#1
Hey!! I am new to fingerstyling.. I have a doubt related to fingernails required for this...
I normally practice fingerstyling with three fingers (Index, Middle and Ring) but I face some difficulty as I am unable to pickup speed.. So I thought that my nails are pretty large.. Can any of you can take a look at the attachment and tell the ideal nails size for fingerstyling..? A picture of your nails will be appreciated..
#2
Moved to Acoustic/Classical

Basically, your nails are too long.
My God, it's full of stars!
#5
I guess it depends on the person, but my nails are much shorter than that. It depends I think whether you play classical or acoustic as well.

For me, my nails are roughly the same on each hand. You would never notice by looking, but my left are a bit different from my right, if you really went and inspected them. My nails don't stick out the tips of my fingers. I use all 4 fingers, though not for speed runs. For speed, I use 3. Definitely nails matter, but for me, going fast needed a technique revision also.

If my nails get even a bit too long, I won't like it, and my playing will suffer slightly. Nails like that would also prevent me from being able to fingertap, and play piano, so there's no way I could ever keep them that long anyway.

It's really personal preference. Cutting your nails might be better for you, but also, cutting your nails might not immediately make you a faster player, even though having them shorter might be necessary for you to get up to speed.

Your technique for short nails will definitely need to be different to long nails of course also. So you will need a little adjustment there.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at Dec 5, 2015,
#6
my nails are nowhere near that long - i'd say they're about half as long - and when they grow too long, i do find it makes playing a bit harder. shorter nails might help your speed, but the rest is all about practice, practice, practice.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#7
one mm above the skin line is my rule. Also Keep your nails clean! your nails are insane.
#8
I fingerpick on all my guitars and keep my fingernails at 1 to 2mm long and thumbnail at 3 to 4mm long.

#9
As the others all say. Follow the technique used by classical guitar players. There are many tutorials online. Important things are to use a very good file or very fine sandpaper on a small block (the new glass files are pretty good) and to properly bevel the nail from underneath to get a good release.

There are very good players who keep their nails rather long, but the standard practice is no more than about 2mm. Also, they are far less likely to break or chip if kept properly.
#10
Thank u all for your replies.. I will shorten them as per your suggestions.. Cheers..
#13
Quote by smokewoodblues
I fingerpick without nails. Just use the meat of my fingers....



That's how I started, and then found that growing my nails a little gave my fingertips a better sort of stiffness, or grip, for better dexterity, and precision control, and then once I did that, I found that I ended up actually using a bit of the nail as well. So, for me it's kind of a hybrid thing now. Oh, and also the back of the nail works great when you want to have more of a pick strum thing going.

I used to bite my nails and keep them short. A bad habit, but the day I grew them out a little to play guitar, all of that stopped.
#14
Sor and Giuliani played without nails

Pepe Romero recommends becoming very familiar with just flesh before moving on to nails.
My God, it's full of stars!
#15
Don't want to beat a dead horse here but I have never seen a player use nails that long,
they must be tough to stay intact at that length so that's good news,
you don't need long nails to pick fast, even the thumb,
I've been reevaluating this all summer myself,
unless you are classist/purist you might try a thumbpick,
it allows you to change the position of your plucking hand,
I believe it facillitates up tempo playing,
though you certainly don't require a thumbpick,
also fingerpicks, metal or plastic,
I notice Preston Reed uses finger picks on 12 string,
although fingerpicks are somewhat out of style today its like hair-
shyt comes and goes in and out of style
sunaj
#16
Quote by sunaj
Don't want to beat a dead horse here but I have never seen a player use nails that long,
they must be tough to stay intact at that length so that's good news,
you don't need long nails to pick fast, even the thumb,
I've been reevaluating this all summer myself,
unless you are classist/purist you might try a thumbpick,
it allows you to change the position of your plucking hand,
I believe it facillitates up tempo playing,
though you certainly don't require a thumbpick,
also fingerpicks, metal or plastic,
I notice Preston Reed uses finger picks on 12 string,
although fingerpicks are somewhat out of style today its like hair-
shyt comes and goes in and out of style
sunaj

I use thumbpick for picking base notes.. I am new to fingerpicking like I said so I have no idea about the length of nail.. As all said, I will reduce them to a standard size...
#17
I like my nails to just peak over the flesh of my fingers, but what's more important than the length of the nails is the shape. Most of your nails are rather square shaped, which is really inefficient and I can see them getting caught a lot on the strings.
I tend to keep my nails at this general shape, with a gradual slope, and around this length too (I like to keep my index short so I can tap with it).


So yeah, your nails are too long, and are a bad shape.
Quote by Fat Lard
post of the year, thank you
#18
i've seen one woman with looooong acrylic nails play guitar. i can't imagine how she pulled it off, but she was really good and super fast. i know i couldn't do it.

Quote by sunaj
Don't want to beat a dead horse here but I have never seen a player use nails that long,
they must be tough to stay intact at that length so that's good news,
you don't need long nails to pick fast, even the thumb,
I've been reevaluating this all summer myself,
unless you are classist/purist you might try a thumbpick,
it allows you to change the position of your plucking hand,
I believe it facillitates up tempo playing,
though you certainly don't require a thumbpick,
also fingerpicks, metal or plastic,
I notice Preston Reed uses finger picks on 12 string,
although fingerpicks are somewhat out of style today its like hair-
shyt comes and goes in and out of style
sunaj
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#19
Quote by Jimjambanx
I like my nails to just peak over the flesh of my fingers, but what's more important than the length of the nails is the shape. Most of your nails are rather square shaped, which is really inefficient and I can see them getting caught a lot on the strings.
I tend to keep my nails at this general shape, with a gradual slope, and around this length too (I like to keep my index short so I can tap with it).


So yeah, your nails are too long, and are a bad shape.


So should I shape them like my that of my index finger's?
Last edited by hellakarsh at Dec 10, 2015,
#20
Quote by hellakarsh
So should I shape them like my that of my index finger's?


Some people prefer that. I tried it, and it's not for me. I like mine pretty normal looking. Just a little longer than most people I guess, but some non guitarist males I'm sure have nails like mine.

These are Joe Pass's hands.



my nails are similar to his picking hand there. maybe a bit shorter.

Different people have different nails, different thickness, different curvature, different position along the fingertip where the nail comes detached from the finger, etcetera. So, you need to try for yourself. Pass's hands look to me like the detached part of the nail is similar in length to mine, but the end of the nails stick out his finger a bit more.

it's a bit of a personal thing. Depends what techniques youre interested in also.
#21
Okay.. I will trim them.. Thanks to all for your suggestions.. I really appreciate it..
#22
I've found my thumb is more tender than my fingers for picking. My right thumbnail about 3/16" now, need to trim it a little. My right fingers I keep about like JimJam, but I don't intentionally shape the nails. The strings shape the nails for me, hehe.

Left hand I keep the nails neatly trimmed, but the damn pinkie nail on my left hand grows out about 3 times as fast as the others.
#23
Quote by TobusRex
I've found my thumb is more tender than my fingers for picking. My right thumbnail about 3/16" now, need to trim it a little. My right fingers I keep about like JimJam, but I don't intentionally shape the nails. The strings shape the nails for me, hehe.

Left hand I keep the nails neatly trimmed, but the damn pinkie nail on my left hand grows out about 3 times as fast as the others.

I also keep my left hand nails short coz they trouble me in slides..
#24
I use a Fred Kelly Pick on my thumb. Allows me to better position my fingers for the strings.
#25
Quote by Subvet
I use a Fred Kelly Pick on my thumb. Allows me to better position my fingers for the strings.


Which Fred Kelly thumbtack do you prefer?
Dave Bowers

Instruments
Martin D-28
Martin/Sigma DR12-7
Martin Dreadnought Junior
Washburn EA25SNB
Epiphone F-112 Bard
Epiphone Les Paul Special II