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  • Keeping Fingernails Nice...

    Ok, before anyone says, "You're doing kendo, you can't expect to have nice nails!", this isn't about looking pretty.

    This is about playing a guitar.

    I don't want stupidly long nails. I can't have that due to work but I wouldn't mind a little length in them for plucking strings.

    I currently use the club's kote and I'm mindful of my nails when I do wear them. I find sometimes my nails to get damaged and need to keep them really well trimmed depending on the set I use.

    I'm hoping that there are women out there who have some sort of solution to this.

    Or perhaps I'm worrying over nothing because when I get my own set this shouldn't be a problem? I don't know.

    If anyone has any ideas...please post away.

  • #2
    A glove http://www.boguzen.com/e_p28.html?

    Or you can just tape up your fingers maybe?

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    • #3
      where's your pick?

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      • #4
        Picking and fingerstyle are two different things.

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        • #5
          I've never used them, but would fingerpicks help you out?

          I keep my nails quite short, but then again I usually use a pick when I play.

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          • #6
            Hi!

            Same problem here. I found that if the nails don't need to be extremely long, gloves help lots. It doesn't necessarily need to cost 10USD, I buy mine at the pharmacy or at the drugstore for less than 3€ (approx. 4USD).

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            • #7
              Ah, this is a problem for me too. I am starting guqin lessons soon and I have to grow my finger nails out in order to play. I would say use extra nail polish (the clear kind) to strengthen them and tape with surgical tape if you are still afraid they will break.

              The real problem is when you are sparring, it gets rough, and your thumbnail flips back (this sometimes happens when your opponent rams into you). This happened to me a couple times eventhough I cut my finger nails super short! I guess what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Goodluck Gal.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ne0r View Post
                3 (approx. 4USD).
                Closer to $5 these days...

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                • #9
                  Why do you need your nails to play? I use my fingers I also play the guitar but I can not have long nails (weak nails so they break soon)

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                  • #10
                    Could never figure out why the women-folk needed their nails to resemble freakin' BIG CAT CLAWS!!!

                    A set of nicely trimmed and painted nails is both functional and beautiful to behold.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lady_Kitsune View Post
                      Why do you need your nails to play? I use my fingers I also play the guitar but I can not have long nails (weak nails so they break soon)
                      On acoustics, I find that using the fingernail rather than the fingertip brings a clear note, whereas sometimes the note seems "muddy" when it's plucked with the finger tip alone.

                      It's kind of like strumming with a pick rather than with your thumb. It just makes the notes take on a bit more definition - well, to my ear it does. Others may have different takes on that.

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                      • #12
                        Some guitarists prefer to play with the nails. It certainly makes for a much stronger sound then using the pads of your fingers. Some of them even use huge artificial nails, especially steel-string acoustic types.

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                        • #13
                          Although I usually use a pick (I play electric mostly, nails don't last on steel strings XD), I do keep my nails a little long, just for aesthetic purposes. They don't get damaged from kote because I usually have a thick layer (or more like 3-4 layers) of either a nail support clear coat thingy or nail color. Just put a lot of something on it to make it thicker, it will probably look nice and shiny too.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjcruiser View Post
                            A glove http://www.boguzen.com/e_p28.html?

                            Or you can just tape up your fingers maybe?
                            How does one tape up fingers? I'm a beginner at kendo. I've seen people tape up toes and feet but not fingers yet.

                            Originally posted by NoNameKleenex View Post
                            I've never used them, but would fingerpicks help you out?

                            I keep my nails quite short, but then again I usually use a pick when I play.
                            I've not tried fingerpicks but if I can't solve the nails thing I will look into this. Thanks!

                            Originally posted by ne0r View Post
                            Hi!

                            Same problem here. I found that if the nails don't need to be extremely long, gloves help lots. It doesn't necessarily need to cost 10USD, I buy mine at the pharmacy or at the drugstore for less than 3 (approx. 4USD).
                            Are you meaning regular cotton gloves? Does this affect tenouch, (I'm not sure about spelling...sorry!!!), at all?

                            Originally posted by Maaku-san View Post
                            Could never figure out why the women-folk needed their nails to resemble freakin' BIG CAT CLAWS!!!

                            A set of nicely trimmed and painted nails is both functional and beautiful to behold.
                            I can't either. Perhaps you could start a movement about this. It could revolutionise things.


                            Originally posted by Eliza View Post
                            Ah, this is a problem for me too. I am starting guqin lessons soon and I have to grow my finger nails out in order to play. I would say use extra nail polish (the clear kind) to strengthen them and tape with surgical tape if you are still afraid they will break.

                            The real problem is when you are sparring, it gets rough, and your thumbnail flips back (this sometimes happens when your opponent rams into you). This happened to me a couple times eventhough I cut my finger nails super short! I guess what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. Goodluck Gal.
                            It didn't even occur to me to use nail polish to strengthen my nails. I did have some on my nails this week as I was remiss about taking it off before training.

                            I haven't started sparring yet. I don't think I'm anywhere close to ready. I am very grateful for still being able to focus solely on technique.

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                            • #15
                              Being a classical guitarist, i play with the nails. Each guitarist has their own likes and dislikes about finger nail length, but the rule of thumb is that the minimum length is to be at the level of your fingertip. Remember, the fignertip will recede a tad when you pluck, thus the nail will become a factor. Beacuse I do kendo, I leave them at the finger tip length and find no issues.

                              If you are thinking of playing Flamenco, the only issue you can encounter is that typically the nails are longer, and the pinky nail will be longer than the others.

                              Lastly, if you find your fingernail is not producing enough sound, check the angle you filed the nail.

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