#1
Hey all! I have unfortunately weak nails that bent and get hooked pretty quickly. It gets really frustrating that I can get great tone out of short nails, but terrible projection. I'm thinking of making the transition to acrylics. I asked my instructor and he has no experience with them so couldn't offer any input.

I was hoping to hear your experience with acrylics and if you could offer any input on where to get what acrylics, and any advice about use and care. Bonus points if you know anything of removable re-usable acrylics!

Thanks all
#4
I get acrylic applied to the top of my nails, and trust me it's worth it. They really don't look any different to normal nails, they're strong and have a nice warm tone. My nails are super weak and would break all the time, haven't had any problems since I started getting acrylic. Also there really aren't any problems, if you go to a nail salon (I know it's embarrassing) they do this thing where they file down the very bottom of the nail so there aren't any oxygen issues.
#5
I haven't personally used them (piano player, have to keep them short) but my guitar teacher had them and his playing was definitely louder when he had them. He didn't keep them because he didn't play enough fingerstyle to warrant keeping them.
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#6
Quote by Jimjambanx
I get acrylic applied to the top of my nails, and trust me it's worth it. They really don't look any different to normal nails, they're strong and have a nice warm tone. My nails are super weak and would break all the time, haven't had any problems since I started getting acrylic. Also there really aren't any problems, if you go to a nail salon (I know it's embarrassing) they do this thing where they file down the very bottom of the nail so there aren't any oxygen issues.



Where do you get this done Jimjam? Nail salon at the mall? I'm thinking about getting acrylic applied just to see if it helps, my fretting hand nails are always breaking. Picking hand nails are good to go. How much does it cost, btw?
#7
Quote by TobusRex
Where do you get this done Jimjam? Nail salon at the mall? I'm thinking about getting acrylic applied just to see if it helps, my fretting hand nails are always breaking. Picking hand nails are good to go. How much does it cost, btw?


For a whole hand only around $20 or so. I go to just a small shop ran by some Chinese ladies, nothing special. I don't know why you're concerned about your fretting hand nails though I don't know why you'd want them anything but as short as possible, since longer nails will drag along the fretboard, and make certain fingering difficult because angling your fingers straight down will result in your nails hitting the fretboard.

But as for your picking hand I'd say just give it a go, there's really no harm in not, over time your nails will grow, you'll file your nail down and eventually the acrylic will be mostly gone. If you want you can also get them taken off, but it will take off some of your original nail as well and it will be kind of weak, so just let it grow out I say.
#8
I try to keep my nails short on the fretting hand, but the nails are so brittle that they break constantly anyway. It's pretty interesting really, I can see exactly where I press on the strings by the fractures in the nails!
#9
Poor nail strength is generally down to diet. Perhaps a lack of omega's. Healthy nails should be hard to break and without defects (such as ridges, white spots, etc...).

I pride myself on eating well and I can't recall ever breaking a nail while playing. It doesn't even wear my nails down and sometimes I strum pretty hard with my index and thumb nail.

Acrylics can be pretty harsh on your nails when you want to remove them, and as the nail grows they need to be replaced. I'd be more inclined to look for some decent fingerpicks if you are unable to strengthen your nails.
#10
Quote by gweddle.nz
Poor nail strength is generally down to diet. Perhaps a lack of omega's. Healthy nails should be hard to break and without defects (such as ridges, white spots, etc...).

I pride myself on eating well and I can't recall ever breaking a nail while playing. It doesn't even wear my nails down and sometimes I strum pretty hard with my index and thumb nail.

Acrylics can be pretty harsh on your nails when you want to remove them, and as the nail grows they need to be replaced. I'd be more inclined to look for some decent fingerpicks if you are unable to strengthen your nails.


Yeah but many (such as myself) don't like the feel of fingerpicks, and they have a very different sound compared to acrylics (which sound just like nails, but a little warmer), so they aren't exactly a viable alternative for some. Yeah acrylic can be harsh on your nails IF you remove them, but you don't have to. I just get them refilled every couple of months when they grown too far past the nail bed, simple. Yes healthy nails are important, my nails are very healthy, but due to the aggressive style of fingerpicking I do, they'll break eventually if they don't have some sort of reinforcement, and I imagine I'm not the only one with this problem.
#11
The "guitar nails" do seem to have some popularity among working musicians. If you maintain your nails properly, as classical guitarists do, you produce a good tone.....Without the nails being long.

However....If you play steel-string guitars a lot....You are going to get nail wear. So you are forced to look for something. As noted, fingerpicks are problematic for many people, but both banjo players and steel-guitar players use them exclusively....
I don't use acrylic nails but my wife is addicted to the things and they do require constant maintenance. Essentially, you are gluing a plastic nail to your own....And your own continue to grow. So, unsightly gaps appear at the nail bed and you must occasionally get a "fill" to cover the gap.
Not difficult or expensive.....But you need to enjoy hanging out in a shop full of nice Asian folks and women...

I manage quite nicely with my natural nails by using a combination of good maintenance and technique...And by playing flatwound strings on my "jazz" guitar and also nylon strings.
#12
i wore acrylic overlays on my nails for more than ten years. they sound great, and aren't too expensive to have maintained. be SURE to get them filled whenever the edges start to loosen even a tiny bit or you can risk fungus or having the nail pull off.

if your nails aren't broken, you don't need to have what they call tips applied, just the acrylic overlay. and over time, you'll get an idea of how thick you want them - i liked mine thick but not super thick.
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#13
I have been using a single fake fingernail on my ring finger since the late 80s or early 90s. I started using my ring finger for picking just naturally, without even thinking about it, during countless gigs. I just got the idea for doing it, using a fake fingernail. I felt naked without having a fingernail on my ring finger. They would stay on for a very long time usually a matter of a few months. When they fell off I would use my natural fingernail for a while until it broke then put another one on. I've never suffered any kind of trauma from using one. I understand you get fungus and I read about the oxygen deal. I do not cover the entire nail with the fake nail. I trim them down with scissors before application
Right now in August 2015 it fell off a few days ago when I was working on an amp and snagged it on something. I will file down the fingernail a little put some superglue on it and it will last for a while.