I never learnt how to use a pick, but i've gotten pretty good using my nails.

The problem is i've gotten really into practicing recently and after playing for 3 hours I wore down my middle nail. Now i can play with my fingertips but i'm not quite as fast. I'm okay but i can definitely feel that it's more natural and easy with just a little a nail.

The question I'm asking is do i persevere and learn to be just as fast with my fingertips, or wait a month for my nails to regrow, apply some sort of nail strengthener and risk losing the momentum i've built up in the last few months?

I know it's a judgement call in the end, but i'm just looking for a litte guidance. Maybe a few fingertip success stories so i know that it's possible to get my speed and ease of playing back.

If you're not planning on getting acrylic nails or something anytime soon it might be worth looking into these:

Here's their page if it interests you:

Last edited by vayne92 at Apr 25, 2014,
I wouldn't use real fingernails on any steel string guitar. You'll rip one right off. Use either your bare fingers or fingerpicks. Most non-classical fingerstyle players use bare fingers, ala Mark Knopfler or Wes Montgomery.
I'm a nailpicker with weak nails, and I have less trouble if I keep them short so that the finger pad also makes good contact with the strings. . I certainly wouldn't give up practicing. In addition to suggestions already made, you could try using your finger pads, It does seem to work once you get some callouses. - That takes time.

Look up Rory Block on Youtube. She uses her finger pads, and certainly isn't lacking in power or attack. Many of the early blues players also used their finger-pads, the key is developing the callouses.
Last edited by Tony Done at Apr 26, 2014,