The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41064   Message #591108
Posted By: Murray MacLeod
12-Nov-01 - 05:40 PM
Thread Name: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
I have probably had more experience of acrylic nails than anyone else on this forum, having had acrylics on all four fingers and thumb of my right hand for over two and a half years now.

I was first turned on to them by Geoff Bartley, the Godfather of the Folk Scene in Cambridge, Boston, four times placed in the Fingerpicking Championships at Winfield. Martin Simpson also convinced me it was the way to go.

The thing I have found is that once you find the right nail tech, stick with her. There are many different acrylic powders on the market, even in the same salon one tech will use a different powder from the girl at the next bench, so once you find the right powder for you, then keep with it.

I used to go to one girl in Worcester MA and the nails just would not adhere. I kept having to go back for repairs. However I have located a real gem down here in Miami, the nails never come off, I subject them to glue, lacquer thinner and all sorts of abuse during the day, and they still hold.

The essential thing is to have them filled every two weeks. Every ten days would be better still. That ensures that they do not pull away from the back, at the cuticle. It costs me $15.00 every two weeks, or £30.00 a month, including tips. I consider it worth it, some might not. I would definitely counsel against trying to do it yourself, although you can buy kits. The pros make a much nicer job.

The way I play, I could never use fingerpicks, I need to be able to do a rasgueado style downward brush frequently, and fingerpicks just wouldn't work for me. The acrylics take all the abuse and just never wear out. And you can play LOUD with them, when you need to. And, when you need to flatpick, you can just use the index fingernail of the right hand. Seriously.

I am a believer in acrylics, as you may have gathered. I have tried everything over the years from tissue paper and cigarette paper and nail varnish and silk fabric and superglue and epoxy and all that crap and the only thing that cuts the mustard is acrylic.