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Finger Picking Woes

 
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George
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Joined: 03 Jul 2009
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:07 am    Post subject: Finger Picking Woes Reply with quote

Any scalers play guitar with their fingers? I now use them more than picks and love that I can play more stuff across the strings, get a lot more expression and picks are one less thing to lose.

Without a doubt the best tone I get is from plucking with a bit of flesh and nail at the same time so nails can't be too long or too short. The problem is once they get to the right length (this is very precise) they chip, wear down and go all shit straight away so playing becomes difficult and I have to wait another week so I'm looking for a solution.

John Butler actually uses acrylic nails but fuck that, they look like proper claws - he does play great though:


Link


Other people have said there are various nail care products to strengthen and protect them but I'm not too keen on that either although it might be the best way.

Anyone know any tips on how to deal with it or having the same problem? Btw, I don't like finger picks so they're out of the question.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fingerpick a bit, but don't really use my nails, just the tips of my fingers. They'll toughen up, little lady.
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George
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fingers are fine bare but I like the tone of nails and it's easier for arpeggios etc. just nicer all round for the stuff I'm playing.
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Bacchus
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fingerpick when I'm playing slide, but that's usually with a fair bit of fuzz on too, so I maybe lose the dynamic control that usually comes with fingerpicking.
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stewart
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Joined: 14 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pinch some clear nail varnish off 'her indoors'. worth a try.
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DanHeron
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been fingerpickin longer than playing with a pick and have always used my fingertips instead of nails. My classical guitar teacher used his nails, and it did sound great, but I didn't want to grow mine. He has them grown long on his picking had and short on his fretting hand which is a bit weird.
On nylon strings I find fingertips are fine, lots of volume and easy to create different sounds/dynamics by adjusting the strength of the pluck etc. However I seem to lose a lot of volume on steel strings and the harder you pluck the more if hurts your fingers lol.
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George
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With electrics I find the bass strings sound boomy lacking clarity and string separation if using fingertips. The nails don't have to be long, just enough so that when you look at the inside of your hand they ever so slightly creep over the top. The real problem is getting them to stop misbehaving once they're there.

Good idea, Stewart - I've found a "base coat" in the ladies collection which allegedly helps chips and wear which I will pilot today.
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rps-10
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Joined: 29 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanHeron wrote:
He has them grown long on his picking had and short on his fretting hand which is a bit weird.


Why? it's obvious you don't want long nails on your fretting hand do you, it would make that part of the job harder.
Plus longer nails on one hand than the other is an age old way of spotting a classical trained guitarist from the crowd or any fingerpicker style for that matter.
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DanHeron
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason he does it isn't weird, I just looks a bit weird I mean. If one of his longer nails chipped/broke off he would superglue it back on. Is that weird?
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GreenKnee
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Joined: 29 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

George wrote:
Good idea, Stewart - I've found a "base coat" in the ladies collection which allegedly helps chips and wear which I will pilot today.


Make sure you try and get the under side of the nail too, the bit that comes in contact with the strings. I'm sure you've already thought of this, but I thought I'd say anyway Razz


I've heard of people layering up the clear coats on their nails, so rather than their nail chipping, its only the coating, and can therefore be reapplied.
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George
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought of doing the underside. Good point!

I now type before you with right-hand nails covered in some goopy stuff. Made a right mess. I guess to early to say but haven't had any chips or anything so far.
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Will
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drink plenty of water and file them instead of clipping. They build up strength slowly over time as they're routinely stressed. Using lighter strings can also reduce wear.
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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use OPI Nail Envy Matte, if you can get over what its called its really really good. Its hard to notice, and makes your nails really tough.

The other thing I'd say is always file your nails, make sure they're shaped well and are smooth, this will give you the best tone. Also eventually your nails will toughen up so you won't need to use a nail coating which i s always good.
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George
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrperson wrote:
I use OPI Nail Envy Matte, if you can get over what its called its really really good. Its hard to notice, and makes your nails really tough.

The other thing I'd say is always file your nails, make sure they're shaped well and are smooth, this will give you the best tone. Also eventually your nails will toughen up so you won't need to use a nail coating which i s always good.


Oawemjee, Super freaky coincidence. I was going to post an update this weekend. I did some digging around guitar forums some weeks ago and heard about Nail Envy so bought a pot to test it out - the matte finish stuff. Couldn't be happier with it. I don't think it's strengthened my nails natural durability but it gives them a nice plasticy coating and and actually stops them chipping, splitting or peeling and reinforces them. Now I just have to smooth out the nail edge with an emery board to take out the divots. It's also made them stronger in that previously my ring and little finger nails would bend which stopped me using them; now they're reinforced I can start to bring them into my playing properly.

By the way, what is the correct shape for a nail? Mine are just 2mm from the pink with no shaping cos it's easy.
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lorez
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have heard about some guitarists getting false acrilyic nails put on at the nail bar to help with this George, it might be worth checking out
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

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George
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that keen as it's another slice of money/upkeep and too creepy looking (John Butler in the OP has them). If I was a paid musician and my livelihood depended on that much fingerpicking it I might consider it.
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vidguy
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Joined: 04 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I play almost exclusively with my fingers. I fingerpick and I play my riffs and lead that way.
I can and do use a pick when needed. and can play pretty well that way.

When riffing I even use my index finger and that fingernail as a Pick. I kinda hold my thumb and index finger as if i am holding a pick... but I'm not..Kinda wierd but it just evolved.. I think 'cause I tended to drop my picks and just kept on riffin'.

using this technique, my downstrokes are more defined then the upstrokes but that's the tradeoff. It just has always felt right to me. I learned to fingerpick in a guitar store from some speed freaky looking guy playing Mr Bojangles 35 years ago and fell in love with the sound and feel.
I later took a few months of classical lessons.

It certainly means my technique when using my fingers is not shred fast nor technically perfect... But I enjoy it.
I think if you can get past striving for perfect classical style technique, fingers are the most satisfying way to play blues, slide, rock and 'billy..
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paul_
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin "silk & steel" low-tension folk strings.

Apart from that,

Stay in milk, drink your drugs, and don't do school!


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Aug wrote:
which one of you bastards sent me an ebay question asking if you can get teh kurdtz with that 64 mustang? Mad

robertOG wrote:
fran & paul are some of the original gangstas of the JS days when you'd have to say "phuck"
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