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Worn down fingernail frustration!

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Will Fly 24 Jun 09 - 08:42 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Jun 09 - 08:52 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Jun 09 - 08:54 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Jun 09 - 08:54 AM
SINSULL 24 Jun 09 - 08:56 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Jun 09 - 09:06 AM
Tim Leaning 24 Jun 09 - 09:07 AM
GUEST, Sminky 24 Jun 09 - 09:13 AM
Mr Happy 24 Jun 09 - 09:44 AM
Backwoodsman 24 Jun 09 - 10:15 AM
Nick 24 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM
Will Fly 24 Jun 09 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 24 Jun 09 - 04:13 PM
DADGBE 24 Jun 09 - 05:04 PM
GUEST, Sminky 25 Jun 09 - 05:18 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Jun 09 - 06:23 AM
Piers Plowman 25 Jun 09 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,HipflaskAndy 25 Jun 09 - 11:46 AM
PoppaGator 25 Jun 09 - 01:05 PM
Backwoodsman 25 Jun 09 - 03:21 PM
GUEST,HipflaskAndy - from work again! 26 Jun 09 - 03:25 AM
Will Fly 26 Jun 09 - 03:36 AM
GUEST, Sminky 26 Jun 09 - 05:05 AM
Will Fly 26 Jun 09 - 05:16 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Jun 09 - 05:46 AM
Waddon Pete 26 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM
Will Fly 26 Jun 09 - 07:45 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Jun 09 - 07:53 AM
GUEST,tom blis in the van outside the toms last gi 26 Jun 09 - 10:26 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Jun 09 - 02:48 AM
Piers Plowman 27 Jun 09 - 03:18 PM
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Subject: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:42 AM

The fingernails on my right hand are not as strong as they used to be, and constant live playing over the last few weeks has worn them down/chipped them to the point where, for the moment, I'm having to play guitar live with a thumbpick or a plectrum and adapt some tunes slightly. Studio work, plugged in, is OK.

Fingerpicks I can never get on with, so they're no solution. A friend in a music shop recently showed me some nail tip+acrylic extensions to his right-hand thumb and 2 of the right-hand fingers - applied by a professional nail technician. The prospect looks attractive, but I have heard some disturbing stories of nail rot and the natural nail being made even more weaker by the application of false ones. And yet some guitarists I know (flamenco players in particular) swear by them.

Any experience, ideas, comments?


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:52 AM

"applied by a professional nail technician."

Bingo! That's how you avoid fungus ect. under the falsies. I've been having mine done (3 fingers RH) every month for donkey's years now, by our local nail and beauty shop. They use the right techniques and high-quality materials, and they check the health of the nail beds each time.

I don't need the tips any more, they just build up a layers of fibreglass wrap (like a very fine version of the old 'Isopon' car-body repair stuff) and gel - hardened off in a fluorescent-light-box. Hard as nails (pun intended!) and pretty much indestructable, WW3 standard.

I have them soaked off for a couple of weeks each year, when I go away on holiday, to give the natural nails a chance to 'breathe' for a while.

If you use a professional and reputable manicure/nail salonaaaaaaaaa you need have no fears at all.

Fibreglass wraps & Gel - The True Path!


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:54 AM

And much better for you, BTW, than bits of ping-pong ball superglued on, or Boots DIY kits or any of that stuff.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:54 AM

"salonaaaaaaaaa"

WTF????
New K/B required, methinks! :-)


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 08:56 AM

They do damage your own nails but are strong, hard and long. You can avoid fungal infections by maintaining the acrylics or silk wraps. If they separate and water gets under them, you will be in trouble. Also, remove them periodically and give your nails a break (no pun intended).
Before I went that route, I would try clear nail polish. There are some that strenghten the nail and "feed" it as well.
I knew a woman who NEVER removed her fake nails. One day she turned her hand over and I nearly lost it. She had green growing under every nail. She told me she soaked her hands in bleach when it smelled really bad - ARGHHHHH!


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:06 AM

Yep, forgot to mention that if, like me, you're a 21st-Century Man and 'do' the dishes, you need to get some Marigolds - washing up liquid and hot water are death to acrylics or wraps.

Sins is absolutely correct in saying that infections are avoided by regular maintenance, I go every 4 weeks to have them checked, sanded down, new layers applied, or completely replaced if they start to lift.

And yes - the natural nail does tend to thin somewhat, hence the removal for a period now and then to give them a chance to recover.

It's like all of these kinds of thing - if you do it right and take proper precautions there should be no problem. Neglect them and things can go wrong.

Sins - I tried 'Tufnail' and somesother preparations and they were useless. Falsies were the final (and, thankfully, successful) resort.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:07 AM

I know someone who saves his nail clippings and filings then mixes with super glue and sticks the paste back on to reinforce or repair his nails.
I dunno how that effects the live growing nails but he does play almost continuously one way or another.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:13 AM

Will, you may have a Zinc deficiency.

I used to have the most brittle nails in Christendom - now I can climb up glass.

Try taking Zinc Gluconate tablets. Safe, healthy, natural.

Takes time, but sure worked for me.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Mr Happy
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 09:44 AM

Some friends with similar probs have taken to using these http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/381_386/products_id/123 with much succes


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 10:15 AM

I've tried every kind of fingerpick known to man (including Alaskapiks and Propiks) and found them all poor, in varying degrees.

Three main problems -
1) With the type that come upwards over the finger-end (the 'standard' type, if you like), you can't feel the strings so accuracy isn't easy to achieve.
2) Even with Propiks, which have a 'hole' in them which is supposed to allow flesh-contact with the string, they still sound tinny and metallic.
3) Those little b*****ds have an annoying habit of losing themselves, or falling off in the middle of a piece, or they fall on the floor and some great village-idiot stomps on them with his size-twelves and buggers them.

I re-quote myself - "Fibreglass wraps & Gel - The True Path!"

IMHO of course, YMMV! :-)


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Nick
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM

Where's Paco Rabanne when you need him?

Had beautiful green false nails when I first met him.

Will

I play bass and that removes any semblance of nails on the first two fingers of my right hand (and a bit on the ring finger) which plays havoc with my fingerpicking. I have always fingerpicked with the skin pads of my fingers predominantly rather than with my nails so it doesn't matter much.

Weirdly I have to cut my left hand nails very regularly - they never break, never chip and grow like mad. I'm thinking of learning to play the guitar left handed just to fool my body.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Will Fly
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 03:37 PM

Thanks for the tips, folks - I might check out the zinc thing first of all. My nails had always been pretty good for years. However, since I started back into fingerpicking on .012-.053 gauge strings - again after many, many years on .009 electrics - I've noticed that they're not quite as resilient.

I also have a flawed plectrum technique - I don't tuck my first finger in enough, so its nail wears down when I'm playing consistent rhythm at sessions or in the ceilidh band. I've now overcome this by using a Bumble Bee thumbpick which - unlike others I've tried - gives a clean, crisp sound and is easy to manipulate quickly. Using this for the moment is allowing the nails to grow back again.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 04:13 PM

My wife has had professionally "installed" nail extensions for many years, with no ill effects such as fungus, etc. She has, on occasion, lost one due to cement failure or accident. Although I have pretty strong nails, I would not hesitate to use "falsies."


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: DADGBE
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:04 PM

I've had success with guitar players nails.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 05:18 AM

Will - if you get white spots or vertical ridges on your nails (as I used to) that's a pretty good sign of zinc deficiency.

Calcium and the B vitamins are helpful too - and not just for nails.

The body needs a bit of help as you get older!


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 06:23 AM

"Where's Paco Rabanne when you need him? Had beautiful green false nails when I first met him."

He's been known to have pink glitter and purple glitter too, Nick! A great guy, and no mean flamenco guitarist too!


"Will - if you get white spots or vertical ridges on your nails (as I used to) that's a pretty good sign of zinc deficiency."

Yep, that's one of the things the nice ladies at the salon check for - I believe the condition causing the ridges is known as 'Hang-nails' in the trade.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 10:33 AM

For what it's worth, I always cut my nails short on both hands and pick with my fingertips (of course, there is some contact with the nail). I only have a classical guitar at present, so this works fine, but I couldn't pick a steel-string or an electric guitar with my fingernails. I occasionally use a flatpick and even more occasionally fingerpicks. I like flatpicking and I figure it's good to use it once in a while and also to get used to the fingerpicks, just in case I have the opportunity play a different kind of guitar.

I used to use clear nail polish but I don't think playing with nails is worth the bother. I far prefer just cutting my nails. Even if I could afford to buy more guitars (which I certainly would), I would probably mostly play the classical guitar, anyway.

Fingerpicks take some getting used to, but it's not _that_ hard. I used to have a problem with dropping the flatpick into the guitar, but I seem to have overcome it.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST,HipflaskAndy
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:46 AM

I too have been having acrylic 'overlays' for some 6 years now - professionally done in a proper salon.
The following may contain some repetition of what's above here - but may also have some extra info....
They're not 'falsies' in the sense of some artificial pre-formed shape being 'glued on' - the base is formed by mixing acrylic powder with the correct solvent - it forms a pliable goo that is painted into place using a small brush - it then hardens to a VERY hard finish, which is then shaped using a strong emery board.
An anti fungal liquid is applied to the nails (cleaned by alcohol, I believe) afore the process begins.
The application grows out along with your natural nail growth - quicker if you are taking any zinc medicaments (I take a multivitamin plus zinc every day!).
The result is that a gap appears at the top end of your nails and these gaps need 'in-filling' every so often (every 3 to 4 weeks in my case).
Every third or so 'treatment', I get the whole lot 'soaked off' for fresh start.
The fact that the acrylic is 'clear' means that if one should get any 'green' formation under the nail, it's pretty obvious and can be dealt with straight away.
The only problems occur when one leaves any such signs in place for days - which does happen (usually) to ladies - as they, more often, put some non-see through nail colour on, masking therefore, what may occur underneath.
This 'greenness' is usually due to water ingress under any slight 'lifting' or damage the overlay receives - just like water going green if left in a vase or glass too long!
Therefore, the wearing of Marigolds for household chores does become a neccessity!
Having them removed for one's hols or whatever - yep - I also reccommend (as others above) you do give your own nails a breather once in a while.
I also carry a small repair kit - for those unfortunate last second glitches at gigs, by the way.
For me, 5 or 6 years of extensive gigging, rehearsals and practice - and no trouble at all.
M' pal Ali Hulett also swears by acrylics for his professional guitarin' - and yon Mr V Garbutt (after a long discussion at Otley FC wi me, one night) is also looking down this route - tho' he ca't quite bring himself to brave the Nail Bar yet! (Go on lad! Man or mouse!)
So do give it a go - it works!
As he'd say - All th' very best!
Cheers! - Duncan McFarlane


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 01:05 PM

"I used to have a problem with dropping the flatpick into the guitar, but I seem to have overcome it."

Fingerpicks can pop right into that soundhole, too, not just flatpicks. It doesn't happen to me often, and when it does happen, there are definitely contributing factors ~ lack of enough recent practice, nerves, arthritis flareups, etc. ~ making my fingers a little less sure and accurate.

I realize this is thread-drift, since the topic is fingernails, real and fake ~ not fingerpicks. Still, please allow me to pass along this hint, that I learned years ago on some other Mudcat thread:

Get some violin rosin and rub it on each fingertip on which you will wear a fingerpick. I've never had a pick "escape" after taking this precaution.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 03:21 PM

Hi Dunc - your experiences pretty much mirror mine. The only difference being that my natural nails are covered with layers of 'wrap' material (some use silk, mine are fibreglass) and a gooey clear gel which forms the hard, WW3-standard coating. The result is absolutely bloody bomb-proof, and I'd never faff around with fingerpicks again.

I still use a thumb-pick though, as trying to use the thumbnail puts the thumb in the 'wrong' position, making the hand like a claw.

One more unseen benefit of getting your nails 'done' professionally is that a baldy beardy old git like me gets to have his hand legitimately held by a pretty young lady every 4 weeks! :-)

BTW Duncan - 'Bones' gets huge applause, thanks very much for lending me that one!


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST,HipflaskAndy - from work again!
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 03:25 AM

>BTW Duncan - 'Bones' gets huge applause, thanks very much for lending me that one!<

Ta matey! - Keep playing that 'un for me!
Seems that 'un and my 'Robin Hood's Bay' are getting played
by folks all over the place, now. Grand!

Yep - your point about having your nails done by pretty
young ladies may be a high spot for some - but in my case
I find myself more interested in what 'hear' around me!
It's a fascinating insight in to a previously exclusive woman's domain!
I had no idea of the sort of things I'd overhear!
Always fascinating...
...every now and then an absolute gem!
There has to be a song in it, methinks!! ;0)


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 03:36 AM

More food for thought. I had a good squint at the nails last night and this morning, and did catch the odd (small) white spot, and there are certainly some ridge-like vertical lines. Hmmm. Zinc, eh?

Checking web sites, I see that some of the foods proportionately richest in zinc are oysters, shellfish and brewer's yeast. Sounds good to me! It also says that zinc is important for sexual health. Sounds even better! So, I'm going to get cracking on oysters, crab, lobster, prawns, shrimp and crayfish, washed down with several pints of good ale and in the company of the woman of my choice.

If that doesn't work - and I may be some time trying this - then I shall have recourse to the salon ladies...


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 05:05 AM

Sounds good Will (almost TOO good!).

Be aware, though, that if you do have a deficiency, then other parts of your body may have first claim when you up your intake. Zinc forces out heavy metals in your bones, for example. So it may take a while before it gets to work on your extremities(!).

I noticed a significant difference after 3 months (taking 15mg Zinc Gluconate per day).

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 05:16 AM

Thanks for the good wishes, Sminky - I'll make certain my extremities are checked, one way or another, fairly regularly.

I've never been one for taking supplements, in the belief that a good and varied diet does just as well, so I'll concentrate on diet first, before thnking about pills. And we'll see what happens.

And thanks again to everyone for the good advice in this thread - greatly appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 05:46 AM

Dunc - you are so right about those places. When I come home from getting my nails done, the first question from HRH Lady Backwoodsperson is always "What goss is going down?"! :-)

Let me know when the song's ready!! :-) LOL!

All the best.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:22 AM

Hello Will,

Hand & Nail lotion rubbed into the fingernails last thing every night also has a good effect!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for the tip, Peter.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:53 AM

The problem with things like hand & nail lotion-application (and I do that too, on both hands, but I haven't found any significant improvement over a period of a couple of years) is that if they actually are a fix, it's a long-term proposition, and most people need to have a fix that's pretty much instantaneous. Like gel/wraps, tips and gel, whatever.

Once a guy's got over himself, learned to subdue his testosterone-charged 'manhood', accepted his feminine side and taken that first hesitant step over the threshhold of the beauty-salon, it's plain sailing! And quick! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: GUEST,tom blis in the van outside the toms last gi
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 10:26 AM

I used to go to the same salon as Dunc (now called Bliss, after me, I believe, lol), but often needed new nails when on the road or on my little island. so I learned to apply my own.

no need for marigolds, and when they start to lif I repair with brushed-in glue.

two bid advantages over salon nails. I never extend beyond the natural nail (it creates a crevice which can trap a string), and only ever cover half the nail. I feed the naked half with oil, so no thinning or infections.

I have to replace every three weeks or so, but the cost is pennies, and I can design the shape for work ahead.

tom


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 02:48 AM

Cor, that really is getting in touch with your feminine side Tom!

On the Marigolds topic - how much washing-up do you get to do out on the road? :-) LOL!

I always use my Marigolds when I'm washing the dishes, I've found that the hot water and the demon Fairy Liquid are death to my falsies, make the edges lift p.d.q., so I follow Lyndsay's instructions absolutely! But, as with all these kinds of things, YMMV! :-)

Normal hand-washing and bathing are, apparently, much less harmful, so you'll no doubt be relieved to know that I don't wear my Marigolds when I'm washing my hands or taking a shower! (Don't wear my wellies either, but that's another story!) :-)

Hope the 'final' gigs are going well, Tom. I think I told you at Boston that I'd see you in Gainsborough on 17/7, but sadly not as I'll be on my hols in Bonnie Scotland. Have a good 'un, and best wishes for whatever you do next.


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Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 03:18 PM

Subject: RE: Worn down fingernail frustration!
From: PoppaGator - PM
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 01:05 PM

"I used to have a problem with dropping the flatpick into the guitar, but I seem to have overcome it."

"Fingerpicks can pop right into that soundhole, too, not just flatpicks. It doesn't happen to me often, and when it does happen, there are definitely contributing factors ~ lack of enough recent practice, nerves, arthritis flareups, etc. ~ making my fingers a little less sure and accurate."

The interaction of the air cavity within the guitar with the edge of the soundhole and the aerodynamic properties of the flatpick result in a strong suction that pulls the pick into the soundhole when it's brought too close. I can't think of any other possible explanation.

I'm working on designing a guitar body which is formed in such a way that it will instantly spit a pick back out, if one is sucked in.


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