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Getting rid of the "Click" from your fingernail in fingerstyle

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by addylewis, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. anyone got any ideas? - I wanna become good enough to be able to play SUB-ish (low/no clicks) when having the treble on full... sometimes I can do it fine, other times it sounds like I'm playing with a plectrum... is simply cutting my fingernails every few days the answer? - it does help a lot, but is there something else I should be doing as well...? (I started off as a classical guitarist, so my technique is similar to the picking on classical...)
  2. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Keeping your fingernails very short would be the answer I guess.
  3. pick up some emery boards from your local drugstore. Keep a few in your case. Everytime before you play, take thirty seconds and file down your plucking fingers. A bass teacher of mine recommended it to me and works wonders.

    The weird looks you're sure to get from your bandmates make it doubly worthwhile.
  4. JazzBassvb


    Aug 5, 2003

    I get that every once in a while, and I always look at my nails and they are the culprits. :)

  5. Joe P

    Joe P

    Jul 15, 2004
    Milwaukee, WI
    I notice that my nails are getting a little long right now, since you brought it up...


    (edit) Sheesh - I have old-man-hands.
  6. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    Me too! I had some similar problems. What works for me is to keep my nails (very) short and to (almost) always play rest stroke, you know, where your plucking finger follows through and stops (rests) on the next string. Make sure you get plenty of finger on the string not just the tip. I found this a very difficult change to make but with hindsight, essential. I do let the fingernail on my ring finger grow tho, makes a handy alternative to a pick if you don't try to play too fast.
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Beaver Felton keeps atleast his index finger nail pretty long for certain techniques he uses. I still don't know how he does that without it being a problem.
  8. Heh, when I started I didn't want to trim my guitar nails so I just used them on the bass too. A unique sound. I've recently adopted a kind of classical guitar technique on the bass, but I play mostly with free strokes. I've found that if I make sure to play with the tips of my fingers and I give the strings a little push as I pluck to make them vibrate in the right direction I get good results. Using a lot of finger on the string messed up my dexterity too much.
  9. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    I couldn't agree more. I found it so difficult to make the change I came close to quitting. It shot my timing to bits. But a very good jazz teacher convinced me it was the only way to get closer to the kind of tone I was after and turns out he was right (in my case).
  10. also you should remember that you really don't need to play 'hard'. Play gently and turn yourself up a bit more, you'll make less mistakes that way. It also gives you more chance to play with your dynamics. Playing artificial harmonics with my pinky i tend to find I often get a little click because I'm trying to play that note louder so it stands out. I keep my nails really short and just boost my output with a footpedal when i'm playing them and the problem dissapears! :hyper:
    also, you may not want to discount the click to much, like you said, you can use it for a sound. Things like flicking the strings, or using a nail can produce interesting percussive tones (that really annoy your drummer :smug: ) so don't throw it away completely, you never know when your drummer might deserve it. :ninja:

    I guess the key word is experiment
  11. EADG mx

    EADG mx

    Jul 4, 2005
    I don't see why yours nails should be touching the string. I cut mine down until there is no white left, which is as low as you can cut them without them hurting. A bit excessive, but long fingernails drive me insane.
  12. I have to do this every week or the clicking is so bad I don't want to play. My fingernails grow insanely fast.
  13. bodom_bass398


    Dec 8, 2002
    nj usa
    Am I the only one that noticed a pirate in Joe P's picture?

  14. Gee, and I deliberatley keep my index and middle finger nails a bit longer ( use wifie's emery board to file) just so I can get a certain attack on the strings when I want.

    But I'm a newbie. Yes? No? Maybe? (fingernails, not the newbie thing , that's a yeah).
  15. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    If it works for you, then do it.
  16. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Really now, shouldn't that be "Attached Fingernails"? :D

  17. Basshole

    Basshole Banned

    Jan 28, 2005
    I try to keep them at a length that allows me to get bite from the nail when I "dig in" and get nothing but smooth attack when I don't. Best of both worlds.
  18. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    bahaha you win , plus the anti-bacterial soap is no good , it has alcohol and dries out your skin.
  19. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    You can just change the angle of your fingers so the fingernail doesn't touch the string ever. Then you can always alternate between fingernail sound and "fingerprint" sound. That's what I do when my nails are too long. But I ususally keep them short because I only use my fingernails for fun.