worry about bending your fingernails or scratching chalkboards.

Short nails are also more comfortable for my guitar playing. My fingers get directly on the fret.
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ever since i started playing guitar i have developed OCD over keeping my hands clean and keeping my nails short.
i cant stand it anymore lol
so now they're as short as they can be without pain:P
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^+1, I cut my nails as short as possible, not for bass but for comfort.
Well I play with a pick so it wouldn't really affect my right hand, but I keep mine short. I had a music teacher who would ridicule people for having short nails, and ever since short nails + playing have gone together. Also, short nails just look better.
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Medium. I like my right hand's index and middle fingers to have slightly longer than short nails, for the Geddy Lee style (Back and forth with 1 finger)

I keep my left hand as short as possible without pain
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But long nails on your picking hand would be pretty cool. What's that called, flamenco?
well i used to keep them long enough...until recently while playing basketball with some friends and having my nail chip off after scraping another's hand going up for a rebound and almost breaking his skin...well it didnt hurt me but i think ill keep them short right now.
short nails at least on my fret hand. i play guitar more than bass but i find that solos around the really high frets can get screwed up if your nails are to long.
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ive had a habit of biting mine since like third grade so my fingernails are extrememly short
I've bitten the hell out of mine since like year 4 so i guess mine are short..
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I know when my right hand index and middle finger nails are getting too long, when they hit the strings which really annoys me so I cut them.

So, yeah, I do keep them short.
playing bass is the only reason i ever have had a manicure as a 16 year old male...
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I keep them as short as possible to prevent the random, out of place clicky tone of the nail hitting the string, I might let them grow long enough to get a consistent click sometime though, I kindof like the tone actually, sounds like your using a thin pick.
I used to keep mine long for classical, but now that I cut them, I keep them as short as possible to keep them from hitting the strings....
Ultra short. I can't stand the feeling of playing bass with either hand (fretting and plucking) with even short nails.
I bite mine constantly. It has nothing to do with playing, just a habit I've had for a long time.
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I keep them ultra short. Not only does it reduce twang, but it prevents scratching into the wood if my fretting fingers slip, or when my right thumb touches the body over the pickup.
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playing bass is the only reason i ever have had a manicure as a 16 year old male...

...Truth. My mom made me get one? I didnt want to. But after going on a mini-bass rampage and playing for 30+ hours in 2 days...my hands were thrashed. My right pointer finger was bleeding because of the intensely fast basslines we were writing. I played god damn "Fly Away" so many times that I think I rubbed off my caluses on my left pointer finger.

Ahh...the joys of playing bass.
Is this what you want?
Nice and short for thick fingerstyle tone. Nothing more to it. If I want to get the nail sound, a la Geddy Lee, well, there's still plenty of nail there.
If nail and string are touching then it's a no-no in my book. Unless you grow those short but noticeable but also very comfortable nails that i can only get twice a year ._.
id say short, i dont cut them real short, but i do cut them very often
Because of my genetically altered caritin levels, my nails grow back to medium-long length in about 5 days after trimming them short, so it's a huge hassle. I usually cut them every 2 weeks because it's just a pain doing it so frequently. So when they're medium length, I do use the small protrusion of nail off my fingertip to tweak the strings, and it does give a very unique feel. It's like the smooth playing of finger style with the bright plucking of a pick. I would honestly prefer it this way if it didn't COMPLETELY screw up my ability to play 6-string guitar.
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Mine are short, for no other reason that I bite them.
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I've personally been biting my nails for years, so they're pretty short anyway. Yes, it is a bit weird that I do it, but it's a slightly better habit than say, smoking.
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I'm kind of curious why everyone who plays bass seems to be a nail biter. There has to be some correlation here. No wonder you all let yourselves get cut out of the mix.
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^hey, I do not get cut out of the mix. I cut it in two.
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I bite mine constantly. It has nothing to do with playing, just a habit I've had for a long time.


if I do want pick tone, a flicking movement is greatly beneficial.
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Last edited by the humanity at Feb 3, 2009,
with bass they seem to get in the way and produce that horrible noise
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Don't pay attention, cut my nails every so often because long nails are gross.
I always kept my nails short when I was younger. I eventually replaced the nail clipper with my teeth :l.
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