The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #79267   Message #1434475
Posted By: PoppaGator
14-Mar-05 - 01:02 PM
Thread Name: Nail Discussion!
I long ago gave up trying to maintain my weak thin little nails and took up fingerpicks. They were awkward at first, of course, but after forty years they have become second nature to me.

I can play bare-fingered, of course, and often leave the picks off for an hour or two of quiet practice, late at night at home. But I have a lot more dynamic range wearing my picks ~ they not only enable me to player louder when I want to, they also help me play with greater delicacy when that's the desired effect, and I'm simply able to get more different sounds out of my steel-string acoustic guitar with them than without.

I'm very reluctant to perform (or even to jam) without my picks, and I have been known to carry my picks even when I don't have my guitar with me, whenever there's a chance I might be borrowing someone else's instrument to play a song or two. They've got to be my fingerpicks, custom-fitted to my gnarly fingertips over the years, to be of any use to me at all.

I've been thinking about this topic all weekend, after observing a performer who gets terrific "barehanded" sound out of several different stringed intruments. Of course, this is a guy who has fingernails like horses' hooves; they may be the product of artificial enhancements like silicon or acrylics, but I have a hunch he's "all-natural." Not all of us are so fortunately endowed!