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  #16  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:57 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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A big advantage of flesh over nails is consistency. Varying fingernail length and shape can throw off accuracy. You may over time develop and bit of callus on the fingertips that can increase volume. Sensitive guitars work better for bare fingers than ones that require more of a punch to develop tone.

That said I usually go for short fingernails.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:58 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by bbrown View Post
Been using only bare fingers for solo fingerstyle steel string guitar.

I play into a Zoom H4 set at a low recording level, and increase the gain for the final YouTube, and get pretty decent sound with bare fingers...........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRuB7...ure=plpp_video

I make furniture, which really destroys my fingernails. I'm ready to try acrylics from a salon - hope to do so next week or so. We'll see how acrylics hold up to that abuse.

--Bill
Hi Bill,
That was played wonderfully and sounded really, really good! And it was great to see it played on a Martin dread, to boot!

Those strings sound like they were taken off a vintage guitar and re-purposed!

Pretty low action? The snap on some of the notes really gives it character, though. All in all a really nice job!

As far as acrylics holding up as a woodworker, don't get your hopes too high. I also am a cabinetmaker and although I can vary my usage of tools and sandpaper, etc, there's always going to be a moment where you'll stress a fingertip a little bit and thar she goes!

I stopped getting the tips & acrylic over the top years ago, and now only glue on tips, which I carefully pre-fit prior to gluing on. You only get one chance with Cyanocrylate (sp?).

I have resigned myself to replacing them every 5 days on average, so I'm off to find some of these Fred Kelly Freedom picks and I'll bother myself with them for a few days.

Nice to meet and hear you play!

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  #18  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:59 AM
waveform waveform is offline
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I'm a stone mason / carpenter and love having nails to play with but they always break off, so I'm a pad guy. I think you can do a lot with pads, I do like using my thumb and having some nail to that is very handy. I think you can get a thumb pick and you might be set!
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  #19  
Old 01-19-2012, 12:05 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Sensitive guitars work better for bare fingers than ones that require more of a punch to develop tone.
Though even still, some really sensitive guitars really require nails or picks for good tone I think. I think my Goodall concert jumbo is one of them - the tone is significantly different (and spectacular) with good nails or with a pick. For me, it responds a lot like a classical guitar, and you don't (or at least I don't) get the depth of tone and clarity that the guitar is capable of (and does so well) without basically using classical guitar right hand technique (I think it is a sort of weak sounding guitar muddied with jangling overtones otherwise - I have wondered whether some of the folks who are not impressed by Goodalls are bare flesh players?). With my Martin 000-15 right hand technique does not matter to the tone in the same way.
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  #20  
Old 01-19-2012, 01:22 PM
AirWolf AirWolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
... straight fingers or fingerpicks. Obviously fingerpicks sound much better and more lively.
Whoa there. Hold your horses. That's pretty subjective.

To me, finger picks defeat the entire purpose of finger picking.

Flesh on steel strings is aural bliss, my friend.
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  #21  
Old 01-19-2012, 01:42 PM
jwing jwing is offline
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Originally Posted by AirWolf View Post
Flesh on steel strings is aural bliss, my friend.
I've never heard an unamplified, flesh-picked guitar that could make that statement true. Emphasis on 'heard.'

Put an amplification system in the mix and now we're talking the tone of the guitar, the mic, the amp settings, etc. Bare fingers become just a link in a long chain.
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  #22  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:50 AM
waveform waveform is offline
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Thats a good point. Whenever I try to play with friends (all use picks) I get drowned out I just can't get that volume. But the sound is so much better I think. I have a Martin dreadnought 18 with that Fishman pre amp, been trying to figure a way to amplify it so it sounds natural. If your just noodling around at home no problem but for people you need amplification for finger picking, no one will ever hear you.
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  #23  
Old 01-20-2012, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwing View Post
I've never heard an unamplified, flesh-picked guitar that could make that statement true.
Then you need to expand your field-of-view.


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  #24  
Old 01-20-2012, 02:18 PM
ScottAllyn ScottAllyn is offline
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I'm sort of a hybrid flesh/nail kinda guy; I use the nail on my index finger and just the flesh on my middle and ring fingers. I do actually prefer the tone of nails, but my ring finger nail has a pretty dramatic hook and it's also half the thickness of my other nails. I've never been able to get a good tone with the natural nail on that finger and I got tired of reinforcing it and then maintaining the reinforced nail... so I lopped it off completely.

I've been pretty happy with the sound that I get with my fingers but it does tend to sound a bit muted at times and I have been contemplating trying nails again lately.
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  #25  
Old 01-20-2012, 03:09 PM
waveform waveform is offline
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Don't forget strumming with your nails, or what ever ones are intact, that sounds a lot nicer then a pick IMHO. I still think Im too man enough to use press on nails, just cant go there, I know some do, just me and my hang nails (ups).
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2014, 03:35 PM
OldGuitarNewbie OldGuitarNewbie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrown View Post
Been using only bare fingers for solo fingerstyle steel string guitar.

I play into a Zoom H4 set at a low recording level, and increase the gain for the final YouTube, and get pretty decent sound with bare fingers...........

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRuB7...ure=plpp_video

I make furniture, which really destroys my fingernails. I'm ready to try acrylics from a salon - hope to do so next week or so. We'll see how acrylics hold up to that abuse.

--Bill
Dang, that is some FINE guitar playing!
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  #27  
Old 05-03-2014, 08:24 PM
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I've always gone for bare fingers, no nail. Find it give me the control that I want. And I don't like dulling the sound a little with skin. To each .

Stuart
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  #28  
Old 12-20-2016, 11:58 AM
Guitarplayer_PR Guitarplayer_PR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi gb...
I'm an all flesh player with just a hint of nail for accent now and then. Try and convince Laurence Juber that fingerpicks sound better.

I have no need for fingerpicks for controlling tone, attack or volume.



Juber would be easier to convince than Tommy Emmanuel
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  #29  
Old 12-20-2016, 01:09 PM
AX17609 AX17609 is offline
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I've recently learned that the kind of guitar you play makes a difference in your choice of picks vs bare fingers. When I played a D28 I always used picks and never though for even a second about doing it any other way. When I switched to a J40, I discovered that picks overdrive the instrument too much, even with a light touch, so I switched to bare fingers with just a hint of nail.
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  #30  
Old 12-20-2016, 03:23 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I came from a flat pick background. I like the sound of pads with a little nail here and there and I think you have more control. But I can't do it as after a couple of minutes I desire that finger pick sound. The pads are not loud enough for me. I like the attack of finger picks. And just forget nails. Mine are just fine but I'd rip them off if I tried to finger pick with them.

I use the old style plastic thumb pick and metal finger picks. I used hot water to shape the thumb picks.
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