Playing with your fingers is the traditional way to play classical guitar. But if you don’t take proper care of your nails, you may wind up with some painful nail breaks or cuticle splits.
In this article, we will discuss how to properly maintain your fingernails for classical guitar.
Before we even get into maintenance, you need to take a look at yourself. This article is all about nail care. That being said, you need to be completely comfortable with taking care of your nails.
You will be giving yourself basic manicures on a regular basis so it is important that you not be self-conscious about it. Remember, guitar comes first; let all of your un-manly feelings take a backseat to your music.
Dirty nails are unhealthy nails. This means that you will need to take the time to clean out your nails every day. It only takes a few seconds to get any dirt out from under them, and it is a great start to keeping them healthy.
Make sure to wash your hands often. Don’t just rinse and pull a quick lather; it should take you a full thirty seconds to wash your hands. Get under your nails when you do.
Next, you have to trim. While you may want long nails, letting your nails grow unattended will cause them to become brittle. You want to trim every week or so (depending on how fast your nail grow as everyone is different). Make sure to keep the shape of your nail. Don’t just cut across! Flat, square nails are next to useless for guitar playing as they won’t be able to grip the string.
Once your nails are at the desired length, you will need to paint them with lacquer. This will keep them from cracking and strengthen the tips. Lacquer is clear, so if you are insecure, don’t worry about other people seeing your nails. They will simply look shiny. Unless studied closely, no one will be able to tell the difference. Some stores even sell matte finish.
File your nails once a week after your trimming. This will also help to strengthen the tips, and will help you to shape your nail. Remember, you want a rounder nail, almost like the shape of a guitar pick tip. The goal is to make you nail so that it can grab the string. After you file, be sure to wash your hands and then put on a fresh coating of lacquer.
Maintaining your fingernails for classical is all about taking time. While you won’t need to spend hours a week on your nails, you will need to spend about a total of fifteen minutes per week trimming, filing, cleaning, and coating your nails.
It will keep them healthy, fresh, and strong. It will also allow you to steer clear of nail cracks or breakage. If you find it difficult to sit down and take care of your nails, you may want to consider either professional treatment (going for a manicure) or simply learning to play with a pick.