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Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails

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GUEST,Don Meixner 12 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Russ 12 Nov 01 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 12 Nov 01 - 04:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Nov 01 - 05:40 PM
catspaw49 12 Nov 01 - 05:48 PM
DonMeixner 12 Nov 01 - 05:50 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Nov 01 - 06:29 PM
SINSULL 12 Nov 01 - 07:08 PM
53 12 Nov 01 - 08:33 PM
Little Hawk 12 Nov 01 - 09:06 PM
vectis 14 Nov 01 - 06:54 PM
Murray MacLeod 14 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM
vectis 14 Nov 01 - 07:17 PM
Genie 01 Aug 02 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,mg 02 Aug 02 - 12:09 AM
NicoleC 02 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM
Genie 02 Aug 02 - 04:43 AM
Murray MacLeod 02 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM
Genie 03 Aug 02 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Fred Miller 03 Aug 02 - 06:33 PM
Genie 04 Aug 02 - 01:37 AM
Jeremiah McCaw 04 Aug 02 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,notsosorefingers 04 Aug 02 - 02:39 PM
JedMarum 05 Aug 02 - 09:40 AM
Jeri 05 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM
Genie 05 Aug 02 - 12:49 PM
JedMarum 05 Aug 02 - 02:46 PM
Genie 05 Aug 02 - 03:15 PM
NicoleC 05 Aug 02 - 05:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM
Jeri 06 Aug 02 - 06:40 PM
Genie 07 Aug 02 - 01:26 AM
JedMarum 07 Aug 02 - 09:21 AM
Jeri 07 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM
Gypsy 07 Aug 02 - 11:34 AM
Big Mick 07 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM
NicoleC 07 Aug 02 - 12:26 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Aug 02 - 02:06 PM
Genie 07 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM
Jeri 07 Aug 02 - 04:19 PM
Big Mick 07 Aug 02 - 09:17 PM
Jeri 07 Aug 02 - 09:46 PM
Big Mick 07 Aug 02 - 09:52 PM
JedMarum 08 Aug 02 - 08:51 AM
Big Mick 08 Aug 02 - 09:37 AM
Jeri 08 Aug 02 - 01:32 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 Aug 02 - 07:29 PM
Gypsy 08 Aug 02 - 11:55 PM
DonMeixner 09 Aug 02 - 01:23 AM
Genie 09 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM
Murray MacLeod 09 Aug 02 - 03:23 AM
Jeri 09 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM
Gypsy 09 Aug 02 - 11:35 AM
Murray MacLeod 09 Aug 02 - 07:26 PM
Genie 09 Aug 02 - 10:54 PM
Gypsy 09 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM
Jeri 09 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM
Big Mick 06 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM
Jeri 06 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM
Genie 06 Oct 02 - 10:25 PM
Murray MacLeod 01 Nov 02 - 06:50 PM
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Big Mick 04 Nov 02 - 08:55 PM
Jeri 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM
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the fence 29 Jul 06 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM

Hello All

Anyone playing with Acrylic nails and to what success?

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 04:06 PM

I frailed banjo for a while with one acrylic nail on my index finger. I worked fine but I eventually got tired of having it replaced periodically by a professional manicurist. I felt that it was more trouble than it was worth.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 04:15 PM

I tried it for a couple of months. I found that my own nail got thin and soft under the fake one. I had to grow it all the way out again to fix it. Now I just use my own and take real good care of them. I live in fear of breaking my index nail thopugh and might order an "alaska" pick. We'll see how that works.

Chip A.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:40 PM

I have probably had more experience of acrylic nails than anyone else on this forum, having had acrylics on all four fingers and thumb of my right hand for over two and a half years now.

I was first turned on to them by Geoff Bartley, the Godfather of the Folk Scene in Cambridge, Boston, four times placed in the Fingerpicking Championships at Winfield. Martin Simpson also convinced me it was the way to go.

The thing I have found is that once you find the right nail tech, stick with her. There are many different acrylic powders on the market, even in the same salon one tech will use a different powder from the girl at the next bench, so once you find the right powder for you, then keep with it.

I used to go to one girl in Worcester MA and the nails just would not adhere. I kept having to go back for repairs. However I have located a real gem down here in Miami, the nails never come off, I subject them to glue, lacquer thinner and all sorts of abuse during the day, and they still hold.

The essential thing is to have them filled every two weeks. Every ten days would be better still. That ensures that they do not pull away from the back, at the cuticle. It costs me $15.00 every two weeks, or £30.00 a month, including tips. I consider it worth it, some might not. I would definitely counsel against trying to do it yourself, although you can buy kits. The pros make a much nicer job.

The way I play, I could never use fingerpicks, I need to be able to do a rasgueado style downward brush frequently, and fingerpicks just wouldn't work for me. The acrylics take all the abuse and just never wear out. And you can play LOUD with them, when you need to. And, when you need to flatpick, you can just use the index fingernail of the right hand. Seriously.

I am a believer in acrylics, as you may have gathered. I have tried everything over the years from tissue paper and cigarette paper and nail varnish and silk fabric and superglue and epoxy and all that crap and the only thing that cuts the mustard is acrylic.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:48 PM

"You pay NOW!"

Why are almost all the manicurists who do these of Oriental heritage? Do they have some special knowledge of acrylics or what?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: DonMeixner
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:50 PM

Murray,

Are you playing a steel string guitar? Do the nails ever break? And could you still frail a banjo with them on? And lastly can you get them off if you want to or must they grow out?

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 06:29 PM

It is one of these great unanswered questions Spaw. I have often wondered myself. But believe me, it is a very pleasant experience being pampered by an oriental lady for twenty minutes every two weeks ...........

Don, I have never had an acrylic nail break. I am not saying it can't happen, but that stuff is seriously strong. I mean, I am cutting sheets of plywood and running rough lumber through planer all day long and they never break.

I think my nails would probably be too stiff to do any banjo frailing with, I play steel string with a heavy attack as back up for fiddle. Imagine Lester Flatt playing fingerstyle and that's about it. However, Martin Simpson gets his done with a much thinner coating of acrylic, and he still frails the occasional banjo, so I imagine if you explain what you want, she would do it for you.

If you want to remove the nail, you soak the tip of the finger in acetone (NOT nail polish remover) for an hour and it will have dissolved by then. The acrylic that is, not the fingertip. Contrary to myth, your original fingernail will be as good as new. It is only when (God forbid) the acrylic pulls off accidentally that a layer of the natural nail is removed, and weakened. This doesn't happen if you maintain them regularly.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: SINSULL
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 07:08 PM

Murray - My nails are like paper after removing acrylics. Warning: even the professionals advise that you remove them occasionally to let your nails "breathe" for a few days AND check carefully for fungus that can grow between the artificial nail and your own if water seeps in.

Spaw..."You pay now!" comes just before they apply the bright red enamel. Is there something about you we actually don't know yet?


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: 53
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 08:33 PM

i think that i will just stick to using a pick than to go thru all that, my son plays with a pick and 2 fingers, and i've watched him, but iguess that i'm just dumb, cause i can't catch on to that style of playing either , i reckon that i'll always just be an old hacker, and beat out my chords for rhythm. BOB


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 09:06 PM

Acrylic nails are great, but the real fingernail tends to deteriorate for lack of air. Well, nothing's perfect. If you both pick and brush, and do a lot of playing, acrylic nails are probably the best way to go.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: vectis
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 06:54 PM

Tried acryllics last summer. They worked ok but were such a pain to maintain. They peeled off my own nails and cracked and broke and split. I have now sold my beloved classical guitar and started to change my style so I can play with a plectrum all the time.
Sorry Murray. They just did not work for me.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 07:12 PM

Mary, try again with a different nail tech. For example the one I have now pre-paints the nails with two different colourless liquids prior to applying the acrylic. None of the others did that.

Whether or not that makes the difference I don't know, but I cannot imagine that you subject your hands to the same abuse that mine get, and my nails stay intact.

I would ask her what the liquids are, but I am about as fluent in Vietnamese as she is in English.............

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: vectis
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 07:17 PM

Nice thought Murray but I've given up. Mine do need to be kept short enough for me to play the Accordion and long enough for me to pick the guitar. Too much hassle and no decent techs in this area.
Hope you're keeping well. If you're in Blighty on July 5th, 6th and 7th 2002 come and sing at the first Travelling Folk Ale which is being held in East Sussex.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 01 Aug 02 - 11:13 PM

Like several of you, I pick, backstroke, do a flamenco-style roll with my fingernails, etc., and fingerpicks don't work for a lot of what I do. I found a place here in Portland, OR, which was recommended to me by Kate Power of Artichoke Music store.  The proprietor is a young man named Tony, and he did a fantastic job installing acrylic nails on three fingers on my right hand.  (I use a thumpick, so don't need the thumb done, and I use my pinky mainly as an anchor.)  This cost me $9.00 plus the tip.

One of his workers did my first fill, and I think she made the nails too thick, and I don't think she got them extended into the 'corners' of my real nails as well as she could have.  But the fill is only $5.00 (plus tip) for the three nails.

So far, I've been delighted with the acrylics.  I keep the nails pretty short, anyway, and they keep my nails from tearing off the way they were always doing before.  I still use my fingertips as much as the nails for picking, on most songs.

I waited a full month before having my first fill, partly because I wanted to let my real nails "breathe."  As long as the nail tip is very much intact and not in danger of tearing (because of my real nail being exposed at the edge), it does not seem to be a problem.  Bear in mind that these are, by now, not glued-on nails, but, rather, my own nails built up with layers of acrylic material.

Next time I'm going to schedule an appointment with Tony himself, to see if he does a better fill job than his assistant did. (All the staff are Asian, but Tony, who may be of Thai or Philippino ancestry, speaks fluent English, and he did apply a thinner layer of acrylic than his assistant, a Vietnamese lady with limited English, did.)

I can't give you an assessment of their long-term practicality yet, though.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 12:09 AM

boy..you couldn't get me to do that for love or money..maybe a couple of days, like prom nite, or your wedding day or something..but permanent stuff plugging up what nature intended to be out in the air? It is not healthy. Please do medical research on this...


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: NicoleC
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:03 AM

I've done fake nails for girly events -- black tie and such. I went to a different nail tech every time and my nails were trashed even having them professionally removed after a couple of days. But I have very flexible nails and they aren't even happy if I put nail polish on them very often.

Murray, you may have the greatest nail tech in the world, or it may just be that you have really good, thick nails to begin with :)

As for the Asian ladies, a) they seem to have a knack for personal care stuff (so do the men), and b) it requires almost no English, which is probably a big bonus for an immigrant!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 04:43 AM

Nicole, before I got the salon acrylic nails, I had bought some cheap glue-on nails and put two of them on. I liked the way I could play with them on, but as my nails started to grow out, I had these sharp edges where the fake nail ended, and, for the life of me, I couldn't get the blasted things off!

It took Tony at the nail salon at least 5 to 10 minutes to get the fake nails off without ruining my own nails.

He put pre-formed nail tips on my 3 fingers, because my own nails had torn so badly (from playing guitar) that I had had to cut them down to the quick, as it were. The rest was acrylic painted onto my own nails. Now that my nails have grown out some and I've had a "fill" done, I no longer have any "fake nails" glued onto my own nails. It's all bonded acrylic, and nothing seems to break them.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:13 AM

Way to go, Genie.

I wouldn't wait a month before getting the fills however, there is too much risk of them detaching at the back. I have mine done every ten days.

I am unfortunately no longer able to avail myself of the services of the Vietnamese nail techs in the States, but I have found a sonsy Scottish lassie in Perth who does a pretty decent job. All done without power tools as well, but she manages OK.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 03:51 AM

Murray, what does "sonsy" mean in English American?

Genie

PS, I'm keeping an eye on my "edges," and I file them down, so there is not a sharp ridge to tear off.   But I like the idea of my own nail being able to breathe for a while between refills.

I'll post again after a few more months, when I know the long-range consequences of my plan of action.
 

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 06:33 PM

I've never been able to use any kind of fingerpick or thumbpick very well, and can't offer any expertise about it. Alaska picks aren't secure for frailing or down-strokes, because they rely on bracing under your nail, but you might try taping one closed and see if it holds that way.

For several years now I've been making a different kind of thumbpick and fingerpick--they aren't on the market yet, and this isn't an ad. The pick element is folded to a peak alongside, sort of parallel against the side of the tip of the digit, so you still touch the strings, and there's an up- and down-stroke. It sounds like it would impede the other fingers but it's a very thin material that becomes strong enough because of the creased structure. If anyone is curious you can look up my patent at the www.uspto.gov site, under issued patents, simple search, with the keywords musical instrument picks. A handy person can make them with a jar of peanut butter, needlenose pliers, and scissors. But don't bother with the clasp in the drawings--auto chrome blackout tape is a good tape to fit them, and scotch tape will work, but is ugly. To see patent drawings you need the alternatiff plug-in, but the pto refers you where to get it.

Apart from my picks, it's not a bad thing to be familiar with, and would be a good thing for h.s. kids to nose around in. Many people have mythy notions about patents as get-rich schemes. I wrote my patent because, after searching, they were so novel one would have to be a poor sport not to try to do it. And maybe enough people will like them enough to make a little hobby or business out of it, it's hard to say, just yet. Fred


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:37 AM

Sounds interesting, Fred. I've sort of toyed mentally with some alternative pick designs that would allow both up and down strokes and would stay put on your fingers, but I've never gone so far as to actually design one.

I'll check out your designs more when I'm not so sleepy.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 06:45 AM

As a sidelight, I've discovered, courtesy of "The Bottom Line" (a bass player's forum) that some performers use Krazy Glue to reinforce their fingernails. Apparently KG (in a slightly different formulation) was developed as an emergency field suture during the Viet Nam war.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,notsosorefingers
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 02:39 PM

Reading this reminded me of a lesson on how not to play Clawhamer Banjo back in the 90's. I had a real cheapo Banjo and needed to borrow a better instrument for a recording deal, which I near ruined by bad technique - attack.

The problem was that I would fast wear away what little nail there was from playing to near the bridge! When I adopted a position near the end of the fingerboard then the wear almost ceased! Second I found that using Nylon or Gut strings helped. Reading about the interest here in Dave Macon makes me wonder why anyone could play his style with steel strings?

Murray here describes his style and reading comments about a Martin in another thread I wonder if he has ever tried some other makes for his style?

I find that my box(Martin DM) plays fine in Fingerstyle but add I play with my hand OFF the table of the Guitar in the same way as the Flamenco or Classical do. I guess it is a question of moving the Picking hand up or down the string in order to vary the attack - thus image of what comes out. Certainly increasing the weight of attack has it's limits and in the end moving away from the bridge might be far far easier and more effective than increasing/decreasing weight of the picking hand, which I find wears down my nails real fast!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:40 AM

My own nails are hard as rock, pretty much - so I've played with my bare nails for years. BUT I have suffered the odd mail break at the worst of times (frequentlt from hauling sound equipment around) so I learned to use alternate fingers; if the middle nail broke I could use the fourth finger - if the index broke I could use the middle and fourth - that sort of thing. I almost never broke my thunmb nail. But I got used to using all four fingers (anchoring with the ring finger) - and started doing a lot of brushing or down strokes while I picked - so ultimatey it was just damned inconvenient to ever have a broken nail. So about two years ago I started going to the lovely Vietnamese ladies that do my wife's nails for an acrylic cover over three of my nails (thumb, index and middle). I have never broken my little finger nail, and probably could get away with covering the thumb - but I gotta say I swear by the process. It works well for me and is not expensive (less then $10 a visit and I go every three weeks). I do have to put up with an odd looking left hand - nails are long, and sometime the acrylic reacts with my sweat and turns an odd yellowish color - but I'm not bothered about looks - they work and they work damn well!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM

HA! More secrets of Marum's picking revealed!

I broke the nail on my index finger in May and repaired it with superglue and tissue paper. When that came off, the tip broke. More superglue went on. I bought one of those acrylic kits and built my own nail. I loved the strength of the nail, and I believe it could have been used as a weapon for self defense. That finally came off, and, yep, the tip of the nail came with it. The other nails are hard as...er, they're HARD. I'm convinced I weakened the index finger nail by having it covered up so long.

I can play with them a bit short, but I like them longer than I believe most finger-pickers usually have them. I garden, but I hate wearing gloves. (The nails break inside the gloves anyway.) I have emergency back-up fingerpicks - "FingerTones" - but I'm not very crazy about them either. I like the sound and feel of my own nails.

Now, do I re-apply the acrylic or let it get some air and see if it will grow? I never went to a manicurist because I thought it would cost a lot of money. $10 every 3 weeks isn't bad, though. Oy - decisions!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 12:49 PM

Well, my thinking is that if you let most of the nail grow out before you have the acrylic fill done, your own nail gets much more chance to breathe than it would if you had the acrylic filled every week or 10 days.

I will admit I've been using this technique only for a couple of months, but my acrylic coated nails do not appear to be in much danger of having the acrylic part separate from the natural nail. (As I said, when the nail grows out about 1/8 inch, I cross file the nail with an emery board to smooth the edge between the acrylic and the natural nail. Then, when there's no sharp edge any more, I apply a coat or two of a clear "nail hardener.".)

If I find that my acrylic coats start to pull away, I'll let you folks know. But do you not think that waiting a little longer between fills would keep your natural nail healthier by virtue of letting more of its surface breathe for a while?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:46 PM

I've been having my three nails done for almost two years. I've had the acrylic pulled off once or twice when a major repair is required ('cause I've smashed the nail and acrylic) - and each time I've checked the thickness of the underlying finger nail. It has always been normal. I have never had the acrylic covering soften the underlying nail. I don't know if the technique they use is different, but I know my real nails are quite healthy.

I do go sometimes as much as four weeks. But usually I go 3. They grow pretty fast and after three weeks I've got weapons on my hand, if I don't trim 'em or have the nail ladies do it. It's a good system.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:15 PM

Jed, I do trim my acrylics pretty often. I don't like the nail to stick out more than 1/16 to 1/8 inch beyond fingertip, because a lot of my playing is done with the fingertip itself, rather than the nail. (This gives a softer, more mellow sound.) I can file them down with a multi-textured emery board, but acrylics can easily be clipped with nail clippers, just like natural nails can, so I sometimes clip them and then file them.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: NicoleC
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 05:23 PM

Genie,

I think I agree with your hypothesis, but if you're covering your nails with nail hardener or clearcoats, your natural nail is not "breathing." Maybe take them off for a couple weeks now that you've had them on for a few months and see if your nails seem brittle or soft. If not, don't worry and just check them every now and then.

As short as you are keeping your nails, though, I don't think the waiting longer would put you in much danger of tearing the acrylic nail off. Those suckers go on pretty tight. But as short as you keep them... why go artificial?

Silk wraps are another way to strengthen nails without changing the fingernail sound. But they have many of the same drawbacks as acrylics and they don't lengthen, just thicken the nail.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:37 PM

Jed, if you can go three weeks between fills, without the nails loosening, you are a lucky man.

As I said above, I need mine filled every ten days.Otherwise the gap between the cuticle and the acrylic becomes a real hazard area, allowing ingress of water, Titebond glue, lacquer thinner and all sorts of nail loosening stuff.

Genie, I think your scheme of sanding down the back edge and using clear nail hardener could have merit. Let us know how it goes.

I am however skeptical about nails requiring to "breathe". (People talk about wood "breathing" as well, and that is definitely horseshit). The apparent softening of the nail which most people experience is due to the top layer of the nail adhering to the acrylic on removal. And yes, it has to be said that most people will find their nails are perceptively thinner if they have an acrylic nail removed, and choose not to have it redone.

But hey, it starts growing at natural thickness again immediately, there is no long-term damage.

I mean, how sick could a nail be ????

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 05:35 PM

There should be a song here. (To the tune of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland")


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 06:40 PM

Fingernails keep on breakin'
Despite all the care I'm takin'
A terrible sight, I can't play tonight
Until I get acrylic on my hand

Nah - too hard to find a decent rhyme for "acrylic."

Murray, I think you hit the nail (sorry) on the head with the bit about the top layer coming off. I've never bitten my nails, but I do have a tendency to pick at stuff on them, whether it's polish, superglue or acrylic. I think I may have had a hand (sorry again) in removing some of my own fingernail. Stupid thing broke again, but it's still long enough to pick with. I may see if it grows this time without me screwing with it, then do the acrylic thing if it looks like the nail on that finger's just wimpy.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:26 AM

Nicole, good question -- about nail polish/ nail hardener vs. acrylics and "breatheability--and one that someone should be able to answer.   I have personally never heard of nail polish causing the kind of nail deterioration that acrylics are alleged to do.  In any event, one solution would be to remove the nail polish/nail hardener nightly and replace it before your next picking session.  You can't readily do this with acrylic coatings.

The reason I "go artificial" with such short nails is that mine kept tearing off from time to time so short that the tender area that's normally under the nail was sometimes hitting the guitar strings and causing great pain and irritation.  Plus, on some songs  (e.g., Irish jig tempos) I use a picking style that's done with the nail, rather than with the finger tip.  (This is the picking style that I would use finger picks for -- if they would stay on.)

I might try silk wraps if they are cheaper than acrylics.  I don't really want to lengthen the nail a lot, just keep my nails from breaking off totally, as they do when I don't "enhance" them.

Murray, "...how sick could a nail be?"  Well, if it gets a fungus, pretty damned sick!!!  (But I don't think acrylics per se cause the fungus. I have had toenail fungus, and I never even use nail polish on my toenails.)

Jeri, well, there's:
acrylic  Cyrillic  senilic  idyllic  dactylic  angelic  guerrillic  supersillic  Paul Tillich  civillic ... (OK, I made some of 'em up.  But so did my hero, Ogden Nash.)

Some will say that acrylic
Makes your nails go "senilic,"
They'll lie there in ruin
And be your undoin',
Pickin' with your fake new wonder hands.
 

Genie
Ducking and running for cover....


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:21 AM

I actually pick with the nail and NOT the finger tip so I keep 'em a bit longer on the right hand. But I do file 'em if the get too weaponlike, especilly if I go a while between visits to the nail ladies. In truth they can get too long to play with - so I take a file (or a wood rasp, or use the side of a concrete wall) to 'em. I am curious as to why I don;t have gap problems. I've heard other folks make the same complaint. I guess I'm just lucky and the stuff bonds well with my chemistry!

It is a bit odd, though - to be the only guy in the nail salon! Especially a hairy and groady looking guy in the nail shop. The Vietnamese ladies all get a kick out it. The big haired Texas gals just don't what the hell is going on!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM

Jed, you can use a bench grinder or jigsaw, I'd imagine. (Sheesh - reminded of the guy who hammers his whiskers in and bites 'em off! Maybe another song...)

I've done a detailed analysis of why the nails come loose. Basically, my method for completing this study involved staring at my nails. I think it's the shape of the nail - if they aren't much wider at the top than the bottom, there won't be a big gap. Also, the way the nail curves - if the curve is greater at the tip, the hard material of the acrylic will pull up and away. If they're flatter at the tip, the middle will pull off.
The local nail salon is the place where
I go when e're the concrete sanding fails
The ladies ask if they can perm my face hair
And I say "just stick acrylic on my nails"

Funny, but all my fingers seem curvier at the top except my index finger. The center of the nail actually felt like it was burning a bit before the acrylic nail came off, which is why I picked at it. It may have just been trying to lift. I could probably get around this by having a thinner layer of acrylic put on (well, I did this one myself and I globbed the stuff on) or just having the tips done.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 11:34 AM

Few things.........since i did this for 10+years. If you are going to have them, maintain them. Cheating on getting a rebase/fill means that the nail is lifting, even infintesimily. That is how you get fungus. Which is easy enough to clear up, but you gotta deall with it NOW. The idea of backing up the area with clear nail polish and leaving the acrylic forward: That will act as a fulcrum, causing lifting (again, you might not see it until you get fungus) And finally: your nails should be in original condition, if the nail is applied by a good tech. They will feel thinner when/if the acrylic comes off for only two reasons: you are accustomed to the thicker acrylic, or two, the nail was ripped off, and the top few layers were taken with it. Final thing: Any overlay is just that: an overlay. Acrylic, silk wrap, linen wrap, fibreglass, gell, anything you overlay your nail with will have the same benefits and consequences. As for letting your nail breathe, that is up to the individual. some people need to, others don't. Hope this helps.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM

OK, I am going to give these a try for 3 months and see how I like them. It seems obvious to me that the key is maintenance. Will let you know how I like them.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: NicoleC
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 12:26 PM

Genie,

Soley from personal experience, it's not the nail polish that's the killer, it's the remover -- even the "moisturizing" kind and so forth. But for me, nail polish tends to flake off and take a slim layer of nail with it.

My nails grow extremely fast, but they are very thin and flexible. I used to spend a small fortune on my nails at the manicurist, erroneously believing regular care would strenghten them. My manicurist finally told me to go home and leave them be, no polish or anything. Sho' 'nuff, within a few months I had a nice set of (still thin and flexible) healthy nails.

One warning about silk wraps -- they're ugly unless you coat them well with nail polish.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 02:06 PM

Reveal all, Mick, are you going to do your own nails or go to a nail salon?????

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 04:11 PM

How about a belt sander, Jed and Jeri?


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 04:19 PM

Well, it might match the index finger on my left hand if I did that! I actually prefer having the whole finger on my right hand, even if the nail IS wimpy!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:17 PM

Murray........All the while I was in the "Miss Saigon Nail Salon" I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see Max, Jeri, Jeff, Rick, Dan Milner, THE FAIR ONE, Kath W, Bill D, Ferrara, Clinton, Justa Picker, kat, harpgirl, Art and Marum, laughing your arses off at the sight of this huge Irishman amongst all the fair ladies and the beautiful, if slight of stature, Vietnamese Nail Tech's giggling as they put my nails on. I actually enjoyed the attention. These things will take some getting used to. For one thing, I am going to have to file them down a fair bit. They are far to long. They also left them mostly square with rounded corners. I will make them much more of a rounded point. But I really like the way they feel. I am hopeful that this is the answer.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:46 PM

So what color polish did you get, Mick? And be careful when you get up in the morning and go to scratch your uh, butt.

(And I broke another nail inside a glove doing nothing more than yanking a big fat green tomato-munching caterpillar thing off the plant. I hate touching those nasty things - eeeuw! Now I have to get my fingernails to the point where they don't look like total crap before I can even go near a manicure joint!)


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:52 PM

No polish, Jeri. They owner, who was doing the interpreting, asked if I wanted some clear. I asked her what her thoughts on it were, and she indicated that I should leave it off as it would peel off when picking. Made sense to me.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 08:51 AM

yeah, just bare acrylic does the trick.

belt sander would probably work just fine. I bet you wouldn't even have to turn it on - just flip it over and take a few hard strokes on the sand belt. A nice level concrete sidewalk works well, when you have a bit of a crack or break and no file to hand ... a problem I had to resolve it Toronto. I found Paul's patio surface to be just about right!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 09:37 AM

I did my first major surgery on them this morning. They were way to long and shaped improperly. I grabbed some toe nail clippers and whacked about 1/8" off them and filed them into shape. Not perfect but getting there. I love the way they feel. No more Alaska pics or lack of volume. Now it just remains to be seen how the maintenance and durability goes.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 01:32 PM

This is funny, sort of. I went to three different places. One place only had one employee in at the time and she was busy. At the other two, both women I talked to were surprised I only wanted three nails done, didn't have a clue what to charge (but were leaning toward half-price, or $18) and told me the nails probably wouldn't hold up.

I guess you have to be a big hairy guy to get them to consider unusual requests. Becoming a big hairy guy is waaaay beyond my budget, and there's enough of you around already.

So it's back to the kit. If I get really good, maybe I can get a license and set up practice in a music shop doing picker's pickers. "Yes, this is the Edward Scissorhands look, popularised by Jed Marum, and over here we have the Big Mick style where we apply 2" of nail and then chisel off 1.8"

And why DON'T music shops have manicurists?! They could come in once a week or so...


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 07:29 PM

Well done, Mick.

There is absolutely no point in asking these girls to shape the nails, that is something you have do do for yourself, as you have already gathered. I understand that most women leave their nails square at the ends (yeah, beats me too ....)

As far as belt sanders go, they can in fact be very useful. You need to have the belt set vertically, not horizontally, and in this way you can get all the roughing work done, leaving just a little "fine-tuning" required with the nail-file/dresser thingy. Seriously. I do it all the time.

The other thing you need to have is a "scraper" tool to remove the bits of acrylic from the underside of the nail after they have been filled. I use the end of a scissors blade for this, it does the job quickly, and a quick rub with a sandpaper block finishes the job. The last thing you want is a "hook" on the end of your nail.

I suppose all this must sound like a hell of a lot of trouble to go to. It isn't really, and the end results, musically, are well worth it.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:55 PM

Tee hee, tee hee, tee hee. the mental image! couple of more things: Don't clip with nail clippers, can shatter the work you so dearly paid for. the tech SHOULD give you the file she used on you, unless it is autoclavable. That's the law in California, anyway. That, or break em in half, and throw them away. to clean out crud from the underside......you can GINGERLY use a dremel tool. It is quite similar to the "drill" i used in the salon. And that twas the only thing i used it for. Run if you see some one who wants to topfile with one, you can get burnt REALLLY fast.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 01:23 AM

There you go Mick, run a Dremel tool up under your finger nail. 9600 RPM's and a micro carbide bit will do no harm to an idgit's digits.

Gypsy can't be serious about this.

Don


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM

Jeri, as I mentioned above, my salon was recommended to me by the proprietress of a guitar/music shop, who is also a guitarist and banjo player herself.  So Tony, the salon owner, was not at all fazed by my request for three nails and charged me only $9, where a full set would have been $25.
If you can, try to  find a shop in your area where other pickers have been clients.  I think it is very important for the technician to know  why you want the acrylic nails and what you'll be subjecting them to.

But, Gypsy, Tony did use nail clippers on my acrylics the first time I visited the salon.  And I've used them, too.  Seems the point is not to try to clip off too much at one time.

Re the "drill," one reason I wouldn't want to do a fill at home is that the salon has a "grinder" tool they use to file down the surface of the old acrylic before applying new "fill."  They also have some sort of disinfectant (fungicide?) they coat my nails with before applying the fill.  Seems to me the "topfiling" is very important, since the nail would just get thicker and thicker and thicker ...., if some of the old acrylic were not removed before adding new acrylic.  They were very careful in doing this filing, and I did not feel in danger of being burned.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 03:23 AM

I have been "burned" before (very occasionally) by the prior topfiling. Being British I showed no signs of pain ....

The nail techs here in Scotland don't use power tools at all (at least mine doesn't and she says that is the usual practice here) . If you were able to obtain the right bits I see no reason why you couldn't use a Dremel on your own nails.

Genie, I always assumed that the clear liquid they paint ob first is a primer designed to promote better adhesion between the acrylic and the natural nail. Maybe it does have antiseptic properties, I shall enquire this weekend.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:30 AM

I think word-of-mouth may be the only way to go. Either find a place that already does musicians' nails or one where you get a feeling people are flexible and won't freak out when you ask for something different.

Nobody I know gets manicures. One guy does the Lee Press-On thing. One of the employees of a local music store uses some kind of resin on the tips which cures with ultra-violet light. It LOOKS like it's a little more plasticy and flexible than the acrylic, but it's still hard. One thing I didn't check was the cork board with notices and business cards pinned up. Maybe someone's advertised about catering to musicians or maybe I can pin something up with the question.

I put two half nails on yesterday though, and I'm getting pretty darned good at it! Mind you, if you want to track where the end of your real nail is, don't try using a blue Sharpie (waterproof pen) because the solvent used in the acrylic goop disolves it and you wind up with a dirty-looking blue fingernail tip! Hmmm...maybe next time I can throw some metallic gold powder in with the acrylic and...maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:35 AM

It's primer. Purpose is to dehydrate the nail for better adhesion. Also can kill any surface bacteria, according to the type used. I never used a drill for top filing, just used a file, lightly. The deal is to apply it right, so you don't need to file much. Oh yeah, Don, wasn't kidding. You could concievably use a dremel.........lowest speed, with a stone conical bit. That is basically what the drill in any salon is.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:26 PM

Gypsy, the bits used in salons are not conical stones, like you see in Home Depot, they are diamond coated steel bits of various shapes and grades of grit.

All the nail techs in the Miami salon I used to go to used Dremels.As long as it has variable speed and can reach around 20,000 rpm, I don't suppose it matters overmuch what tool you use.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:54 PM

Murray, the clear (greenish?) liquid they applied with (I think) a Q-tip beforehand was not painted on as nail polish is.  They also dip my hand in some sort of liquid beforehand, too.  I really do think it's a disinfectant or antifungicide.  It probably is, as Gypsy says, a dehydrating primer.  But I'll ask next time.

My salon does use what looks to be a conical stone bit (as well as emery boards and files).  Is that what a "dremel" is?  But it is like what Murray describes, not a Home Improvement type drill bit!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Gypsy
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM

Murray, mine were all stones. Less likely to cut someone that way. But that was me, others might indeed use diamond. And oh yeah, it is definitely a dehydrating primer. Just wait till you get it on your skin, ouch!


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM

A Dremel is a home improvement tool (like a small power drill) and comes with many attachments - grinding wheels, sanders, drill bits, buffers, burrs, etc. I honestly thought about using it. Then I thought about how I'd explain What Happened in the emergency room, and how they'd tell the story to the next shift, and I quit thinking about using the Dremel.


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM

OK........two month report.

I love these things, but I would second Murray's recommendation to keep them filled. I didn't on the first set and ended up peeling them off. Then had to have them redone. Filling for me is going to be an every other week thing.

The young women (usually Vietnamese) always giggle when they see this huge, hairy man come in and ask for 3 nails.

Playability is great. One thing to be careful of is when they thin out the tips a bit. Don't let them do to much though, or they will chip on the strings. I use the Herco thumbpick which allows me to switch to a strum easily.

All in all, I feel like these have resolved a significant problem for me. I only have one problem with them. I will have to change the way I hold the rest of my hand as the nails make significant noise on the pickguard when I am in the strum mode. I am in the process of changing to tucking my fingertips underneath when I am strumming. I know this seems minor, but when you have done it a certain way your whole life..............you know the drill.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 07:54 PM

Jeez Mick...coincidences!
I just found a place to get mine done today. The woman who does nails won't be in until Tuesday, so I'll go back then.

I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that although my other nails are fine, my index finger nail breaks at the tip and my thumbnail splits down where it's painful. I can't get the thumb done because it's covered with superglue and ribbon. (Ribbon lasts a LOT longer than tissue paper - I think it holds a lot more of the glue and it's tougher.)


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 06 Oct 02 - 10:25 PM

Well, so far I'm still happy with having them filled only once every three of four weeks, but any longer than that and there is a danger of them pulling up at the base.

My middle finger nail started to chip at the end when I waited too long for a fill, but mostly because they had filed its edges too much initially -- too tapered instead of rounded. Then it started to break where the chip was. When I went back for the fill, I was surprised that the (new) tech who did the fill was not able to fill in the chipped place. The nail did end up stronger, but I couldn't get the tip smooth until about a week later, when it was long enough to file the tip down.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 01 Nov 02 - 06:50 PM

I somehow missed the latter bit of this thread , and only clicked on because of Jeri's link on Rick Fielding's thread.

Glad to see the nails are working for you Mick. The next step is to have the thumbnail built up as well. Then you can dispense with your Herco thumpick and really cut loose.

Jeri, what is all this nonsense about fabric and superglue on your thumb? Go get it done properly, girl, y'hear me?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 02:00 AM

Just checking in again, after -- what is it now? -- 4 or 5 months. So far, so good. No fungus, no more flaky nails, and only one split (when I waited a bit too long for a refill).

In my case, having a refill every 3 weeks seems to work fine. I seem to be able even to go 4 weeks between refills sometimes.

I've had the acrylic thumbnail for only about a month now and am due for a refill. But it does let me skip the thumbpick when I want to.

The best thing about the acrylic nails is NOT having my nails break off at "the quick" from time to time, because when that happens it's almost impossible to play without fingerpicks until the nail grows out.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Mick
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 08:55 PM

I don't think so, friend Murray. I would have to completely change my hand position. I don't think my technique could stand another major change just now. Between changing some of my chord shapes on Rick's recommendation, and trying to use a flat pick without the nails clacking against the guit, I have set myself back about ten paces already. Sides, I really like the Herco because I can go from fingerstyle to a strum and back very easily.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 09:46 PM

Hey Murray, I got the thumbnail done with the index & middle! She just soaked and filed the crap off.

I sometimes play without a thumbpick and sometimes with. Without is difficult as, like Mick said, I have to change my hand position and lift my wrist way up so my thumb's more perpendicular and my fingers are at a weird angle. I may get used to the way it feels after a while, but I'm probably still going to use the thumbpick.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 04:33 PM

I was watching my Eric Roche DVD last night, and in the tuition bit , he mentions covering his nails with some acrylic nail hardener. Does anyone know what Eric used and if this is widely available

all the best

Al (having a bad nail week)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Chris Amos
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:23 PM

I use Sally Hanson's "As Hard as Nails" a very macho nail varnish.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Chris Amos
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:39 PM

... and I find that it works very well, I have been blessed with naturally strong nails though.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Rumncoke
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 05:52 PM

I used a kit my husband brought back from the States for a long time - until it was used up.

The technique was to slightly roughen your own nails, then mix up a powder and a liquid and spread the resulting paste over your own nails and removable platforms to which it did not adhere.

As I have spatulate fingernails and the suport was flat I only extended the centre part of the nails.

Once on there was no way the artificial nail would pull away from the real ones - I mashed my fingers in a huge rubbish bin with a flip top which flipped back unexpectedly as it had been placed on a slope. The edge of the lid took off the tips of my nails - it would have taken my finger ends off if I had been a split second slower. My fingers were bruised because the nails were so strong they pressed down hard before they broke off.

They could be left to grow out, and if you smoothed away the edge of the artificial stuff with a nail file it was not obvious. It did not seem to have any adverse effect on my natural nails.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: the fence
Date: 29 Jul 06 - 06:15 PM

'Sally Hanson - Natural Nail Growth Activator' I have been using this for the past two months. It seems to soak into the nail and has worked for me. I work outside in all weathers, but this has helped to strengthen the nails and allowed them to grow wihout splitting (something I have been trying to get them to do in the last 10 years).


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 05:13 AM

Okay, sally's the girl for me by the sound of it.

the hard as nails product looks reassuringly dangerous, the sort of stuff flamenco players mix into their Soberano and knock back in one!

Where do you get the stuff? I'm in the UK. Most of the stuff on e-bay seems to be stateside, and its not mentioned on Sally's UK site.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 01:42 PM

okay found the stuff in Sainsbury's - will report how I get on!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 30 Jul 06 - 02:02 PM

Five years on, I can say that I do not now have my nails reinforced.

After moving South I couldn't find anybody who did acrylics, so I tried Gel nails.

They didn't work for me, although I distinctly remember another thread in here where somebody swore by them, as long as there was sufficient fiberglass reinforcement.

I use my (very short) natural fingernails now, but then again I am not playing to anything like the same level as I used to.

If you are a full time pro, I would still recommend acrylic nails as the way to go, and to be VERY careful , especially when opening or closing car doors ...


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: BanjoRay
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:58 AM

For playing clawhammer banjo I get my index and middle fingernails covered with acrylic gel at a Vietnamese nail parlour in Doncaster. Costs me £6 and lasts 3 or 4 weeks with no bad effects, and is still good even after jamming all day for weeks (a recent 3 week holiday in North Carolina/Virginia). Far, far superior to the glue-on nails you can get in Boots. Easily filed down to shape with a standard nail file or Dremel tool. Been doing this for three years with no bad effects on my natural nails.
The girls who do my nails are great, as well.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:08 PM

I'm with you Ray, get my index, middle and ring fingers done at Amethyst in Gainsborough. Two or three layers of the isopon-type fibreglass sheet-looking stuff, with gel over each layer. WW3 standard. Great.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:20 PM

Am just going today to get the acrylic nails filled in at the back. I do that about every 2 or 3 weeks as they grow out. There are salons all over around souther Ontario now, mostly with Vietnamese staff for some reason, and they will very quickly do a super job on your guitar-playing nails at $4/nail. This gives you nails that are so strong and effective that it will greatly improve your playing. If a nail gets chipped in between treatments, the people I know will fix it for free.

I know of 4 guitar players in this small town who are getting it done on a regular basis now.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 12:44 PM

I'm still at it too. I can stretch it out to as many as four weeks - before they just about grow off the end of my fingers! Counting a nice tip I pay about $9 US.

My own nails are pretty damn hard - but not unbreakable. I'e been covering thumb plus index and middle fingers for almost 7 years now.
I also use my fourth finger regularly but I almost never break tha one - and it's the easiest to work around if it's not in full working order.

One disadvantage though; when you bang 'em in a such a way as they used to break - IT HURTS LIKE HELL! Not only that, but it doesn't stop hurting for a long time! Oh well, I guess pain is better then a broken nail!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 03:53 PM

Jed, us taking that pain just goes to prove - we're real men! LOL!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 05:12 PM

It was hard getting appointments at the salon to replace nails within my busy schedule, and on tour it was proving impossible. So in the end I found a supplier, bought the chemicals, and practiced on some false nails held in a clamp. Now I can do my own whenever I need to - evenings, weekends or even mid-festival.

I soak the old acrylics off as soon they grow out, when you get that ridge which catches the sring when you're struming with the outside of the nail, or if they start to lift. A drop of nail oil on the real nail, left to soak in for an hour or two, refreshes the nail and then you just apply the oil-remover and primer, and apply the new acrylic. They don't look as good as the gals work but they play just fine.

My real nails are only thin because I file the underside to get a flat picking area - otherwise they're healthy.

I miss the gals at the salon, but I don't suppose they miss me! :-)


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 31 Jul 06 - 11:35 PM

I go to the same shop my wife goes to. THere are a handful of very poleasant Vietnamese ladies. They talk in code among themselves while they're working.

I've been lucky enough to never NEED workd one when I'm out of twon - but I know it'll happen one of these days. I actually broke one last Friday in Louisiana - but managed OK 'til I got into the shop in Dallas today. I know one of these days I'll have to walk into a shop in New York or Kansas City or something - and take what service I can get. But I've been lucky so far.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 05:56 PM

Time for a thread resuscitation, I feel, we haven't discussed nails in the longest time.

After letting my nails go natural for a long time, I decided to have them reinforced again and I got fiber-glass reinforcements done, in a health club in Perth, and they were quite satisfactory sound wise, but not really long lasting.

Since relocating to Edinburgh , I have had the great good fortune to come across a wonderful lady in a shop in Easter Road, who does not do glue-on tips with subsequent covering, she builds the nail up using only the liquid, letting it harden slowly and reapplying as she goes.

I was highly sceptical of this at first, as every previous tech had glued on a false tip and then reinforced it by covering with acrylic, or gel, or whatever.

The reality is that these are by far the strongest nails I have ever had, they last six weeks or longer, they withstand all the abuse they receive in the workshop, and they don't require filling every ten days like the other acrylics I have had in the past.

The slight downside is that they do require a fairly time-consuming shaping after they are applied, I do this on a belt sander, and then
use a sharp 1/4" chisel dragged backwards underneath each nail (with a scraping rather than a cutting action) to remove the acrylic build up under the nail tip and bring the edge thickness to the required profile.

Once this is done, you are good to go.

My beloved D-28S has never sounded so good ...


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 06:03 PM

I find the biggest problem to be dry nails underneath when they come off and they need oiling to restore them as they are dull, and slightly flaky too. I am back to using my own nails again, although the index fingernail has a tendency to delaminate. ie split in to 2 layers rather than split right through.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Brendy
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 06:12 PM

I've always used finger-picks if I wanted that bright 'punch' to the picking

My 'problem' is more with my left hand; keeping the hard skin on the finger-tips from becoming too unmanageable, and keeping those nails from interfering with the fingering.

B.


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: JedMarum
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 07:59 PM

I'm still having the acrylic coat painted on evry 3 or 4 weeks. It's cheap and perfectly effective for me. I've really developed my picking style around it. I rarely damage them, but it has happened a time or two when I've been out of town. I've simply managed with the natural beneath or by shifting the picking to an alternate finger. I use four to pick - I plant one on the guitar. So if one of the four is "limping" I can manage to pick up the work one of the others. It's not as difficult as I thought it would be.

I neve loose finger picks anymore!


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Genie
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 11:56 PM

Murray, my fingerpicking style probably doesn't give my nails quite the beating that yours seems to give your nails, so I find that garden-variety acrylic nails work just fine for me.
I never have a tip put on unless, for some reason, I've managed to tear off a nail down to the fleshy tip of my finger. I just have the acrylic coating applied to my nails, and I prefer to keep the tips short enough that both my fingertips and the nails hit the strings when I play.    This means filing them down myself between "fills."

I like to let my nails grow out for 6 to 8 weeks between fills. This means by the time I do a new fill, my nails are 1/4 to 1/2 (occasionally almost 3/4) grown out.   I believe this allows my nails to "breathe" sufficiently to prevent fungi, etc., from developing, and it also makes the underlying nail a little stronger than if my nails were nearly always fully coated with acrylics.

The acrylic nails also work nicely as a percussion source when I use certain picking and strumming styles.    E.g., I can mute the strings with my left hand and then use the backs of my nails on the strings as an atonal percussion instrument.

I've had the acrylic nails for at least 4 years now, I think, and I'm very happy with them.

Just the right hand though.

G


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Subject: RE: Playing With Acrylic Finger Nails
From: Margo
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 01:39 AM

Hi all,
I tried the acrylic nail approach but I found too that my own nail got weaker and weaker underneath that fake one.

I went to using Ken Perlman's method: scotch tape. He just puts a bit of tape over the nail and tucks it under at the end of the fingernail and he's good to go. Surprisingly, it works very well.

It's all subjective, and it depends on what kind of sound you want. I have an old vega with a tubaphone tone ring and I want to sell it because it is way too bright for me. (But it really is a bluegrass banjo; it has a pieplate resonator which I took off to play open back.)

Since I like that old timey "soft" sound, I like the tape. It works and it's cheap.
Margo


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