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What about Left Hand nails?   You are logged in as Guest
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britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

What about Left Hand nails? 

There's been a lot of interesting discussions in the Foro regarding nail length, etc. applying to Right Hand nails. But what about the nail length on the fingering hand?

How long do you keep the your left-hand nails?

Very short? Quite long? Long enough to scratch the fingerboard when pulling off? So short you can't feel a thing?

And do any of you find you need a different nail length for each individual finger on the left hand?

Interested to hear what others think. . .

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 13:28:45
 
Ramon Amira

 

Posts: 1025
Joined: Oct. 14 2009
From: New York City

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

Just cut all of them as short as you can - without bleeding.

Ramon

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Classical and flamenco guitars from Spain Ramon Amira Guitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 14:56:02
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3321
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

Agree with Ramon. Cut them as short as you can. Should you cut a little too short, to the point of bleeding or irritation, put a little Neosporin on the affected area.

Cheers,

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 16:28:18
 
Bulerias2005

 

Posts: 608
Joined: Jul. 10 2010
From: Minneapolis, MN

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

Definitely as short as you can. Haha but this reminds me of what one of my (thankfully) former classical guitar teachers used to say about left-hand nails. He said it's a good idea to keep them as long as right-hand nails because apparently the nail touching the fret produces a "desirable sound". No wonder I only took lessons with him for one semester haha.

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Daniel Volovets
Jazz, Classical, Flamenco, & Latin-American Guitar
http://www.danielvolovets.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 16:30:50
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

I dont see any advantage for cutting as much as you can to the point where bleeding can happen.

Dont forget that the nail supports the fingertip flesh. Less nail means more flesh wiggling around.

A bit shorter than the fingertip is enough. Ive seen people whose flesh at the fingertip is higher than the nail because of them cutting too much.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 18:24:13
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to Ramon Amira

quote:

Just cut all of them as short as you can

Really! That short.

But how does that help when doing pull-offs ?

I find if I keep my left index fingernail a bit longer it helps when doing pull-offs.

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 18:56:47
 
xirdneH_imiJ

Posts: 1792
Joined: Dec. 2 2006
From: Budapest, now in Southampton

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

of course you should keep the nails short, but no need for drastic measures where there is a possibility of causing damage...you will feel when nails are in the way anyways, as long as they're not touching the fingerboard, you'll be fine...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 19:20:19
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

I don't pay much attention to them. I remember to cut them only when the nail touch the fretbord too much and cause me troubles to press the strings properly.
Generally is when my m fingernail begins to annoy me, that I feel the urgent need to cut

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"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 20:02:49
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3321
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

Really! That short. But how does that help when doing pull-offs ? I find if I keep my left index fingernail a bit longer it helps when doing pull-offs.


I don't know about others, Britguy, but I don't use any nail at all when doing pull-offs, or ligados. I just use the flesh on the fingertip. And not just with the left index finger. There are some pieces where sequential ligados are accomplished by the middle finger, immediately followed by the index finger. But I leave it to more accomplished players to describe how they do it, with or without the nail.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 20:30:16
 
Ramon Amira

 

Posts: 1025
Joined: Oct. 14 2009
From: New York City

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

Your left hand nails have to be short enough to be able to press as firmly as necessary on the fingerboard. If the nail hits the fingerboard it impedes the pressure. Obviously you don't have to go crazy.

Maybe it's just me, but I personally can't stand the terms "pull-off" or "hammer-on." They're descriptive, but the better terms are "descending slur" and "ascending slur." So sue me.

Ramon

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Classical and flamenco guitars from Spain Ramon Amira Guitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 21:03:02
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 3388
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to Ramon Amira

quote:

I personally can't stand the terms "pull-off" or "hammer-on." They're descriptive, but the better terms are "descending slur" and "ascending slur."


the one that really bugged me was the guy who repeatedly called them both "hammer offs", even after I corrected him....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 21:59:11
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

don't know about others, Britguy, but I don't use any nail at all when doing pull-offs


The reason I mention this, Bill, is that I played American (fingerpicking-style) banjo for many years, and I know some banjo players like to keep a little exta nail on the left hand fingers for doing 'pull-offs'. (Sorry Ramon; dont know a better word to describe 'pulling off'. . .)

Maybe no so appropriate for flamenco guitar playing on nylon strings? But I find it helps. . .

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 22:05:04
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

Maybe no so appropriate for flamenco guitar playing on nylon strings? But I find it helps. . .


I think that depends on your technique. Its called pull-off but it doesnt mean that you have to literally pull/push the string towards the edge of the fingerboard, you can just quickly lift the finger. Do whatever you need to get the effect you want.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 22:59:39
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

Maybe it's just me, but I personally can't stand the terms "pull-off" or "hammer-on." They're descriptive, but the better terms are "descending slur" and "ascending slur." So sue me.

Couldn't ascending and descending slur be a slide too, I think to describe what he's doing pull-off is the only word.

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 7 2013 23:22:06
 
DavidW

 

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr. 29 2012
 

[Deleted] 

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Apr. 8 2013 5:53:50
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2013 5:30:13
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to xirdneH_imiJ

I think 1-2mm of white nail is good lenght.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2013 17:47:53
 
tele

 

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

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Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Apr. 8 2013 17:49:18
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 8 2013 17:49:08
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13411
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

I have seen some ebony fingerboards ruined by guys with long LH nails. I recommend keep em all super short except thumb, you grow that one super long so if you bust a RH one you can clip that one and glue it on as a quick fix. Meanwhile pick your nose or use as a spoon for you cocaine.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 9 2013 1:37:22
 
FredGuitarraOle

Posts: 897
Joined: Dec. 6 2012
From: Lisboa, Portugal

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to Ricardo

Today I was watching some videos and noticed Niño Miguel had pretty long left hand nails. You can see them clearly at 5:56:



Why do you guys think he used them like that, what's the advantage on such long left hand nails? I mean, I also think they should be as short as possible, but since this is Niño Miguel maybe there was a good reason for that.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 13:40:51
 
britguy

Posts: 712
Joined: Dec. 26 2010
From: Ontario, Canada

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to FredGuitarraOle

quote:

noticed Niño Miguel had pretty long left hand nails


Wow! Those are really long left hand nails.

Longer than the nails on my right hand.

Wonder why he keeps them so long?

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Fruit farmer, Ontario, Canada
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 13:56:59
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to FredGuitarraOle

Not long at all, just someone who doesnt pay alot of attention probably to them. Also longer nails give a bit of "backing" for the flesh of the finger.
quote:

ORIGINAL: FredGuitarraOle

Today I was watching some videos and noticed Niño Miguel had pretty long left hand nails. You can see them clearly at 5:56:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 14:11:38
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

Meanwhile pick your nose or use as a spoon for you cocaine.

Isn't that the whole reason for extra long pinky nail on our right hand?

quote:

Why do you guys think he used them like that, what's the advantage on such long left hand nails?

I love Niño Miguel but given his history of substance abuse I think it's believable that he just didn't care.

quote:

Also longer nails give a bit of "backing" for the flesh of the finger.

This leads me to believe your playing flat fingered which is no bueno, you should be as perpendicular as possible to the fretboard, if you have long nails at all this gets in the way big time.

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 14:25:16
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

thats why there are no much girls who play flamenco out there
they can't handle short nails on the left hand

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 20:20:57
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to Leñador

quote:


quote:

Also longer nails give a bit of "backing" for the flesh of the finger.

This leads me to believe your playing flat fingered which is no bueno, you should be as perpendicular as possible to the fretboard, if you have long nails at all this gets in the way big time.



No way brow, I have been playing guitar(not flamenco) since 2002. There is still some movement of the flesh when playing normally, if one has short too short nails.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 20:28:06
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

No way brow, I have been playing guitar(not flamenco) since 2002. There is still some movement of the flesh when playing normally, if one has short too short nails.


I've been playing since 96(also not flamenco) and I've found this to be true, as well I'm inclined to believe nearly anything Ricardo says about technique because the proof is in the pudding. As well, I've met many amazing and famous players who agree, with "always as perpendicular as you can get and keep your nails short"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 20:33:07
 
tele

Posts: 1462
Joined: Aug. 17 2012
 

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to Leñador

playing flat fingered seems something that even a complete beginner wouldnt do. All I was saying is that longer fingernails give the flesh some backing(with normal playing, not "flat fingered") which very short nails dont and that can add a bit of power to the "hammer-ons" for example but as long as they are no hobbit nails I think its not an issue really. Just my one cent.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 22:37:25
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What about Left Hand nails? (in reply to britguy

quote:

playing flat fingered seems something that even a complete beginner wouldnt do.

I did, for like 5 years I dunno, I took a nap and no my opinion on this has become much less hard line

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Apr. 15 2013 23:20:31
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