#1
so ive heard from some people that you have to grow your nails out to get more volume from your guitar when finger picking. i recently started finger picking so im still working on technique and all, but do i really need to grow out my nails to finger pick, if it helps im going to be playing delta blues and jazz type things, some classical but mostly blues and jazz.
#2
Fingernails are more of a classical guitar thing, because they need more volume and it makes a better sound. But for other genres it doesn't really matter.
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#3
Aside from that, it's not usually a beginner thing. If you're an intermediate-advanced classical guitarist and you're taking it seriously, I'd say do it. Otherwise (which is your case), not really.
#4
It just gives you a different sound and feel. I much prefer fingerpicking with my actual finger flesh. Using your nails makes it sound much more trebly and feels more inconsistent to me
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#5
That's really more for nylon strings. Your flesh works just fine for the kind of playing that you're describing. Plus, you will lose those long nails pretty quick striking them against hard steel strings. If you really prefer a more twangy sound, you could always try out fingerpicks.
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#6
I'm a steel-string fingerstylist and always use a combination of nail and flesh, almost exactly like classical guitarists do.
I would say that's the norm for folks who play in this style, from my experiences on the Acoustic Guitar forum and the Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar forum.

Having just enough nail to contact the string as your finger breaks across it gives the best combination of tone and playability. Long nails tend to be very fragile, and bare fingers (flesh only ) tend to produce a rather muted tone, even if callouses develop.

You want the nail to follow the contour of your finger, to be no longer than necessary to break across the string, and to be angled a bit from "underneath" so as to slide smoothly off the string.
#7
Quote by Jacobrivers8
so ive heard from some people that you have to grow your nails out to get more volume from your guitar when finger picking. i recently started finger picking so im still working on technique and all, but do i really need to grow out my nails to finger pick, if it helps im going to be playing delta blues and jazz type things, some classical but mostly blues and jazz.

if you're using steel strings you don't really need to. usually longer nails help bring out volume with nylon strings, also the strings are further apart on classical guitars than other guitars to make it easier to fingerpick. getting good nail/flesh tone and finding good length and good nail technique can take months or years even to develop. if you're just playing for fun with a steel string guitar you don't really need to grow your nails out. if you want to use a classical guitar and learn some flamenco or classical stuff it'd be better to have your nails long. nails can be good for jazz chords too and usually on steel strings you won't need to have them as long as if you're on a nylon string guitar.
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