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Reinforcing Fingernails for Playing?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Ekim, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. I have come to like how my strings sound with my fingernails scraping the strings while playing. But my index finger's nail is already getting scraped down and I'd like to keep it and my middle finger's nails longer to get a different tone from time to time.

    Anyone do anything actively to strengthen the nails and keep from getting them scraped away?

    I was thinking clear fingernail polish. I asked my mom for a bottle and she said she has a nail strengthening cream.

    But if any of y'all have some practical advice and or experience I'd appreciate the input.
  2. does this not work for you?


    on a more serious note- im not convinced nail polish is going to provide a thick layer of support- but please let me know the results if you do try it. my index wears down on one side- never have to cut it- but havent found an effective way to prevent this.

    the only thing i can think of is to alter your diet- as that can affect nail strength. i- myself- have given up on this endeavor and am resigned to let nature go as it may- but- again- if you have a breakthrough- please do share.
  3. Supposedly the guitar player Alan Morse of Spocks Beard only plays with his fingers and fingernails and uses Super Glue to reinforce them. I don't want to go that route since I know I'll end up with fingers stuck together and other nonsense.
  4. derekd


    Feb 16, 2009
    I play solo jazz guitar, and have acrylic overlays (resin not fake tips) applied a couple of times per month to strengthen my natural nails. I played classical a couple of years, and my nails required constant attention with nylon strings. With steel it is a losing battle.

    However, I don't like the sound of my nails on the bass as much, so I try to keep them pretty short so I can play both and get the tone I want. I am a pretty big guy, 6'6" 250, so the best part is walking into a salon and just getting my right hand done. The ladies in there don't know what to make of me. :D
  5. Memitim


    Mar 30, 2009
    Orange City, FL
    Thin layer of acrylic should do it. I was with a manicurist way (way :meh:) back and she built this claw on one of my fingers using acrylic. It lasted a couple of weeks until it became too dull to effectively open boxes anymore, at which point I spent about an hour alternatively soaking it in acetone and sanding the crap out of it. That stuff is tough and it lasts.

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