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poltad 09-20-2022 09:04 AM

Ideal Nail Length
What is the ideal length of nail for both classical and flamenco for speed, tone, and accuracy? Mine are getting freakishly long and Iíve seen some videos of master players with much shorter nails covering just the fingertips.

FrankHS 09-22-2022 05:41 PM

You will just have to experiment. Some players go longer as their skill increases, while other go shorter for various reasons. The important thing is to recognize (in sound and feel) what good tone is.

rokdog49 09-23-2022 06:23 AM

I use a pick. :)

btbliatout 09-23-2022 11:09 PM

I concur with FrankHS.

It is trial and error to find out what works best for your playing position, your body, and the angle of attack you will be using the most.

In my practice, I find for classical, I like the white of my nails to be about 4-5mm at the center of my fingertip, and 5-6mm for my thumb. For flamenco, I tend to prefer everything being 1-1.5mm shorter.

I only spoke about length above. The angle of the right hand is different for classical and flamenco, so I do shape my nails differently depending on if I'm playing more classical or more flamenco at the time. Figuring out the right shape is also part of the trial and error process.

Or you could go be a disciple of Sor and go without nails. I imagine your right hand will hurt much like our left hands do when we all first started our guitar journeys, but the callouses will come :-)

If you keep the nails, I recommend keeping them slightly longer than necessary. Just slightly. That way when you get nicks in them (as we all do), you can safely file and polish them out.

fitness1 09-24-2022 10:52 AM

Yes, personal preference.

Mine start curling under when they get too long and it causes them to catch and makes me less accurate.

I keep them around 3/32 or so I'm guessing, and filed to a soft "point" at the center. My thumbnail's point is on the left side because of my hand position.

ssynhorst 09-24-2022 10:18 PM

My three fingers and the thumb all require different lengths. Adjust the fingers first for feel. so I make an accurate strike, and second for tone. Or the reverse might do better. I want the best tone I can accurately make.

The thumb I adjust so I can use the nail versus flesh in varying degrees by moving my wrist in and out a bit.

So, ultimately it is the tone you wish to produce. In my case that is the warmth of the flesh with some brightness from the nails.

The great ones can adjust these matters throughout the piece to achieve the interpretation they require. - Steve

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