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Random Question about nails

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by pocketbass, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. pocketbass


    Jul 6, 2008
    I was just wondering if anyone here in this forum has some insight to my concern. I play bass and acoustic guitar. I play my bass with my first 2 fingers, like most bass players do. I definitely prefer the sound and feel of playing with my nails cut short.

    However, when I play my acoustic, mostly fingerstyle, I prefer my nails a little long to get that crisp bright sound from my strings.

    I want to know if anyone else has had this problem and found a solution to it. One thing I don't want to do is wear finger picks. Is there a certain length that one can keep their nails to get their preferred sound from their bass and acoustic?

    Any help will be appreciated. Thanks. :D
  2. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I generally keep my fingernails so short I literally can't peel a a sticker off of something and even picking up a coin off the floor can be tough. Plus, for those increasingly rare times I do play guitar I almost always play with a pick. So I guess I really haven't run into that problem.

    Maybe let your nails grow a little and for playing bass use a felt pick to get a somewhat finger-like thump while also avoiding the brightness and sharp attack your nails would give you? Just be prepared to buy A LOT of picks. I love the sound of a felt pick when they're new, but the ones I've tried seem to compact pretty quickly and lose that thumpy quality.
  3. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I play both bass and guitar, and mostly fingerpick the guitar. My right-hand nails are kept long enough to get some nail under the guitar strings, but short enough to not click when I play bass. It a fine line so it takes frequent filing of the nails to keep them in that small window.

  4. pocketbass


    Jul 6, 2008
    A felt pick? I never even seen one. I probably would not use one, but I might go out and get one just to try it out. Thanks.
  5. pocketbass


    Jul 6, 2008
    I have tried that once. My wife finds it funny when I take her filer. Thanks. I guess I just have to try that method and find the right length for me. Now only if I can find her filer without her catching me. ;)

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