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String tension & nail damage?   You are logged in as Guest
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TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

String tension & nail damage? 

I have been learning the basics of flamenco over the past year or so and have been building basic technical skills. But as I increase my skills, I have been playing harder and now damaging my nails. I can’t seem to keep a decent set of nails for more than a week before I get a major tear.

I am using much of the advice available here on the forum re nail care. I use glue on my nails, regularly reapplying with a brush. I also use vaseline when playing. I have ordered a set of guitarplayernails and will test these when i recieve them.

But i have been wondering about the effect of string tension on nail damage; a topic i havent seen addressed on the forum. I currently use high tension strings on my guitar (Savarez 540J). I prefer the feel of high tension strings on my classical and love the tone. i have adopted them for my flamenco playing.

Do higher tension strings have more wear and tear on nails?
Should I consider lower tension strings specifcally to reduce damage to my nails?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2022 7:55:03
 
Arash

Posts: 4463
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

Filing and shaping the nails correctly and keep them that way consistently, is also a factor which you should focus on.

Plus maybe your nails are simply weak and you need to strenghten your nails with supplements, good nutrition, etc.

I don't think you should change string tension if you prefer that tension, for sake of nails and I don't think it has much of an impact.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2022 9:01:05
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1685
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

Do you polish your nails? Most tears occures when nails are not polished.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2022 11:14:48
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13341
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

Aside from the nails what is the state of the GLUE after you play? Is the glue wearing off first? Glue should last the whole week and if playing wears it down you can apply more. But sometimes the glue goes bad if you don’t store it in a ziplock plastic bag or air tight container. This results in the glue wearing off very easily while playing. If that is the case you must trash it and buy a fresh bottle and keep it stored like food.

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2022 12:07:12
 
TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to Ricardo

Ricardo - the glue is coming off fairly easily.

I am reapplying every day. Not even close to lasting a week.

I will get some fresh glue and try again.

Thanks all.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2022 13:01:51
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1154
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

[Awaiting Approval]

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2022 16:02:08
 
TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

Problem solved

I bought a fresh batch of glue today and it is working beautifully.

The new glue provided a hard and smooth coating that protected my nails well. I didnt feel like i needed to use vaseline. None of the new glue chipped off while playing.

I can feel the difference between fresh glue and old glue after application. The new glue is much smoother, whereas the old glue had a textured feel to it.

Looks like i will be buying regular, small batches of glue.

Thanks again.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2022 12:20:57
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13341
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

quote:

ORIGINAL: TrickyFish

Problem solved

I bought a fresh batch of glue today and it is working beautifully.

The new glue provided a hard and smooth coating that protected my nails well. I didnt feel like i needed to use vaseline. None of the new glue chipped off while playing.

I can feel the difference between fresh glue and old glue after application. The new glue is much smoother, whereas the old glue had a textured feel to it.

Looks like i will be buying regular, small batches of glue.

Thanks again.


Yes it is cheap enough that once it stops working right, just trash the stuff. And don’t buy in bulk because it goes bad sitting on the shelf. I can keep a nice fresh bottle going for months if I properly seal it in a ziplock bag. I wish they put “born on date” on the package like they do with food. Beer and Manzanilla should be treated likewise.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2022 14:38:15
 
JasonM

Posts: 1806
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

I’ve noticed some of the more premium brand superglue formulations have an extended life. Not their most basic label, but they might have a bottle/tube that is a little more than their base. I like DAP Rapidfuse. But loctite and Gorilla glue do well too. They have additional additives.

For a while I was using Kiss nail glue (not the flexible version). But since the pandemic the quality has dropped from the bottles I’ve got.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2022 15:42:42
 
devilhand

 

Posts: 1154
Joined: Oct. 15 2019
 

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

quote:

I also use vaseline when playing.

I always thought only pro-players used vaseline during a concert.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2022 16:29:48
 
TrickyFish

 

Posts: 47
Joined: Dec. 7 2018
 

RE: String tension & nail damage? (in reply to TrickyFish

I like the feel of Vaseline on my fingertips and sometimes even use a little when playing with classical technique. Especially when my hands are cold. It’s forgiving.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 28 2022 4:53:39
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