The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94106   Message #1819232
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
26-Aug-06 - 03:43 AM
Thread Name: Guitarist's nails (again)
Subject: RE: Guitarist's nails (again)
Volume is relative. For solo gigs I can make either of the Martins speak loudly enough with just the pads of my fingers, and I do often use that technique for effect even though I have acrylic tips. (And that's with or without PA - for the sound and feel)

And yes, in the Pipers Sons, Tony (Taffinder - see above) and I aim to play equally loudly; him using his fingertips and me using my claws to achieve interweaving fingerstyle effects. But only on the softer ballads. With all four of us playing and singing strongly (Parky and Napper play instruments easily capable of filling big halls unamplified), we both need to use plectrums if we're be heard.

In the duo I prefer to use finger-picking on some full-belt songs and tunes - and so have only my nails to match the volume of Tom Napper's tenor banjo, octave mandolin or mandolin - which are all played with a plectrum, and the latter are twin-strung to boot (even though he plays quieter than he might).

In fact I can do this with my own nails - and did for a number of years, but I also strum with my nails (quite a few pieces require finger-picking and strumming at different times, with maybe eight changes in the song, but no opportunity to grab or loose a pick), and it's the strumming and frailing that really wear down the nails, because you tend to hit the string side-on.

Now, if you only gig a few times a week, your own nails will have time to grow back, but if you're on a tour of one-nighters, or doing back-to-back festivals, you simply can't manage without reinforcement. Well, you can if you change your approach and techniques - but you can't achieve the variety of musical effects that I myself prefer.

Hence why I have my own acrylic kit, and in effect run my own private nail salon!

Except right now.

They wouldn't let my bring my nail kit on the little plane home here to the Islands, so I'm making do with superglue, and just hoping not to do too much damage to my nails with boats and lobster pots and sand-castles!

We'll see how well I've managed at The Regal in Worksop on the 7th.

Meanwhile, I'm off for a sail. Anyone want to crew?