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Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails

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Genie 09 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM
Murray MacLeod 09 Aug 02 - 03:23 AM
Jeri 09 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM
Gypsy 09 Aug 02 - 11:35 AM
Murray MacLeod 09 Aug 02 - 07:26 PM
Genie 09 Aug 02 - 10:54 PM
Gypsy 09 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM
Jeri 09 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM
Big Mick 06 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM
Jeri 06 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM
Genie 06 Oct 02 - 10:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 01 Nov 02 - 06:50 PM
Genie 04 Nov 02 - 02:00 AM
Big Mick 04 Nov 02 - 08:55 PM
Jeri 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Jul 06 - 04:33 PM
Chris Amos 29 Jul 06 - 05:23 PM
Chris Amos 29 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM
Rumncoke 29 Jul 06 - 05:52 PM
the fence 29 Jul 06 - 06:15 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jul 06 - 05:13 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jul 06 - 01:42 PM
Murray MacLeod 30 Jul 06 - 02:02 PM
BanjoRay 31 Jul 06 - 11:58 AM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Jul 06 - 12:08 PM
Little Hawk 31 Jul 06 - 12:20 PM
JedMarum 31 Jul 06 - 12:44 PM
Strollin' Johnny 31 Jul 06 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 31 Jul 06 - 05:12 PM
JedMarum 31 Jul 06 - 11:35 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Dec 07 - 05:56 PM
John MacKenzie 16 Dec 07 - 06:03 PM
Brendy 16 Dec 07 - 06:12 PM
JedMarum 16 Dec 07 - 07:59 PM
Genie 16 Dec 07 - 11:56 PM
Margo 17 Dec 07 - 01:39 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM

Jeri, as I mentioned above, my salon was recommended to me by the proprietress of a guitar/music shop, who is also a guitarist and banjo player herself.  So Tony, the salon owner, was not at all fazed by my request for three nails and charged me only $9, where a full set would have been $25.
If you can, try to  find a shop in your area where other pickers have been clients.  I think it is very important for the technician to know  why you want the acrylic nails and what you'll be subjecting them to.

But, Gypsy, Tony did use nail clippers on my acrylics the first time I visited the salon.  And I've used them, too.  Seems the point is not to try to clip off too much at one time.

Re the "drill," one reason I wouldn't want to do a fill at home is that the salon has a "grinder" tool they use to file down the surface of the old acrylic before applying new "fill."  They also have some sort of disinfectant (fungicide?) they coat my nails with before applying the fill.  Seems to me the "topfiling" is very important, since the nail would just get thicker and thicker and thicker ...., if some of the old acrylic were not removed before adding new acrylic.  They were very careful in doing this filing, and I did not feel in danger of being burned.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 03:23 AM

I have been "burned" before (very occasionally) by the prior topfiling. Being British I showed no signs of pain ....

The nail techs here in Scotland don't use power tools at all (at least mine doesn't and she says that is the usual practice here) . If you were able to obtain the right bits I see no reason why you couldn't use a Dremel on your own nails.

Genie, I always assumed that the clear liquid they paint ob first is a primer designed to promote better adhesion between the acrylic and the natural nail. Maybe it does have antiseptic properties, I shall enquire this weekend.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM

I think word-of-mouth may be the only way to go. Either find a place that already does musicians' nails or one where you get a feeling people are flexible and won't freak out when you ask for something different.

Nobody I know gets manicures. One guy does the Lee Press-On thing. One of the employees of a local music store uses some kind of resin on the tips which cures with ultra-violet light. It LOOKS like it's a little more plasticy and flexible than the acrylic, but it's still hard. One thing I didn't check was the cork board with notices and business cards pinned up. Maybe someone's advertised about catering to musicians or maybe I can pin something up with the question.

I put two half nails on yesterday though, and I'm getting pretty darned good at it! Mind you, if you want to track where the end of your real nail is, don't try using a blue Sharpie (waterproof pen) because the solvent used in the acrylic goop disolves it and you wind up with a dirty-looking blue fingernail tip! Hmmm...maybe next time I can throw some metallic gold powder in with the acrylic and...maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:35 AM

It's primer. Purpose is to dehydrate the nail for better adhesion. Also can kill any surface bacteria, according to the type used. I never used a drill for top filing, just used a file, lightly. The deal is to apply it right, so you don't need to file much. Oh yeah, Don, wasn't kidding. You could concievably use a dremel.........lowest speed, with a stone conical bit. That is basically what the drill in any salon is.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:26 PM

Gypsy, the bits used in salons are not conical stones, like you see in Home Depot, they are diamond coated steel bits of various shapes and grades of grit.

All the nail techs in the Miami salon I used to go to used Dremels.As long as it has variable speed and can reach around 20,000 rpm, I don't suppose it matters overmuch what tool you use.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:54 PM

Murray, the clear (greenish?) liquid they applied with (I think) a Q-tip beforehand was not painted on as nail polish is.  They also dip my hand in some sort of liquid beforehand, too.  I really do think it's a disinfectant or antifungicide.  It probably is, as Gypsy says, a dehydrating primer.  But I'll ask next time.

My salon does use what looks to be a conical stone bit (as well as emery boards and files).  Is that what a "dremel" is?  But it is like what Murray describes, not a Home Improvement type drill bit!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM

Murray, mine were all stones. Less likely to cut someone that way. But that was me, others might indeed use diamond. And oh yeah, it is definitely a dehydrating primer. Just wait till you get it on your skin, ouch!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM

A Dremel is a home improvement tool (like a small power drill) and comes with many attachments - grinding wheels, sanders, drill bits, buffers, burrs, etc. I honestly thought about using it. Then I thought about how I'd explain What Happened in the emergency room, and how they'd tell the story to the next shift, and I quit thinking about using the Dremel.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM

OK........two month report.

I love these things, but I would second Murray's recommendation to keep them filled. I didn't on the first set and ended up peeling them off. Then had to have them redone. Filling for me is going to be an every other week thing.

The young women (usually Vietnamese) always giggle when they see this huge, hairy man come in and ask for 3 nails.

Playability is great. One thing to be careful of is when they thin out the tips a bit. Don't let them do to much though, or they will chip on the strings. I use the Herco thumbpick which allows me to switch to a strum easily.

All in all, I feel like these have resolved a significant problem for me. I only have one problem with them. I will have to change the way I hold the rest of my hand as the nails make significant noise on the pickguard when I am in the strum mode. I am in the process of changing to tucking my fingertips underneath when I am strumming. I know this seems minor, but when you have done it a certain way your whole life..............you know the drill.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM

Jeez Mick...coincidences!
I just found a place to get mine done today. The woman who does nails won't be in until Tuesday, so I'll go back then.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that although my other nails are fine, my index finger nail breaks at the tip and my thumbnail splits down where it's painful. I can't get the thumb done because it's covered with superglue and ribbon. (Ribbon lasts a LOT longer than tissue paper - I think it holds a lot more of the glue and it's tougher.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 10:25 PM

Well, so far I'm still happy with having them filled only once every three of four weeks, but any longer than that and there is a danger of them pulling up at the base.

My middle finger nail started to chip at the end when I waited too long for a fill, but mostly because they had filed its edges too much initially -- too tapered instead of rounded. Then it started to break where the chip was. When I went back for the fill, I was surprised that the (new) tech who did the fill was not able to fill in the chipped place. The nail did end up stronger, but I couldn't get the tip smooth until about a week later, when it was long enough to file the tip down.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:50 PM

I somehow missed the latter bit of this thread , and only clicked on because of Jeri's link on Rick Fielding's thread.

Glad to see the nails are working for you Mick. The next step is to have the thumbnail built up as well. Then you can dispense with your Herco thumpick and really cut loose.

Jeri, what is all this nonsense about fabric and superglue on your thumb? Go get it done properly, girl, y'hear me?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 02:00 AM

Just checking in again, after -- what is it now? -- 4 or 5 months. So far, so good. No fungus, no more flaky nails, and only one split (when I waited a bit too long for a refill).

In my case, having a refill every 3 weeks seems to work fine. I seem to be able even to go 4 weeks between refills sometimes.

I've had the acrylic thumbnail for only about a month now and am due for a refill. But it does let me skip the thumbpick when I want to.

The best thing about the acrylic nails is NOT having my nails break off at "the quick" from time to time, because when that happens it's almost impossible to play without fingerpicks until the nail grows out.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 08:55 PM

I don't think so, friend Murray. I would have to completely change my hand position. I don't think my technique could stand another major change just now. Between changing some of my chord shapes on Rick's recommendation, and trying to use a flat pick without the nails clacking against the guit, I have set myself back about ten paces already. Sides, I really like the Herco because I can go from fingerstyle to a strum and back very easily.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM

Hey Murray, I got the thumbnail done with the index & middle! She just soaked and filed the crap off.

I sometimes play without a thumbpick and sometimes with. Without is difficult as, like Mick said, I have to change my hand position and lift my wrist way up so my thumb's more perpendicular and my fingers are at a weird angle. I may get used to the way it feels after a while, but I'm probably still going to use the thumbpick.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:33 PM

I was watching my Eric Roche DVD last night, and in the tuition bit , he mentions covering his nails with some acrylic nail hardener. Does anyone know what Eric used and if this is widely available

all the best

Al (having a bad nail week)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Chris Amos
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:23 PM

I use Sally Hanson's "As Hard as Nails" a very macho nail varnish.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Chris Amos
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM

... and I find that it works very well, I have been blessed with naturally strong nails though.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Rumncoke
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:52 PM

I used a kit my husband brought back from the States for a long time - until it was used up.

The technique was to slightly roughen your own nails, then mix up a powder and a liquid and spread the resulting paste over your own nails and removable platforms to which it did not adhere.

As I have spatulate fingernails and the suport was flat I only extended the centre part of the nails.

Once on there was no way the artificial nail would pull away from the real ones - I mashed my fingers in a huge rubbish bin with a flip top which flipped back unexpectedly as it had been placed on a slope. The edge of the lid took off the tips of my nails - it would have taken my finger ends off if I had been a split second slower. My fingers were bruised because the nails were so strong they pressed down hard before they broke off.

They could be left to grow out, and if you smoothed away the edge of the artificial stuff with a nail file it was not obvious. It did not seem to have any adverse effect on my natural nails.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: the fence
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 06:15 PM

'Sally Hanson - Natural Nail Growth Activator' I have been using this for the past two months. It seems to soak into the nail and has worked for me. I work outside in all weathers, but this has helped to strengthen the nails and allowed them to grow wihout splitting (something I have been trying to get them to do in the last 10 years).


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 05:13 AM

Okay, sally's the girl for me by the sound of it.

the hard as nails product looks reassuringly dangerous, the sort of stuff flamenco players mix into their Soberano and knock back in one!

Where do you get the stuff? I'm in the UK. Most of the stuff on e-bay seems to be stateside, and its not mentioned on Sally's UK site.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 01:42 PM

okay found the stuff in Sainsbury's - will report how I get on!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 02:02 PM

Five years on, I can say that I do not now have my nails reinforced.

After moving South I couldn't find anybody who did acrylics, so I tried Gel nails.

They didn't work for me, although I distinctly remember another thread in here where somebody swore by them, as long as there was sufficient fiberglass reinforcement.

I use my (very short) natural fingernails now, but then again I am not playing to anything like the same level as I used to.

If you are a full time pro, I would still recommend acrylic nails as the way to go, and to be VERY careful , especially when opening or closing car doors ...


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: BanjoRay
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:58 AM

For playing clawhammer banjo I get my index and middle fingernails covered with acrylic gel at a Vietnamese nail parlour in Doncaster. Costs me £6 and lasts 3 or 4 weeks with no bad effects, and is still good even after jamming all day for weeks (a recent 3 week holiday in North Carolina/Virginia). Far, far superior to the glue-on nails you can get in Boots. Easily filed down to shape with a standard nail file or Dremel tool. Been doing this for three years with no bad effects on my natural nails.
The girls who do my nails are great, as well.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:08 PM

I'm with you Ray, get my index, middle and ring fingers done at Amethyst in Gainsborough. Two or three layers of the isopon-type fibreglass sheet-looking stuff, with gel over each layer. WW3 standard. Great.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:20 PM

Am just going today to get the acrylic nails filled in at the back. I do that about every 2 or 3 weeks as they grow out. There are salons all over around souther Ontario now, mostly with Vietnamese staff for some reason, and they will very quickly do a super job on your guitar-playing nails at $4/nail. This gives you nails that are so strong and effective that it will greatly improve your playing. If a nail gets chipped in between treatments, the people I know will fix it for free.

I know of 4 guitar players in this small town who are getting it done on a regular basis now.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:44 PM

I'm still at it too. I can stretch it out to as many as four weeks - before they just about grow off the end of my fingers! Counting a nice tip I pay about $9 US.

My own nails are pretty damn hard - but not unbreakable. I'e been covering thumb plus index and middle fingers for almost 7 years now.
I also use my fourth finger regularly but I almost never break tha one - and it's the easiest to work around if it's not in full working order.

One disadvantage though; when you bang 'em in a such a way as they used to break - IT HURTS LIKE HELL! Not only that, but it doesn't stop hurting for a long time! Oh well, I guess pain is better then a broken nail!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:53 PM

Jed, us taking that pain just goes to prove - we're real men! LOL!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 05:12 PM

It was hard getting appointments at the salon to replace nails within my busy schedule, and on tour it was proving impossible. So in the end I found a supplier, bought the chemicals, and practiced on some false nails held in a clamp. Now I can do my own whenever I need to - evenings, weekends or even mid-festival.

I soak the old acrylics off as soon they grow out, when you get that ridge which catches the sring when you're struming with the outside of the nail, or if they start to lift. A drop of nail oil on the real nail, left to soak in for an hour or two, refreshes the nail and then you just apply the oil-remover and primer, and apply the new acrylic. They don't look as good as the gals work but they play just fine.

My real nails are only thin because I file the underside to get a flat picking area - otherwise they're healthy.

I miss the gals at the salon, but I don't suppose they miss me! :-)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:35 PM

I go to the same shop my wife goes to. THere are a handful of very poleasant Vietnamese ladies. They talk in code among themselves while they're working.

I've been lucky enough to never NEED workd one when I'm out of twon - but I know it'll happen one of these days. I actually broke one last Friday in Louisiana - but managed OK 'til I got into the shop in Dallas today. I know one of these days I'll have to walk into a shop in New York or Kansas City or something - and take what service I can get. But I've been lucky so far.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 05:56 PM

Time for a thread resuscitation, I feel, we haven't discussed nails in the longest time.

After letting my nails go natural for a long time, I decided to have them reinforced again and I got fiber-glass reinforcements done, in a health club in Perth, and they were quite satisfactory sound wise, but not really long lasting.

Since relocating to Edinburgh , I have had the great good fortune to come across a wonderful lady in a shop in Easter Road, who does not do glue-on tips with subsequent covering, she builds the nail up using only the liquid, letting it harden slowly and reapplying as she goes.

I was highly sceptical of this at first, as every previous tech had glued on a false tip and then reinforced it by covering with acrylic, or gel, or whatever.

The reality is that these are by far the strongest nails I have ever had, they last six weeks or longer, they withstand all the abuse they receive in the workshop, and they don't require filling every ten days like the other acrylics I have had in the past.

The slight downside is that they do require a fairly time-consuming shaping after they are applied, I do this on a belt sander, and then
use a sharp 1/4" chisel dragged backwards underneath each nail (with a scraping rather than a cutting action) to remove the acrylic build up under the nail tip and bring the edge thickness to the required profile.

Once this is done, you are good to go.

My beloved D-28S has never sounded so good ...


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 06:03 PM

I find the biggest problem to be dry nails underneath when they come off and they need oiling to restore them as they are dull, and slightly flaky too. I am back to using my own nails again, although the index fingernail has a tendency to delaminate. ie split in to 2 layers rather than split right through.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Brendy
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 06:12 PM

I've always used finger-picks if I wanted that bright 'punch' to the picking

My 'problem' is more with my left hand; keeping the hard skin on the finger-tips from becoming too unmanageable, and keeping those nails from interfering with the fingering.

B.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 07:59 PM

I'm still having the acrylic coat painted on evry 3 or 4 weeks. It's cheap and perfectly effective for me. I've really developed my picking style around it. I rarely damage them, but it has happened a time or two when I've been out of town. I've simply managed with the natural beneath or by shifting the picking to an alternate finger. I use four to pick - I plant one on the guitar. So if one of the four is "limping" I can manage to pick up the work one of the others. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be.

I neve loose finger picks anymore!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 11:56 PM

Murray, my fingerpicking style probably doesn't give my nails quite the beating that yours seems to give your nails, so I find that garden-variety acrylic nails work just fine for me.
I never have a tip put on unless, for some reason, I've managed to tear off a nail down to the fleshy tip of my finger. I just have the acrylic coating applied to my nails, and I prefer to keep the tips short enough that both my fingertips and the nails hit the strings when I play.    This means filing them down myself between "fills."

I like to let my nails grow out for 6 to 8 weeks between fills. This means by the time I do a new fill, my nails are 1/4 to 1/2 (occasionally almost 3/4) grown out.   I believe this allows my nails to "breathe" sufficiently to prevent fungi, etc., from developing, and it also makes the underlying nail a little stronger than if my nails were nearly always fully coated with acrylics.

The acrylic nails also work nicely as a percussion source when I use certain picking and strumming styles.    E.g., I can mute the strings with my left hand and then use the backs of my nails on the strings as an atonal percussion instrument.

I've had the acrylic nails for at least 4 years now, I think, and I'm very happy with them.

Just the right hand though.

G


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Margo
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 01:39 AM

Hi all,
I tried the acrylic nail approach but I found too that my own nail got weaker and weaker underneath that fake one.

I went to using Ken Perlman's method: scotch tape. He just puts a bit of tape over the nail and tucks it under at the end of the fingernail and he's good to go. Surprisingly, it works very well.

It's all subjective, and it depends on what kind of sound you want. I have an old vega with a tubaphone tone ring and I want to sell it because it is way too bright for me. (But it really is a bluegrass banjo; it has a pieplate resonator which I took off to play open back.)

Since I like that old timey "soft" sound, I like the tape. It works and it's cheap.
Margo


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