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BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!

Bugsy 24 Aug 00 - 05:13 AM
Benjamin 24 Aug 00 - 05:39 AM
Bugsy 24 Aug 00 - 05:51 AM
Lady McMoo 24 Aug 00 - 06:16 AM
kendall 24 Aug 00 - 07:44 AM
SINSULL 24 Aug 00 - 09:01 AM
Mbo 24 Aug 00 - 09:49 AM
Naemanson 24 Aug 00 - 10:18 AM
Big Mick 24 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,Russ 24 Aug 00 - 10:35 AM
Little Hawk 24 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM
Mbo 24 Aug 00 - 10:45 AM
Grab 24 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM
katlaughing 24 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Aug 00 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU 24 Aug 00 - 01:56 PM
little john cameron 24 Aug 00 - 02:02 PM
Benjamin 24 Aug 00 - 02:20 PM
Mbo 24 Aug 00 - 02:24 PM
hesperis 24 Aug 00 - 02:37 PM
Whistle Stop 24 Aug 00 - 02:52 PM
Benjamin 24 Aug 00 - 03:22 PM
Mbo 24 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM
Benjamin 24 Aug 00 - 04:54 PM
Bugsy 24 Aug 00 - 08:44 PM
GUEST,Joerg 24 Aug 00 - 09:34 PM
GUEST,cooper 24 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM
GUEST,Lyle 24 Aug 00 - 10:38 PM
DougR 24 Aug 00 - 10:43 PM
Gypsy 24 Aug 00 - 11:49 PM
Benjamin 25 Aug 00 - 01:51 AM
John in Brisbane 25 Aug 00 - 03:17 AM
Brendy 25 Aug 00 - 03:30 AM
Brendy 25 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM
Whistle Stop 25 Aug 00 - 08:42 AM
DADGAD 25 Aug 00 - 10:01 AM
Bert 25 Aug 00 - 11:58 AM
DougR 25 Aug 00 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Les B 25 Aug 00 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,Joerg 25 Aug 00 - 09:09 PM
Margo 26 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM
Les B 26 Aug 00 - 01:22 PM
Margo 26 Aug 00 - 01:54 PM
Les B 26 Aug 00 - 06:45 PM
JenEllen 26 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM
Margo 27 Aug 00 - 02:18 AM
Hedy West (inactive) 27 Aug 00 - 02:52 AM
Margo 27 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM
Clinton Hammond2 27 Aug 00 - 11:19 AM
WyoWoman 27 Aug 00 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,Joerg 27 Aug 00 - 08:25 PM
JenEllen 27 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM
WyoWoman 27 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM
GUEST,Paul G on the road 28 Aug 00 - 12:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 00 - 04:03 PM
Gypsy 29 Aug 00 - 01:09 AM
Margo 29 Aug 00 - 02:25 PM
GUEST,Joerg 29 Aug 00 - 08:57 PM
Gypsy 29 Aug 00 - 10:00 PM
WyoWoman 29 Aug 00 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,Joerg 29 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 00 - 06:59 PM
WyoWoman 30 Aug 00 - 11:14 PM
Dee45 30 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM
GUEST 31 Aug 00 - 12:49 AM
Rob the Ranter 31 Aug 00 - 02:38 AM
Big Mick 31 Aug 00 - 08:47 AM
Bugsy 22 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM
Sorcha 22 Oct 00 - 09:01 PM
Bugsy 22 Oct 00 - 09:27 PM
Little Neophyte 22 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,john hill 23 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Oct 00 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod (at the nail salon) 23 Oct 00 - 10:29 PM
GUEST,Murray MacLeod 23 Oct 00 - 10:31 PM
Genie 02 May 02 - 05:57 AM

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Subject: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bugsy
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 05:13 AM

To be honest I'm sick of wearing my nails down everytime I do a gig and getting them chipped every time I do anything remotely physical. So, after much asking around and hesitation, I have finally taken the plunge and had acrylic nails put on my right thumb and first 3 fingers.

I only had them done an hour ago and though they feel quite foreign and my picking is a little scratchy(er than normal), I'm beginning to get used to them already and have no doubts that I have made the right decision.

Have any of you tried them and what are your thoughts on them as opposed to natural nails or fingerpicks?

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Benjamin
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 05:39 AM

No I haven't.

Buster B. Jones talks about that on his video though and said that even though he used false nails, he didn't recomend them because the glue damaged your real nail or something like that.

I use my natural nail on classical guitar and try to use only my tip on a steal string.

As for me, long fingernails aren't considered masculin, much less pink false nails. So they're out! Buy hey, they work for some.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bugsy
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 05:51 AM

Ha Ha Ha, No they're not pink Benjamin, and you'd never tell them from the real thing. Believe me, I don't think Pink falsies would go with my mammoth great hands either,. (lol)

As for damaging your real nail, they still grow out just like they do normally. They're just a Lot harder.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Lady McMoo
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 06:16 AM

I used to suffer from this and finger pick all the time. These days I keep even my right hand nails fairly short, only just long enough to catch the string as I pick it. This seems to put less stress on the nail and, now I've got used to it, seems as accurate and loud as before but with less damage.

Where I do get a nick or damage to the nail, I usually repair it or build it up with a little isocyanate glue (superglue in Europe)and a file. The fingernail dust plus the glue makes a hard and fileable compound. (I use the same technique for filling and remodelling worn slots in a nut, using a fine needle file instead).

I've never managed to get used to the false nails myself but know others who sem to get on OK with them.

Peace

mcmoo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: kendall
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 07:44 AM

ok spaw, I'll ask..what is that stuff you put on them to make them hard?


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: SINSULL
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 09:01 AM

Acrylic nails can damage your own nails and worse yet the nail bed. Sometimes they lift just enough to allow moisture underneath the nail and you will have lovely green fungus in your nail bed. Be careful. Keep them dry. If they lift, dry under them with a hairdryer until you can get them professionally replace or repaired. DO NOT US CRAZY GLUE ON YOUR OWN.
Your own nails will grow out but at some point you will have to remove the tips which means sitting with your hands immersed in nail polish remover until the glue dissolves. Nasty business that leaves you rown nails dried out and brittle or papery.
A year ago my doctor suggested calcium supplements with minerals. Bought the cheapest I could find, take three a day, and for the first time in my life have nails that need cutting, shaping, etc. and don't break. Took about a month to start seeing results.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 09:49 AM

Worn down? Wow, that's never happened to me. Usually the are too long, which is not a good thing. Thankfully, I've only had 2 breakages in the last 3 years, and even through all my pounding, hammering, chasing and sawing as a art student, none of them ever has been related to doing physical things. Just accidents, like you're driving one day and look down at your nail, and half of it is gone. Strangely, it's the middle fingernail that is the only one that ever breaks. Some people (including my parents) think I'm weird because I use a fine-toothed half-round bastard file from Metals class to shape me nails. I think I'd rather stick to a broken nail than Lee Press-On's!

--M


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:18 AM

I tried something similar once. the nail on my index finger is quite irregular and cannot be grown out enough to engage the guitar strings. It does not grow uniformly and has a sharp point that catches on everything.

Anyway I applied my own glue on nail and grew the others out. It worked for a while until it caught a string wrong during a particularly exciting and fast piece and tore off of the nail. It didn't take any of the nail with it but it sure felt like it did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:28 AM

I suffer from very thin nails. I suppose I should start using the supplements. What I use is a product called Nail Envy....bite me, 'Spaw.....that was recommended to me by a manicurist. Works pretty good, you use one coat a day and in about a week you have great nails. It is available in a flat finish for those males who have issues...........LOL. I then use the Alaska finger picks and it works well. I used to have a problem with not having enough nail, due to breakage, to even hold on the Alaska pic.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:35 AM

I tried an artificial nail once for a while. I'm a banjo frailer and only treated one nail, the index finger. It worked great. However... I discovered that the artificial nail still broke, although not as frequently as the natural one. I got tired of having to schedule appointments with the manicurist to redo the nail. As the nail grew the untreated area at the cuticle became larger. Eventually the entire nail had to be redone. My wife kept passing on horror stories about fungus, the heartbreak of nailbed deterioration, etc. The upshot: I finally decided that it was more trouble than it was worth and concentrated on learning to get the best sound with short nails. I now take a gelatin capsule every day. My nails don't seem to be any sturdier but at least they grow back much more quickly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:42 AM

I struggled with the nail thing for years. I have a style which involves both picking and brushing on steel strings, and it's the brushing which is the problem. The steel strings wear away the nails like sandpaper, until they get weak and break. AAAAARGH!

I found one solution which worked fairly well. There's a transparent stick-on material which some car companies use to coat the lower areas on fenders...it's called Stoneguard. You can easily cut a small piece of this stoneguard in the shape of the nail and stick it on. It holds very well for several days, and is virtually impervious to abrasion. Eventually it starts lifting because of natural oils in your skin, and you must replace it.

Then I found an even better solution...there's an acrylic dipping powder and brush-on gel system by Sally Hansen, who make nail products of all kinds. You brush on a coat of the gel, dip your nail in the powder, then brush on another coat of gel, dip again in powder, and so on. When you've built up a good think layer you coat it with a final coat of gel and spray it with an accelerator. Then wait 2 or 3 minutes for it to harden.

Presto! Nails of steel. They are now almost unbreakable and will take a week's worth of guitar playing.

Disadvantages: The nails suffer some from lack of air, and this is a bigger problem for some people than others. Monitor the condition of your nails closely and take appropriate measures. This stuff may not be for you, but it works for me. Removal of old application is tedious, but not too difficult. It tends to start lifting in places, and you can gently lever it up a bit at a time...or dissolve it with nail polish remover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:45 AM

So that's it! You all are strumming with your fingers? I never got that. It always sounds all muddled and messy when I try it. I switch back from plectrum to fingerpicking. The plectrum I hold in my teeth when I'm fingerpicking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Grab
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 11:36 AM

Found a classical guitar page a little while back where they recommended something called Onomyrrh (sp?). This stuff is actually designed to be painted onto horses' hooves to toughen them up (my wife used to ride and remembers using this kind of stuff, so it must be gettable), but this classical guitar guy reckoned it worked a treat on fingernails too.

I've not got round to finding a riding shop to try it out, so I can't say yet whether it works. He's also got a nasty story on there about some acrylic potion you paint onto your nails - apparently it strengthens them so much that they don't have much flexibility, so if you catch your nail on something, the nail won't bend, it'll rip clear of the flesh! Ouch!

When I've got a free weekend, I'll track down a horsey shop and get a pot of that stuff. Keep you posted.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM

If any of you are taking any medication for anything, remember that can have an effect on your nails, too. Mine were always breaking and cracking, lengthwise, which really hurt, until I went off of all meds; then they grew really well and strong.

If you have any kind of circulation problems, fake nails can be tricky.

Bugsy, I can't wait to hear you strumming with them in HearMe!


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 01:50 PM

I use my nails all the time, and don't tend to have too many problems, aside from the odd mishap unrelated to playing (car door handles and kitchen drawers are often the culprits). Like Mbo, I started as a classical guitarist, and continued using the nails (or the nail/fingertip combined) on steel strings as well. I play medium guage steel strings, both plucking (curling the fingers in) and "brushing" the nail downward. I always found that the brush-on liquid hardeners ultimately created more problems than they solved, so I shy away from them. Three things I do recommend:

1. Constant vigilance: Carry an emery board around with you at all times; reshape your nails frequently (generally using the gentler side, and not digging in too hard) to make sure they don't get too long or irregularly shaped; and get in the habit of running a fingertip along the edge of the nail to check for snags (and taking care of them when you find them). How long is too long varies among individuals, but generally the rule is that you should hold your hand up at eye level, palm towards you, and just barely be able to see the nail peeking over the fingertip. All of this is a pain in the neck, to be sure, and you'll get snide comments occasionally from people who don't think it's macho for a guy to have long nails. But if you want to be able to rely on your nails, this is a must.

2. Pay attention to the angle of attack: Classical guitarists pay a lot of attention to the ergonomics of guitar playing; as a rule, practitioners of most other styles do not. Hand positions, posture, and angle of attack are important considerations in your playing, regardless of style. The striking surface of your nail generally shouldn't be exactly perpendicular to the string, or it will have a tendency to bend straight backwards, gradually weaking it (think of how you bend a paper clip back and forth several times to break it; it's the same principle). A glancing attack generally will sound better, allow for more fluidity in your playing, and preserve your nails.

3. Don't pluck too forcefully: It's tempting for all of us guitar players to hit the instrument hard, because guitar -- particularly fingerpicked guitar -- is a relatively quiet instrument. Avoid the temptation. If you need to increase your volume for ensemble playing, either use fingerpicks (don't like them myself, but it's an option), or amplification.

Sorry for the long-winded response, but I've been maintaining long right-hand nails for playing purposes for over thirty years, and these are the things that work for me. I'm glad you started this thread, and hope these suggestions are helpful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Mbo_at_ECU
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 01:56 PM

Not long winded at all, Whistle! I agree with all of it! Some people may think our long nails on one hand is dorky, but there are tons of uses for them besides playing! Especially getting the plastic off a brand new CD. BTW I use Martin Silk & Steel strings, they have the sound of a steel, but are supple, easy on the fingers, and similar to the feel of classical guitar strings. Much easier to fingerpick than those nasty bronze devils!


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: little john cameron
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 02:02 PM

Beware o false an acrylic nails!!!Ah hae mind o haein a toke wi Hamish Imlach an he set them on fire tryin tae get a draw oot o the roach.It wis the only time ah saw him dance. LJC


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Benjamin
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 02:20 PM

Another story I've heard from Stefan Grossman was back when he was touring with John Renbourn, John use to cut up ping pong balls and crazy glue them under his nails. After that, he'd file them down to the shape he wanted. Got plenty of funny stares on the plane.

A half round bastard file Mbo? I agree with your parents on this one!! Though if works well, why not?

Benjamin


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 02:24 PM

Ha ha! And it's fast too! You don't have to sit there forever like with those paltry nail files they sell in the cosmetics aisle of the supermarket.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: hesperis
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 02:37 PM

My nails used to be so soft that if they tore, I could bite them back into perfect shape. They didn't break, they tore! It was pretty constant too.
I was extremely malnourished at the time. When I was about 14 years old or so, my nails became normal for the first time in my life, just because I was eating somewhat regular meals.
I'd recommend the nutrition angle. Calcium, silicon if your hair is brittle too, zinc if you have white specks.
You can get an incredible amount of calcium from sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds have zinc, iron, and a little silicon.
Those nail hardener things can end up making it worse, especially if you have nutritional deficiencies that aren't being addressed.
Oh, and don't soak your hands in water, it'll weaken the nails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 02:52 PM

If you bite your nails into shape, you'll leave behind small tears in the edge that will gradually lengthen and widen. It probably goes without saying, but DO NOt bite your nails, even for the purpose of shaping them.

And avoid the almost irresistable temptation to use your fingernails to tighten a screw "just this once". I can't tell you how many times I've had to re-learn that lesson.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Benjamin
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 03:22 PM

Ah yes, it would be nice to cut time off nail filing! It's so boring. But I don't believe I would be able to shape well enough with a half round bastard file. Also, shaping isn't the long part. The long part is using the finishing end to get all the shavings off, then using the 500 grit sand papper to smooth out and truely finish the job. A half round bastard file won't help with the other two parts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Mbo
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM

Well Ben, after I use the file, I use a really rought-grit emery board, and then move on the various degrees of sandpaper, the kind that actually made for guitar players. BTW I saw Ana's pic today. MAJOR HOTTIE ALERT!

--Matt


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Benjamin
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 04:54 PM

So it sounds like it takes you about as long as it takes me to finish to job completely. I've heard that there are a couple of classical guitarists out there who don't use their nails and are still well respected and get decent sound. I've thought about it, but haven't yet just cut them all together.
As for the sandpaper made for guitarists, I believe it's the 500 grit I was refering to. They sell it in the Rosewood Guitar (the local classical guitar center and one of the oringinal on line stores).

I'll say Ana's hot!! She can play as well!


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bugsy
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 08:44 PM

Little Hawk, Says; "....Then I found an even better solution...there's an acrylic dipping powder and brush-on gel system by Sally Hansen, who make nail products of all kinds. You brush on a coat of the gel, dip your nail in the powder, then brush on another coat of gel, dip again in powder, and so on."

That's exactly what I had done. They are not stick on nails. I've tried them with only limited success. They are definitely as stopgap temporary measure.

Several of my friends who are full time musicians use this system with no ill effects.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 09:34 PM

Ouch!

I also once tried methods like all the above to strengthen my nails because I thought I'd never learn to play with picks. Finally I learned.

Of course it took me many tears. The first time you try to play with picks you think you never touched a guitar before. My own biggest problem was to get along with a thumb pick, but finally I learned.

There's the argument that you can't feel the strings with picks, but that's wrong. Maybe you can't but not because it's impossible, you just don't know how to do it. You'll have to learn feeling the strings by feeling the picks. (Aware of Big Spaw watching us: What do you think the girls prefer? Artificially hardened guys or guys that do the same by just knowing how to feel? And ladies: I'm sometimes dreaming of being touched by a girl who knows how to TOUCH.) I learned - finally.

There is also another aspect of feeling the strings: If you have to feel a string with the fleshy part of your finger before you pick it, you'll damp it. If you learn how to pick a string without having to touch it before that will result in some completely new sound you'll enjoy once you heard it. That will give you some completely new musical experience, and new experience isn't that bad, is it? I learned that, too.

My advice: Go through that temporary hell of learning to play with picks (to USE picks I mean, there are additional problems e.g. for players with small fingers etc.) rather than entering that open-end hell of always having to look after your fingernails. I'm sure it will work for anyone of you - finally, of course.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,cooper
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:31 PM

I saw Leo Kottke on the TV in 1975, the show was The Midnight Special. He played Vasiline Machine Gun and it turned me into a Kottke fanatic. I seem to remember an article in Guitar Player mag from maney years ago where Kottke said he used steel finger picks, to this day I still use them. There's nothing like that great sound of steel on steel, and I don't have to worry about all the problems that are associated with nails.I've had the same picks for maney years now, they very smooth, very well adjusted, and when you play with them on long enough you learn to control all those nasty sounds that are associated with them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:38 PM

Several years ago I read where one of the great players (or I guess I better say great to me, YMMV) who said he glued on pieces of ping-pong balls. Sounded reasonable, but I've never tried it. Anyone else hear of that?

Lyle


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: DougR
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 10:43 PM

Anybody tried Viagra yet? DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Gypsy
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 11:49 PM

Speaking as a manicurist of 10 years vintage...put 3 nails on our banjo player, and he loves them. You gotta take care of them, but with proper care, and application, you shouldn't suffer damage to the natural nail. Make certain that you MAINTAIN them properly, and don't try experiments.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Benjamin
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 01:51 AM

Cooper-

From what I've heard about Leo Kottke, he use to use finger picks then switched to his bare fingertips (no nail or nothing).

Benjamin


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 03:17 AM

I try to keep my nails long on my right hand, but they just seem to wear so quickly. A harpist friend tells me that he uses stick on nails just for major performances and then removes them. I'll check out what he uses.

My nails are thin and sharp, and are a constant impediment to foreplay. Any suggestions? Regards, John


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Brendy
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 03:30 AM

Further to Benjamin's story about John Renbourn.
I know a few guys who take a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and mix super glue into it and build it up in layers onto their existing nails. It looks a bit wierd, though, even after the obligatory filing down to size. But looks don't make the music, do they?

I normally use my existing nails, which are kept reasonably long on my right hand, and shaped (to my own taste), which doesn't make them any more beautiful, but makes them a hell of a lot more practical. If I need that extra brightness about the picking, I'll use the old trusty Dunlop steel picks.

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Brendy
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM

Oh, John: I know the feeling, but the finger tips of the left hand are grooved and calloused (I use rather heavy strings), so that causes (or rather can cause) 'discomfort' as well.

It just should give all of us the opportunity to be more 'sensitive'. We must learn to overcome our disabilities. Practise makes perfect, they say ;)

B.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 08:42 AM

Kottke ran into some fairly major muscle/tendon problems, that forced him to reexamine his approach to playing and make some pretty big adjustments. One of those was to stop using fingerpicks (thumbpicks, too). Along with helping to rectify the physical problem, he thinks it ultimately improved his playing; I do too.

I don't like fingerpicks, and find that they seem to give players less control over their tone. But there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat, and there are certainly some fine players out there who use them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: DADGAD
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 10:01 AM

The nightmare of losing a fingernail an hour before a gig is one I dread - but it happens. I keep some shaped pieces of table tennis ball and glue on with super glue. But of filing and this works ok - the plastic is not too far off real nail and they pull off after with some warm soapy water. Gerry Forrester


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bert
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 11:58 AM

'anyone used Viagra yet?' Doug that gives new meaning to a saying of my Old Granmaw's

She used to say 'He wouldn't know his prick from his thumb if it didn't have a nail on it!'


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: DougR
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 01:14 PM

I would have liked your grandma, I'll bet! Ccreep creep)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Les B
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 02:02 PM

Most of these solutions seem to be for guitar fingerpicking - UP-picking against the nail. What are people using for clawhammer or frailing banjo style picking, which is DOWN against the back of the nail?

My own, interim, solution to this problem is to trim down and file down a plastic fingerpick and put it on the opposite side of the finger from which it normally goes. Getting used to it is going to take a while. And, NO, this is not the same as using an Alaskan pik, which goes underneath the nail.

Some people use a metal pick similarly, and some of the old Minstrel books have patterns for the "stroke" style of picking. Both plastic and metal picks for down picking give a significantly different sound than the bare nail, which most people are used to for frailing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 09:09 PM

Hehe - touché, Les. Indeed, down strokes ("brush" strokes) are no longer possible to me since I use picks. But I only needed that for 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown' and so I can live without it, but of course that needn't apply to other people playing different styles or even instruments.

I also don't want to hide another disadvantage of picks. Once you don't damp the string any more before you touch it with that hard instrument you want to pick it with you might experience some short buzz ('steel on steel'?) which might be interesting - sometimes. But I admit that it also bugs me at some occasions.

So I keep the nails on my right hand long, first because I'm used to the feeling (I would feel kind of amputated without this, believe me) second because there might be a situation where I MUST do 'Bad Bad Leroy Brown' (ahahaha). Effect: I can't use them for playing any more because they are always TOO long.

Every way to do something is wrong. Fortunately there are ways not quite as wrong as others.

Keep on learning.

Joerg

P.S.
Q: Why do (insert nationality of your choice) put viagra to the compost?
A: They believe that with this the can use worms as nails. (Hello, worm nails.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Margo
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 12:23 PM

I love the acrylic nail! I've had good luck with it.

First time: fake nail was applied to the end for the length, with acrylic over that.

Next time: nail has grown out so no fake nail is needed, just acrylic on top of my own nail.

Yes, the nail grows out and sometimes starts to lift away. I usually am able to go for 3 to 4 weeks before getting it redone. I never make an appointment because they generally take walk-ins, and since it's only one nail it takes little time.

When the nail grows out, there is a ridge where the acrylic was originally at the cuticle. I just take an emory board and file it down even with my nail so it won't catch on the strings.

I've had good luck with acrylic nails. No fungus, no other problems. When I started clawhammer banjo my own nail went wimpy. So I'm thrilled with the acrylic.

A note about doing the Sally Hansen by yourself: a cosmetologist friend of mine said that the professionals who apply the acrylic are trained to look for the fungus and any other problems, and she discouraged me from doing it myself. I don't know if that is such a problem. But I will point out that the professionals use a little dremel tool to rough up the nail surface before applying the acrylic, and again to buff after applying it. The rough-up might be crucial to the acrylic sticking well.

My only complaint is the people who have nail parlors that don't speak english. I want one nail done, with all the others short, and they are perplexed. Funny Oh, and Bert and Doug, wouldn't the viagra only work on the middle finger? :o) Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Les B
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 01:22 PM

I should clarify my last statement in my post above about clawhammer banjo picking. Some of the facsimile reprints of the old Minstrel banjo books have cut-out patterns for the light metal "picks" they used for the down-picking stroke style. They called these "thimbles" back then. After cutting one out and experimenting, I found it is somewhat similar to a modern finger pick in brass.

My common sense (which has been wrong before!) tells me that false fingernails for down picking wouldn't be mechanically feasible - it would tend to lever the back of the false nail up? Is this so ?

Les B -still looking for a solution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Margo
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 01:54 PM

I don't get it, Les. When I play, I'm hitting the strings with the top of my nail. If there is any other way to pick in Clawhammer style, I haven't learned it yet.

Or, could you be referring to the edge of the fake nail back by the cuticle that becomes a ridge when the nail grows out? I just file it down with an emory board even with my natural nail so it won't catch on the strings. I'm enthusiastic about the acrylic nail because I have figured out how to have it and take care of it without the above mentioned problems (fungus, lifting). Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Les B
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 06:45 PM

Margo - yes, the top is what I mean. It just seems this would cause the nail to lift back by the cuticle. Of course if it's really well glued on ...??


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: JenEllen
Date: 26 Aug 00 - 07:00 PM

Acrylic might work in the short term, but it's hell on your real nails. A good long-term strengthener is Vitamin E capsules. Prick the end of one with a pin (or worm nail) and run a bead of the oil around your cuticle before you go to sleep. It does wonders for the dry-n-brittles.

~Elle


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Margo
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 02:18 AM

Les, I have not had a problem with the acrylic lifting in the back. I did have it lift away from the front end, though. I don't wear gloves when I do dishes, so I think that has something to do with it.

Les, have you ever seen the acrylic applied? They use a round paintbrush (looks like sable) and dip the brush into a liquid solution. Then the wet brush is dipped into a powder and applied to the nail. The powder soaks up the liquid quickly and becomes like a gel. They smooth it on with the brush. After drying, they buff it with the little dremel tool. I find that if it is applied in a thick enough coat, it lasts for three or four weeks.

The initial application of a fake nail was interesting to me. Having never had it done before, I didn't realize that they glue the fake nail to the very tip of your natural nail, closest to the fingertip. Then the acrylic (as I just described) is applied on top of that. The fake nail is for length. Once your own nail grows out to the length you want it, they can apply the acrylic without the fake nail.

I have never done it with a do it yourself kit because I've watched them use the paintbrush, and I don't think that would be very easy for me to manage and do a good job of it. And like I said before, I never make appointments. Most places will take walk-ins, and for one nail it doesn't take long. I hope you have good luck with what ever you try! Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Hedy West (inactive)
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 02:52 AM

Dear me! Are you guys really such delicate worry warts? "Had them done"? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Just stick 'em on and play. This music was for callused farmers in fallow season. Hedy West


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Margo
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 11:06 AM

Hedy, I don't know what you mean by "stick em on and play". I like the acrylic because of it's durability. Before I tried it, my nail used in clawhammer playing became very soft and one day bent backwards! That was it! I get chills thinking about it. I hate that feeling. The acrylic works, so I'm sticking with it. Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 11:19 AM

Considering the number of my heros who regularly do most of the things most of these post say not to, I suspect it comes doen to personal preferance...

When I fingerpick, it's with fingernails and a thumb pick... it's the way I do it... I'm with mbo... can't strum with fingers either... sounds muddy and amaturish when I do it... probably because my finger-struming tech. -is- muddy and amaturish...

To strengthen nails... Diet! keep up yer vitimens... E especially... And get some jello into you from time to time... And get your hormones running... *evil grin* Extra testosterone is great for the quickening the growth of beard nails, but it does contribute to male pattern baldness... Also to strengthen nails... Tap them on stuff... yer pint glass, yer keyboard tray, yer steering wheel, yer cat, yer dog, yer better half... just do it... (swoosh!) drives people around ya nuts, but tough... it's the price they get to pay associating with a musician...

Fakes... well, sometimes even the best nail is gonna break... it's an imperfect world, screws fall out... and when they do break, well if fakes are good enough for Leona Boyd, Don Ross and James Keelaghan, ect ect then they sure as hell are good enough for me... the real trick near as I can figure is shaping them properly... I glue 'em on with krazy glue, duct tape, snot and spit, whatever I can find, and file 'em down to the exact shape fo the original nail... (again, personal preferance.. Mine come to points nearly... nice and sharp).. and then I leave 'em on until they grow out or fall off... Never have I had any problem with ruining the nail underneath...

Krazy Glue also makes a good calouse replacement on your fretting hand BTW... just let it dry well befor eyou pick up yer ax for that gig...

{~`


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 12:08 PM

Has anyone tried layers of Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails? It isn't the powder/lacquer combo, but it works really well if you apply a coat, let it dry, apply another, let it dry and add a third layer. Also doing this in combination with the nutritional approach makes a big difference. Your nails and hair are an "early warning system" to whatever's going on in the rest of your body, so if your nails are really brittle and dry or they are so flexible they peel off, it's a good indication that your body needs more love
Yes, yes, yes, yessss!
, in the way of good nutrition and probably supplements. (Vitamin E, B complex, calcium, etc. My mom used to recommend gelatin -- being Southern and all, her form of it, of course, was lovely lime green Jello salads with shredded carrots and pineapple in 'em, but you can also just use clear gelatin)Given all the stress in my life lately, my fingernails now look like clamshells, which I am using as body-advice to get crackin' on the daily vitamin and mineral pills.) Anyway -- you might try layering up on the Hard as Nails -- cheep and it comes in an array of lovely colors if you find natural pink too tedious.

WyoWoman

And what a Pluck-up SHE is


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 08:25 PM

WW - still not trying to flirt with you, but

:-D again

Joerg


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: JenEllen
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 09:43 PM

Hard as Nails is great stuff Wyo. Smells horrible, but works great and comes off easier than acrylic! BTW: I second Joerg's :D

~Elle


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 27 Aug 00 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the :-Ds Very cheery ...

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Paul G on the road
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 12:43 PM

Richard Gilewitz tells a great story while he re-tunes between songs...The hardest substance actually known to man are the remnants of your morning corn flakes left in the bottom of the bowl when the milk dries... so he suggests dipping a corn flake in milk until soggy, then applying it over your nail and wait till it dries. Hardest nails on the planet...Personally, I use a fine fiberglass mesh fabric strip available at beautician supply stores applied with good old Krazy Glue, filed and shaped on my index and middle fingers, and use my natural thumb nail (no thumb pick -- never liked them)...

pg


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 00 - 04:03 PM

The trouble with most finger picks is that they are only designed to go one way, and I like to be able to strum down on a string and pick up on it as well. I once had a metal pick that looked a bit like a squashed thimble that worked that way, worn on the index finger, but I lost it and I've never seen another.

The only finger picks I've found that work pretty well the same as real fingernails are Alaska picks - but they are made of such brittle plastic I've never got rhough an evening without breaking one or two, so I've given up on them. Now if you could only get them in some decent material they'd be the answer.

But glueing artificial things on my finger nails - no, that just doesn't seem a good idea to me. First step along the road to becoming a musical cyborg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Gypsy
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 01:09 AM

2 Points. Margo, if your manicurist is using a dremel on the TOP of your nail, find another manicurist. That will fry your nail in a very short period of time. You only need to rough up the surface enough to lose the shine. That will let the acrylic adhere. Wyowoman, hard as nails, develope 10 etcetera, all will work. Don't use forever, cuz they harden by using formaldehyde....can make the nails so hard, that they will literally lift off of the nail bed. I've seen it happen in the past. Use up one bottle, wait a month, then you can do it again. Had a client use a hardener one time, for a year, almost lost her nails entirely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Margo
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 02:25 PM

Gypsy, I don't understand why using the dremel will fry my nail. They don't do it much. I don't mean to be argumentative; it's just that I've never had any of the troubles with my nail that I've been warned about. I get my nail done, then when it has grown out about two thirds of the way, I get it done again. I just keep filing the front as it gets too long.

Margo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 08:57 PM

Please excuse a question in between - what is a 'dremel'? Seems at this point we can teach something to dictionaries.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Gypsy
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:00 PM

Dremel is a rotary style grinder, hand held. Unless used with a very delicate touch, can erode away many layers of your nail quite rapidly. Maybe i was too ham handed...always used a foam buffing block to rough up the surface, and primed twice. Never saw any fungus. Or thin nails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 10:27 PM

McGrath -- Why are they called Alaska picks and how do they fit on your fingers?

Gypsy: I never use anything except a little Hard as Nails. A manicure, particularly long fingernails, just doesn't fit with my lifestyle. I've had a couple and I just am always schlepping bicycles in and out of bike racks and getting grease under my nails and ... generally not being very delicate about how I use my hands. I simply cannot imagine trying to live any kind of an active lifestyle with those long nails sticking off the ends of my fingers. (Colorful toes-ies, now THAT's a different story ...)

But to be able to play the guitar better ... maybe. someday. (although using a pick makes your playing easier to hear and right now, I'd rather not do that. I'll just sort of plunk around softly and sing over it so no one can tell how really inferior my playing is ...)

ww


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 29 Aug 00 - 11:11 PM

Thank you Gypsy - I think I can imagine what is meant. I just don't understand how somebody whose nails have enough layers to be ground away by such an instrument can complain about their weakness. Mine have only one layer. They're not too weak for guitars but surely for dremels.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 06:59 PM

God knows why they are called Alaska Piks, Wyo - the people who make them are in Idaho it seems. Maybe they moved or something.

Anyway, here is the Alaska Pik website, with pictures showing how they work - and it appears that they have both upgraded the plastic, and produced a brass version. I haven't seen either of these, and I'd be grateful if anyone could tell me if they work all right, before I go ordering some across the Atlantic.

But they are in principle a brilliant bit of design, and properly fitted really do feel like you've suddenly grown the fingernails you've always wanted to have, and that especially goes for the thumb, because it means a more natural angle for striking strings with than an ordinary thuymb pick. But with the only version I've seen previously the plastic was horrible brittle stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: WyoWoman
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:14 PM

Thanks, McGrath. I checked it out and there are no prices listed, so I emailed and will find out. If I get some, I'll let you know what I think of them.

WW


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Dee45
Date: 30 Aug 00 - 11:22 PM

Thing is, with Alaska Piks (and I have a set of plastic ones), they are NOT a substitute for fingernails. You need to have fingernails to begin with, in order for the piks to be anchored, and it is the fingernail which holds it in place. If you have weak, or soft fingernails, they're a great substitute, and take about 15 minutes to get used to. But without fingernails, they'll move around and fly off of your fingertips when playing. If you just fingerpick normal travis style they work well, but if you are into single string runs, or two-fingered flat-picking runs, you'd best stick with metal Nationals.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 12:49 AM

Two words ... ALASKA PICKS. They are the greatest invention since sliced bread. Have always fingerpicked with bare fingers. I pick hard, so there's no trouble hearing the guitar strings, but it can also cause nasty blisters on my pickin' hand. Tried several times to use regular fingerpicks, to no avail.

Ordered Alaska Picks from musiciansfriend.com @ $1.99 each. They fit over the top of your finger and under your fingernail. They can be clipped and filed to accommodate whatever your picking position is, i.e., from the side or straight on. I ordered mediums and they feel a little tight, but there is a tension strip which can be cut to make the pick less stiff. I'm going to wait a few days to see if they loosen on their own.

Also, rather than a regular thumbpick, I'm using the Alaska Pick on my thumb, as well as my fingers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Rob the Ranter
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 02:38 AM

I try to keep my nails just long enough to catch the strings. Still, I garden frequently and they break anyway. The solution for me was a product by OPI called Nail Envy and it is pretty low sheen. I recently noticed that they make a matte version too.

It's funny I often see people staring puzzeldly at my picking hand trying to figure out why a large short haired bearded man has such pretty finger nails. With out ranting too much, I find it amusing to upset peoples notions of masculinity and femininity. They jump to conclusions and get their nickers in a twist because of their own hang ups. But then some guys like their nickers in a twist so I say go for the French manicure and have a good laugh at others expense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Big Mick
Date: 31 Aug 00 - 08:47 AM

I suffer from soft and thin nails on my picking hand. As I stated above, I use a nail strengthener to get them out to a length suitable for me to use Alaska Pics. I love the Alaska Pics, and have the brass and plastic. I usually file them to approximate the fingernail itself. This means that I take out a bit on the sides so that I get the same shape as the nail. I also buy them in a 20 pack and get a bit of a break on the cost. Kevin, I will bet you would like these picks.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bugsy
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 08:52 PM

Well it's now 2 months down the line since I had the acrylic nails built onto my own and I must report that they are GREAT! I've had the growth area filled once and am about to have them done again. They haven't broken or chipped once and neither have they worn down no matter how much or how hard I have played with them.

I've also managed to do away with the old thumb pick (took me a week of solid practice, but well worth the effort), and I find that they give me a new confidence when playing in public.(I know I'm not going to chip or break a nail during a gig).

I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone who has problems with worn, chipped, soft or brittle nails.

CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 09:01 PM

Bugsy, I am not a guitar player, but am a sometimes harper. Do you have to shape them specifically to play? Any comments from the females in the shop about a guy getting false nails?

Be careful though. Acrylics and the glue they use can cause erosion and fungus of the nail bed. Big problems then. Just don't paint them pink, OK?


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Bugsy
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 09:27 PM

Sorcha, if you read back over the thread, you'll see that they aren't glued on nails. They are built onto your own nail by using a resin and a liquid which is applied by using a brush. The nail is built up in layers over your existing nail. The girls in the shop don't have a problem with it. They seem to do a lot of muso's nails.

The acrylic is clear so it looks like your own nail. The only thing you have to get them to do is to file down the thickness a little as they can tend to be a little bulky if you leave them to their own divices.

Once they are on, you can shape them with an emery board just as you would your own.

They're great!

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 22 Oct 00 - 10:18 PM

I just recently got one of those nails that they build like Bugsy was describing. I am very, very happy with it so far. It is a committment though because I have to go back to the manicurist about every two weeks to maintain it. Fill it in where my nail has grown at the bed, build it up again then file it down. The manicurist is careful to allow room at the nail bed for it to breath. That is were some people have run into that fungus problem.
I just love my nail! It has made all the difference in the world.
I figure on fancy occations, just for fun, I will have the manicurist paint my nail all those psychodelic colors you see on some guitar picks.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,john hill
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 12:36 PM

Well I have been using steel finger picks for about 25 years. Recently I have grown my nails long with the intention of picking the guitar but I have to say that the quality of sound that you get does not match in any way what is achieveable with metal picks. Maybe its because the nails are soft in comparison with picks.. I dont know.. but I only do the odd song using my nails. I take calcium tablets too.. it does seem to strengthen the nails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 07:35 PM

Have you tried the metal version Alaska picks yet, john hill? Hobgoblin are supposed to be importing some, but they haven't got there yet. But they sound like they might be good for getting a steel pick sound with the feedback you get from finger nails.


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod (at the nail salon)
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 10:29 PM

I don't know how I missed this thread first time round. I have had acrylics on my right hand thumb and first three fingers for over two years and cannot imagine playing with natural fingernails again. The difference in volume and control is incredible. As has been pointed out, you need to have them serviced every two weeks, and my nail tech recommends total removal and replacement every five months. Incidentally, it is pure acetone you soak your hands in to remove them, ordinary nail polish remover doesnt do the job. I have never had any problems of any description with these nails other than strange looks on occasion from some of my Hispanic workmates, so I have learnt to say "Yo toco guitarra, por eso tengo las ubas largas".

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod
Date: 23 Oct 00 - 10:31 PM

That should be "unas largas" (with a squiggly thing over the "n")

Murray


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Subject: RE: BS: Goodbye worn and chipped fingernails!
From: Genie
Date: 02 May 02 - 05:57 AM

Lady McGoo, I'm interested in your 'superglue" tedchnigue - ant you tell me moer

Sinsull -- HJow mush calcium - and is that all?

Big Mick, where can one get "Nail Envy?" Problem I have with the Alaskas is that they are narrower than my nails, so they tend to break off my nails at the outer edges. If I choose one that has a wider "nail," it is too loose to stay on my finger.

Little Hawk, what's the name of that Sally Hansen product?

Grab, I'd love to get hold of that Onomyrrh stuff. Where can I find it?

Kat, does Reynaud's disease affect the way various nail remedies work?

My problem with finger picks is that the !@*#! thaings jes' don' stay on! I have to use a lot of band-aids and tape, and they stil come off! For some playing styles [e.g, jigs], though, they really work well. They're more problematic when I want to play very smoothly and lyrically.

My playing style[s] involve[s] both down-strumming and up-stumming, as well as plucking and pinching of individual strings. Regular fingerpicks work OK for the back-strumming/picking, and Alaska's work OK for both -- provided the picks don't break or come off.

JenEllen, thanks for the tip on Vitamin E.. What about silicone capsules? Do they help? What dosage?

Clinton H, Are you serious? Does tapping your fingers [on your cat or your toothbrush or anything else that's helpless] really strengthen them?

WyoWoman, Don't we all [and our bodies] need more love?

McGrath, I'm wit youse! My problem is that I strum both ways. [No jokes, guys!] Sometimes I've been tempted to tape on BOTH regular finger picks AND Alaska finger picks to the SAME fingers! [Your flattened thimble thingy is just what I've envisioned.} The one kind tends to come off when I downstrum and the other when I backstrum! Also, there are some songs where I want a more sustained, less staccato sound--i.e., the sound of flesh-on-string. What's a picker to do? Is there a two-sided, firmly attached, but easily removable finger pick to be had?

FWIW, I have seen Alaska-type fingerpicks made entirely of metal, but I have not used them. Maybe these are the "bronze Alaska picks" that Big Mick mentioned. Anyone else used 'em?

The next best thing would be a STRONG, FIRMLY ATTACHED SURROGATE FINGERNAIL--one that will not come off when I back-strum--so that I can use the fleshy part of my finger when the piece calls for it. Any suggestions?

(What do classical guitarists do?)

Bugsy, Thanks for the clarification on "acrylics" vs. glued-on nails.

Murray, the squiggly thing is called a "tilde," I think.

Genie

PS,
You acrylic folks, cuanto questo por maintain these acrylic nails [with shoppe visits q 2 weeks]?


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