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Playing with fingernails

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ironmaidenisgod, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
    I did a search on Steve Harris recently and found out he plays with fingernails to get his distinctive click-clang sound on one of the posts.

    One of the main reasons I shifted from guitar to bass is that I could not play with a pick.I had thus grown the nails on my index and middle fingers on my plucking hand longer than the rest.I used the same technique while playing bass.But then I cut my fingernails short because I couldn't get the true bass sound for accompaniment.I couldn't play stuff like other bassists do.

    After seeing the post I wonder if it is possible to do both styles simultaneously.I'm mainly a two fingered plucker.My ring-finger and pinky are not very developed.Dont suggest growing nails on 1 finger
    because I'm a 2-1-2-1 plucker.

    BTW growing nails helps in getting his sound more distinctly than bashing your fingers on the fretboard as some had suggested.

    Assistance will be appreciated.
  2. Steve does not use nails...your info is incorrect...he only uses his 2 fingers by his own admission on Maidens official site.

    I have awnsered many Steve questions about his technique and sound in the past in both the Bassists forum and Technique forum a dozen times or so. A search may be in order.
  3. I used to, when I had my nails long for classical guitar. Then I learned that you don't need much length at all to use them. After that, I was able to sound like a bass, and still use my nails when I need them. I'm not saying Steve Harris uses them, but if you want to, then don't let short nails stop you. Or maybe you could use a couple of sitar picks.
  4. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Having long fingernails drives me crazy. Many times during soundcheck I found that I forgot to cut my nails and have gone as far as to file them down on bricks or the sidewalk or whatever I can find. Just as long as I knock them down so they don't make that clanking sound. :eyebrow:
  5. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
  6. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
    His second post I mean.
  7. That info i believe is incorrect...and slipped past me in that thread.
    As i said..on the Iron Maiden Q&A on Maidens offical site..Steve was asked about his playing style a few times.
    Steve said he only used 2 fingers. Nothing about nails.
  8. ironmaidenisgod


    May 20, 2004
    Thanks B'Aces High.

    Live to fly,fly to live,do or die,Aces High!