Middle finger nail.

Nail care, nail problems, and the use of nails in playing the classical guitar.
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Sebastian
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Middle finger nail.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:59 am

Does anyone else file their right hand middle finger nail a little bit more than the other two (index and ring) fingers? Many times I've observed that the fact (possibly) that the medium finger is longer, it should have a nail a little bit shorter than the other two, else it gets "hooked": it makes my middle finger tip joint collapse or even sometimes gets hooked.
I asked a fellow mate (or two? Can't remember) and said the same thing, also one of my professors... but then another guy who has his nails pretty long (pretty long, seriously) has a middle finger nail longer...
So that's about it, I was wondering if anyone of you "discovered" or has the same deal with their middle finger nail.
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Tonit
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Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by Tonit » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:09 am

In my case index, middle, ring, and pinky from short to long.

I had the same issue when I was younger and knew no solution.
But at some point I came up with one: turn the RH wrist a little more counterclockwise, so that the index comes closer to the strings than the middle and likewise the other fingers so that the pinky is the least closest to the strings.

By doing this and micro-adjusting as I play, I am using the neck side of the fingernails and it makes the sound softer. It also prevents nails from catching strings except for thumb.

I came up with this solution when I was thinking about how I use a guitar pick: we almost never hold the pick in parallel with the strings, and it is usually held a small tat diagonal to the strings. I applied the same idea to my fingernails ever since.

If you have a chance it is worth trying.

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Sebastian
Posts: 140
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Location: Argentina

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:04 am

Tonit wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:09 am
In my case index, middle, ring, and pinky from short to long.

I had the same issue when I was younger and knew no solution.
But at some point I came up with one: turn the RH wrist a little more counterclockwise, so that the index comes closer to the strings than the middle and likewise the other fingers so that the pinky is the least closest to the strings.

By doing this and micro-adjusting as I play, I am using the neck side of the fingernails and it makes the sound softer. It also prevents nails from catching strings except for thumb.

I came up with this solution when I was thinking about how I use a guitar pick: we almost never hold the pick in parallel with the strings, and it is usually held a small tat diagonal to the strings. I applied the same idea to my fingernails ever since.

If you have a chance it is worth trying.
Yes, I believe it is known as pronation (or in this case Wrist pronation). I've tried it during some instances, one of my ex professors, uses it (along with other alterations) according to him helps creating a stronger sound with lesser movement, and also allows a better penetration of the finger to the string in a continuous motion. If I recall correctly...
I will try again the pronation thing, this time as a default position.
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Guitar Maniac
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:19 pm

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by Guitar Maniac » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:14 am

Tonit wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:09 am
In my case index, middle, ring, and pinky from short to long.

I had the same issue when I was younger and knew no solution.
But at some point I came up with one: turn the RH wrist a little more counterclockwise, so that the index comes closer to the strings than the middle and likewise the other fingers so that the pinky is the least closest to the strings.

By doing this and micro-adjusting as I play, I am using the neck side of the fingernails and it makes the sound softer. It also prevents nails from catching strings except for thumb.

I came up with this solution when I was thinking about how I use a guitar pick: we almost never hold the pick in parallel with the strings, and it is usually held a small tat diagonal to the strings. I applied the same idea to my fingernails ever since.

If you have a chance it is worth trying.
I've also tried rotating my RH wrist like this many times but it just feels awkward for me, kind of uncomfortable. Probably because I'm too used to playing with my wrist inclined to the right side (i and m still contacts the strings from left side of the nail first but a finger contacts from the middle or near the right side of the nail)

Arion Romanus

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by Arion Romanus » Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:29 am

For me it's the a-finger that is anomalous in that it has a slightly longer nail. This has less to do with the length of the fingers than with their shape. My a-finger is rounder and "fleshier" than my other fingers and the nail sits slightly "higher" than other nails, thus I need a bit more length to clear the same distance away from the flesh. I also opt for shorter nails in general, partly because my i-nail starts curving downwards when it grows out too much.

robert e
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Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:49 pm

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by robert e » Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:15 pm

I haven't settled this for myself yet, though currently I seem to be leaning toward going shorter with the middle nail (relative to the fingertip).

I suspect the issue is more complex than the absolute differences in length among static fingers. For instance I notice that when my hand is fully relaxed, the natural arch of the hand places the middle knuckle a bit further from the strings, which mitigates the length difference somewhat, as does the curve of the fingers. The net compensation probably varies according to individual differences in anatomy, hand posture, tension... All this without even considering movement. This is the kind of thing that makes me envy players of instruments with mechanisms!

paskin
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Location: Palo Alto, California

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by paskin » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:19 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:59 am
Does anyone else file their right hand middle finger nail a little bit more than the other two (index and ring) fingers?
I do. I've found that using tremolo exercises as the forcing function for shaping my nails works really well all around. And for my tremolo to be smooth, with no catches, all my nails need to be short with M a bit behind the fingertip, I a bit ahead, and A about even. (I play with a neutral wrist, BTW.)

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Sebastian
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Location: Argentina

Re: Middle finger nail.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:45 pm

paskin wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:19 pm
Sebastian wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:59 am
Does anyone else file their right hand middle finger nail a little bit more than the other two (index and ring) fingers?
I do. I've found that using tremolo exercises as the forcing function for shaping my nails works really well all around. And for my tremolo to be smooth, with no catches, all my nails need to be short with M a bit behind the fingertip, I a bit ahead, and A about even. (I play with a neutral wrist, BTW.)
I'd say my nails currently are (from shorter to longer): Medium, Index, Ring.
And yes, I started shaping that way particullary after a tremolo excercise.
Altough my medium finger nail is not as short to the be behind the fingertip, it is still a little bit behind the other ones.
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