Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

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RobMacKillop
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Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:24 pm

I've just these last few days put together a website devoted to playing the classical guitar without nails. I've often been asked if it is "OK" to play without nails - there seem to be many people who would like to, or who do so already, but hide in the closet! Well, I'm happy to tell them that many fine classical guitarists play without nails, and this website features some of them, with more to be added in due course.

Today I added an essay on technique. The whole site will grow, so please bookmark it and return in the future. I'm not interested in debating whether no-nails playing is doable or not, as clearly it is. Comments, though, are most welcome, either here or on the site.

Here it is: http://rmClassicalGuitar.com

dbeau
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:16 am
Location: Imperial Valley, California

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by dbeau » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:49 am

Thanks Rob, it is bookmarked and will be followed.

edwardsguitar
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Location: Oregon

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by edwardsguitar » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:05 am

Great idea to do this, thanks! I'm a nail player, though I keep them rather short, and use only flesh with the thumb. The videos and recordings will be very interesting to listen to. I'd never heard of Mercadal and he is a beautiful player. I will definitely be following the website.

Ray
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:41 pm

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by Ray » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:28 am

Wow this is so great, I have a student who has a lot of trouble growing his nails out and I've been trying to get him to produce a good tone nonetheless but was clearly not going about it the right way. So I really need to investigate a nail-less RH technique more and your site really helps with that as do the other great players of the past and present (including yourself) who will serve as inspiration :D

Now which rock have I been living under for so many years and not knowing that Sharon Isbin is a no-nails player, that's an incredible revelation!! :D

As for Roland Dyens, having taken a bunch of masterclasses with him over the years I can attest to the fact that he does play with nails though they are filed quite short and just a bit over the flesh and he does use a lot of flesh and flesh/nail combo sounds in his very detailed, meticulous, and extremely sensitive playing.

You can see in this video that Dyens definitely has nails on all his fingers. He plays with a very light RH attack and as you can hear there are many tone colors he coaxes out of the guitar including more round mellow flesh tones but ultimately he is nails-on player :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2TVjB87dyY

Good luck with your fascinating and very helpful website! :D

Regards, Ray

:merci:
Last edited by Ray on Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Ray
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Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by Ray » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:44 am

Hi again Rob,

I just did some Sharon Isbin video watching on YouTube and I''m not sure whether your assertion that she plays nail-less is true, at least now, maybe there was a phase she went through that she didn't, but if you look closely at these recent videos here you can see she clearly has nails on all her fingers.

Still if at one point in her career she played nail-less and wrote or talked about it somewhere (where are these Sharon Isbin "no-nails" quotes from?) that's encouraging to people who currently want to play nail-less.

Sharon Isbin/Bach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSfg3NhPFpg


Sharon Isbin/Albeniz-Asturias

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIjfkYKKW54



Regards, Ray

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RobMacKillop
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:14 am

Thanks, guys. Mercedes is an incredible player, or was - he is no longer with us. Quite a revelation to hear him.

Isbin - the quotes are from her Classical Guitar Answer Book. Yes, she plays with nails today, but there was a time in her pro career when she definitely preferred no nails. So, she stays.

Dyens - I've taken him out. It was a comment someone made on this forum, that he was a no-nailer. I thought I'd better check before saying for sure. I've taken him off the site.

I'm sure there must be others who played without nails. If you hear of any, please let me know.

MarkInLA
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Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by MarkInLA » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:45 am

Sorry, but after listening to as much as I could take, every piece sounded somewhere between an F hole jazz guitar and a theorbo. Not one, to me, sounded like classical guitar. I tried no nails for about 10 minutes one month and didn't dig it eventually. If those people, Pujol, and rest liked it, fine (though I do find it hard to go with those 'quotes'). Bob obviously never moves his right arm, keeping hand in front of sound hole throughout. Perhaps if he let us hear it nearer the bridge we'd experience nuances in tone change. Whether or not people swear by no nails, I believe the use of nails allows more control of texture, and no mistaking of notes which should be crisp, treble, and/or metalique. I love F hole jazz guitar under great players hands such as Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Barney Kessell, or Joe Pass. My post should not be taken as if to sound like I'm bad mouthing Mr. Mackillop. I am exercising my right to give my honest opinion of the style. If nailless playing is better, why on earth then do the greatest classical Guitarists ever, Segovia, Dave Russell, Bream and J Williams, to name just a few, sound so gorgeous playing with nails ?
I may be incorrect about this, but this OP may be against a forum rule or two. Thanks for reading my post.....Mark
:cafe:

6strings

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by 6strings » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:06 am

Good initiative. Interesting that you put both Dyens and Isbin on the players page, since they both have clear nail sound. I have quite few albums of both those artists and sound on all of them is typical nail sound.

Anyway, there was a croatian guitarist with name Milan Grakalic, who recorded several albums for Yugoslavian label "Yugoton" (now Croatia Records). He was a pupil of Emilio Pujol and had very distinct no-nail sound. He also recorded his own guitar music, so if you ever manage to find recordings of that guy, it might be good contribution to your site. He was the only concert guitarst who played without nails that I know off,and who sounded very good. The sound was different and I promise, nothing to miss compared to usually what we hear. Unfortunately I don't have access to his recordings any more, so i can't provide any example of his sound.

Few years back when I was looking for some info about him, there was none. Today I have found a short notice: http://www.discogs.com/artist/1733182-M ... kali%C4%87

MarkInLA
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:43 am

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by MarkInLA » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:13 am

:cafe:
Ray wrote:Wow this is so great, I have a student who has a lot of trouble growing his nails out and I've been trying to get him to produce a good tone nonetheless but was clearly not going about it the right way. So I really need to investigate a nail-less RH technique more and your site really helps with that as do the other great players of the past and present (including yourself) who will serve as inspiration :D

Now which rock have I been living under for so many years and not knowing that Sharon Isbin is a no-nails player, that's an incredible revelation!! :D

As for Roland Dyens, having taken a bunch of masterclasses with him over the years I can attest to the fact that he does play with nails though they are filed quite short and just a bit over the flesh and he does use a lot of flesh and flesh/nail combo sounds in his very detailed, meticulous, and extremely sensitive playing.

You can see in this video that Dyens definitely has nails on all his fingers. He plays with a very light RH attack and as you can hear there are many tone colors he coaxes out of the guitar including more round mellow flesh tones but ultimately he is nails-on player :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2TVjB87dyY

Good luck with your fascinating and very helpful website! :D

Regards, Ray

:merci:
I'm sure you were being facetious about Ms. Isbin being a no-nails player ! If folks go to Youtube and just type her name in, 3rd video down is "Asturias" ( begins with she climbing up stairs) and stop at 1:02 (thumbnail shot) and 1:03 ( i of [ p i m a ] nail shot, all will see the cold facts. I do think some players go way too far (literally) with nails. A good 1/16" past fingertip gives all the bite you need but remains strong. After that they can tend to bend back.
Last edited by MarkInLA on Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RobMacKillop
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:20 am

Mark - thanks for your honest comments. I don't mind what you say at all, though I disagree with it. Can you tell me where I have gone "against a forum rule or two"? And who is this Bob you refer to?

6strings - I've taken Dyens off - see my post before yours. My comment also explains the Isbin connection. Thanks for the name of Milan Grakalic. Never heard of him, but I'll have a look around.

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RobMacKillop
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:48 am

6strings wrote: Few years back when I was looking for some info about him, there was none. Today I have found a short notice: http://www.discogs.com/artist/1733182-M ... kali%C4%87
Thanks for the link! I've managed to follow it through, and have ordered two of his LPs from Croatia. I've placed him on the web page, with more info to follow once I get the recordings.


=============

As the inclusion of Sharon Isbin has sent a few feathers flying, I've now adapted the text to say: A Grammy-Award-winning classical guitarist of international renown. Isbin has played both with and without nails at various stages of her career.

The quotations are hers, not something I have made up.

6strings

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by 6strings » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:04 am

RobMacKillop wrote:Thanks for the link! I've managed to follow it through, and have ordered two of his LPs from Croatia. I've placed him on the web page, with more info to follow once I get the recordings.
Me too :-).

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RobMacKillop
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Location: Edinburgh

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by RobMacKillop » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:11 am

Oh, I wonder if we are trying to buy the same LP? You saw it first...

6strings

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by 6strings » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:21 am

Possible, but there were like 3 copies, so don't worry :).

I do have a friend in Croatia who owns those LP so I can press him to make a ripp in worst case :).

Luis_Br
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Location: Brazil

Re: Website Devoted To No-Nails CG Technique

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:29 am

Great initiative. I particularly prefer nails, but I like variety and I would love to find more great no nails players.
Another nice no nails player I found at youtube some years ago:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVZr_T8dnbU
There is also a vídeo of him playing Bach somewhere.
Jose Miguel Moreno used to play with no nails both on period instruments and modern one, but nowadays he uses short nails.
Here in Brazil there is a famous teacher that I think he studied with Josephina Robledo (a Tarrega student who brought Tarrega's school to Brazil). It seems he adopted an "orthodox" Tarrega style. His name is Juarez Carvalho, unfortunately I don't know any recordings, here he is trying a new guitar:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8poh1_AHl4
Here Josephina Robledo plays Tarrega (she was a another famous no nail player):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcSQ9jMLkfg
Last edited by Luis_Br on Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:45 am, edited 3 times in total.

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