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What sort of fingernails are best for playing classical guitar?

  1. Huacanacha profile image61
    Huacanachaposted 7 years ago

    What sort of fingernails are best for playing classical guitar?

    I hear that soft or uneven nails can adversely affect playing ability.


  2. Ari Lamstein profile image80
    Ari Lamsteinposted 7 years ago

    What a wonderful question Huacanacha.  The truth is that it would receive better treatment as a hub (with pictures and videos) than a short answer.  But I will try my best.

    Regardless of what type of nails you are born with, they should be properly maintained (with a nail file and light sand paper every day, to prevent nicks and scratches).

    They need not be long.  Indeed, the ideal is to hit the string simultaneously with the flesh of your finger (to dampen the string) and the nail (to produce a larger sound).  If your nails are too long they will interfere with your flesh hitting the strings; if your nails are too short only the flesh will hit the string.

    As for me personally, my nails are very soft and break too easily.  So playing with them was not enjoyable.  So I think that the real answer to your question is "strong nails are the best to play classical guitar with." 

    Also, there are some issues with shape of the nail (flat, arched, dip), etc.  But that is not easy to discuss outside of a hub, where you can have multiple images.

  3. Singular Investor profile image79
    Singular Investorposted 7 years ago

    I would just add that they need to be reasonably long on the playing hand but short on the hand that presses down on the strings.

  4. Dressage Husband profile image79
    Dressage Husbandposted 2 years ago

    They should be about 1/4" beyond the flesh for playing Classical Guitar and there is a debate over whether to shape them the same as the finger tip or to slightly flatten the tip parallel to where they would strike the string.

    I play and prefer rounded tips as that was the way I started and have learned to control the flesh nail balance during play. The best nails are firm smooth ones.

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