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  #1  
Old 12-17-2018, 03:05 PM
SlimGeezer SlimGeezer is offline
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Default Problem Fingernail

I'm going to try to post some pictures of a fingernail that curves down like a hook. Does anyone else have this problem and know what to do about it?


https://ibb.co/RTzT3Qs

https://ibb.co/zr0hnfh

https://ibb.co/TTgZGj3

Last edited by SlimGeezer; 12-17-2018 at 03:30 PM. Reason: fixing photos
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2018, 06:01 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Yeah, I deal with hooked nails, and it's a problem, especially for the middle finger, which swings through the biggest arc. You might find something
helpful in this Delcamp forum:

https://classicalguitardelcamp.com/v...512a0acdacfbea


Some people heat and reshape the nail, though I haven't had much luck
doing that, and instead make the nail pretty straight from the contact
point to the release point (assuming first contact at the thumb side),
which in my experience lessens the effect of the hook. Charles Duncan's
book 'Art of Classical Guitar Playing' covers this as well as any I've seen
so far. Might be a place to start... first causes could be looked at, too.

Last edited by Carey; 12-17-2018 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:30 PM
SlimGeezer SlimGeezer is offline
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Thanks. I looked at some posts in Delcamp. It looks like quite a few people suffer the same problem. I think I might have to go with my wife when she gets her nails done. Someone suggested consulting a manicurist.
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:02 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Possibly, though I think modeling what the string sees
with a hooked nail- a very steep/quick ramp- and doing some preliminary shaping to lessen that, is a good start.

Personally, I *can't stand* the sound of a snappish string release on the first/high e string (I hear it as a tearing sound), esp the open string, so that's my measure. YMMV.

Last edited by Carey; 12-17-2018 at 07:21 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2018, 04:51 PM
lpa53 lpa53 is offline
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This sounds like nail clubbing and I hope you've talked to your physician about it, as it might be a symptom of an underlying condition that should be treated.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:10 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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What works for me is to glue plastic under my nail with Krazy glue with something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/XFasten-Self-...ard+lamination

I just picked this product at random from Amazon, I don't know for sure if that product would work. I have used various products from office stores and walmart over the years, all seem to be similar.

This technique is not for everyone. Krazy glue weakens some peoples nails. It has worked fine for me for the past 15 years.

I use nail scissors to cut and shape the plastic like a nail. I use tweezers to hold the plastic while applying Krazy glue and to slide the plastic under the nail. I use small pliers to squeeze the nail and the plastic together, and in the process of doing so the hook of the nail bends to match the shape of the plastic. It usually lasts for about a week. Great nail reinforcement, and as good of tone as I ever get using usually a combination of flesh and nail.
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  #7  
Old 12-28-2018, 08:58 PM
ceciltguitar ceciltguitar is offline
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Lots of discussion on topic of nails on Delcamp forum:

https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.c...forum.php?f=87

Here are a couple other threads from another part of this forum with a similar but slightly different topic, but includes many responses (including mine) about various products and techniques used for nail care:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=452910

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...90#post5182590

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=483110

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=502259
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2018, 06:36 PM
nightflight nightflight is offline
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I have the same problem and tried everything.

Acrylic nails damage my nails too much. I also tried using silk or fiberglass tape with nail glue - this also damages the nails. I've tried gluing on overlays - both permanently (damages nails) and temporarily (Rico's nails). Heating the nail and shaping it works for a few days.

Part of my problem is my hands are in water a lot, so nothing stays on for very long. I finally landed on polygel nails - kind of a cross between acrylic (softer and more flexible than acrylic, and without the fumes) and gel (stronger, cures with LED). And I only need them done about every 4 weeks or so. My nail that hooks is adhered to the polygel material and it does sometimes begin to separate, but mostly it stays puts and its the best solution I've found so far. With the least fuss and it holds up to water.

Polygel is newer so not all manicurists use it. There is only ONE near me who uses it (I'm in a small town). It is not gel... it is POLYGEL. Colors are clear, light pink, and some darker more opaque colors. I use the light pink which seems the most natural to me.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:28 PM
duncanguitar duncanguitar is offline
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Thanks for the recommendation of my book! Yes, you nailed it :-) for sure. He's trying to cope with the type D arch-form, which is certainly the most problematic. Seeing the nail the way the string sees it is the magic key, because only from that perspective will the proper "ramp" be visible. Then, the solution is to square it off to one degree or another depending on the severity of the downturn. His is pretty severe, so the best hope is to square it off decisively so that seen from underneath it's perfectly flat and even has fairly sharp corners. They won't hook--they will help prevent the middle part from hooking.
So my recommendation to him is to get The Art of CGP and study Chapter carefully! The remedial shape for type D nails is discussed on P.54 and of course includes a very clear diagram as a guide.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:50 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duncanguitar View Post
So my recommendation to him is to get The Art of CGP and study Chapter carefully! The remedial shape for type D nails is discussed on P.54 and of course includes a very clear diagram as a guide.
Chapter 4!
I have had your book for many years. An excellent resource.
I also have its companion too, CG 2000. Also chock full of knowledge.
I see it's your first post here, so a hearty welcome to the forum! It's a very enriching thought to have you as a member and sharing your knowledge.
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:11 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
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I have a much milder case of the same issue on my 'i' finger. If you're in the acrylics camp (like me), acrylics may solve the problem. For me, the acrylic keeps the nail straight as it grows out.

If you're not the sort to get your nails done regularly (for whatever reason), I recommend Alaska Piks. People love/hate them, because, well, finger picks are annoying, but I use them regularly because of how consistent they are (way more consistent than human grown nails, which are by nature not identical in shape or in angle of how they work with the strings).

Yes, I have acrylics AND I use Alaska Piks, about 50/50 with/without the finger picks. It's easier and more fun without, but I practice regularly with them so I can use them comfortably when I want that consistency I spoke about.

Best of luck.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2020, 04:46 PM
rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Similar shape especially on the middle finger (plus a split nail which is even worse). Keep nails quite short. There does not need to be much white showing.
I tend to shorten with the file somewhat underneath the nail and ramp some so that the longer part of the nail is on the thumb side.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2020, 05:20 PM
Carey Carey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreF View Post
Chapter 4!
I have had your book for many years. An excellent resource.
I also have its companion too, CG 2000. Also chock full of knowledge.
I see it's your first post here, so a hearty welcome to the forum! It's a very enriching thought to have you as a member and sharing your knowledge.
Yes, wonderful to have Mr. Duncan here! The chapter on articulation was an ear-opener for me, but the book is top-notch throughout; also, the writing is a pleasure to read. Hats off.
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:36 PM
stevejazzx stevejazzx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpa53 View Post
This sounds like nail clubbing and I hope you've talked to your physician about it, as it might be a symptom of an underlying condition that should be treated.
OP doesn't appear to have clubbed fingers and nails - just curved fingernails which is extremely common - clubbed nails is quite easy to spot and nearly always goes together with widening of the tops of the fingers.

This issue is a minor nightmare for guitarists - Ricks advice is good and works but having a very short nail may not work ideally for a lot of classical guitar techniques i.e rapid tremolo). Shaping the nail is accordance to the way your plucking hand is angled (in most conditions) is the most helpful approach. It usually means filing the nail more on the right side as you look at it (if your fingers are pointed towards your face and plucking hand is your right hand!) To avoid the nail catching on the string you have to be honest with yourself and settle on the angle that the plucking hand normally takes (and yes it probably should be straighter!) with that in place you then examine the angle of contact of the nail across all the strings and the work out how much extra on that side you need to file to prevent the nail from catching. Once filed use a very light coat of 'hard as nails' or similar on the top half of the nail to stiffen the nail slightly but not too much to color the tone of your contact. Playing fast Picado with this type of nails is very hard.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2020, 08:49 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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The OP posted this 2 years ago and hasn't responded.

But there's still some good information for future reference.

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