The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Thread Tools
Old 09-20-2022, 09:04 AM
poltad poltad is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2021
Posts: 12
Default 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.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2022, 05:41 PM
FrankHS FrankHS is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 541

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.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 06:23 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13,525

I use a pick.
Nothing bothers me unless I let it.

Martin D18
Gibson J45
Gibson J15
Fender Copperburst Telecaster
Squier CV 50 Stratocaster
Squier CV 50 Telecaster
Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2022, 11:09 PM
btbliatout btbliatout is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Posts: 153

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.
Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2022, 10:52 AM
fitness1's Avatar
fitness1 fitness1 is offline
Musical minimalist
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Central Lower Michigan
Posts: 22,060

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.
"One small heart, and a great big soul that's driving"

Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2022, 10:18 PM
ssynhorst ssynhorst is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 220

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
Reply With Quote

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > Classical

Thread Tools

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=