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How do you know when your acrylic nails are "Just Right" in length? Recently I was fiddling with my new acrylics and made at least one nail a little bit too short. The sound I got with the too-short nail was not good.

Yesterday I had all of the fingernails extended ($25) so they are now too long. It's difficult to type with the right hand, but the sound I get when playing is MUCH better.

How do you find the happy medium before going too short?

Tags: acrylic, fingernails, length

Views: 2

Replies to This Discussion

Hi there Ken...I tried the acryllic nails thing for a while...could never get 'em exactly right either. I Play now with natural nails just a bit longer then the finger tip, and I use a thumb pick. with slight adjustments in my attack I can use nail and pick only, or ease up a bit and use pick and the fleshy part of the finger. I can get subtle tonal changes this way..although it can be bothersome as the nails wear down..or split..but..hey, I'm an old guy..and don't need to impress anybody but me. Thanks for letting me butt in..and have a great day.
Jim
I know that a lot of classical players use acrylic fingernails on their "gut" stringed classical guitars, but in 60 years I have
never been able to do that on a steel stringed guitar. I usually let the forefinger nail grow out a little longer as it adds to the
tone in the style of guitar that I play. I do a lot of Pinch picking. I usually cut the other nails short. I do not get the right feel
when using acrylic or long nails as I tend to get tangled up when attempting a Roll. Of course I cut all of the nails on the
left hand very short and keep them filed smooth. I guess it all boils down to what you like and are used to doing, your
style, and the type of guitar you are playing.
Jim Etheridge
Howdy, Ken.

I use "gel" goo on my nail instead of acrylic powder/paste, but the principle would be the same, methinks. I like to have my nails just long enough so that the flesh of my fingertip is the leading edge on every string strike, but the nail is what leaves the string last. This way I actually get to touch the string, which orients me in space much better than only touching the string with my nail.

Just my two cents.
Thanks guys.

I can't really do natural nails right now because they are so brittle, they break before I can ever get them long enough.

When my "Nail Lady" extended my nails the other day, she just added more of the powder/liquid goo that turns into gel, so the acrylic part is now gone, just gel and a little bit of natural nail that has not grown all the way out.

As Stevie alluded to farther down this thread, it seems to be the shape, rather than the length, that as the most effect on getting the sound I like. And the shape of the left side of the nail (I am right-handed picker) needs to be smooth so it slides off the string last, and just right.

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