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Thread: Finger picking w/o nails

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    I have to say, I love lennie tristano(blind pianist, the real father of cool jazz)'s quote, "Bach's inventions need jazz musicians to execute them properly. Jazz is not an inferior music and jazz musicians are expected to have greater command of their instruments than classical players." I couldn't agree more.
    Last edited by CC323; 11-08-2008 at 04:56 PM. Reason: I wrote 'Could agree more' instead of 'couldn't'

  2. #17
    Registered User Madaxeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I am a casual jazz listener, and took lessons for awhile from a self described "Jazz-Nazi" and agree with CC323. Alex Skolnick from Testament (who was no slouch in the shredding department) is a pretty devout Jazz guitarist now, has said Jazz has improved his playing and made him a better player.
    It is definitely a very demanding style to play well, and improv jazz...? Forget about it.

  3. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    I know this thread is old but I figured I should at least chime in because this was a big issue for me when I was in school. I have garbage nails, thin and brittle. I started using regular old acrylic nails you buy at the super market with super glue and had a lot of success. My instructors were always impressed with my tone as well and one even started suggesting doing this to students with poor tone. If anyone needs information and tips on this feel free to ask, because it takes some effort to get it right.

    An example of my tone(it's death metal but there are a few baroque/classical sections in it) from one of my own compositions:

  4. #19
    Registered User BlueDome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    North West England

    Nails not flesh for me

    Having been a picker/player for a lot of years I simply cannot get along without my fingernails to play instruments with. I play some slide guitar and sometimes use a flat pick but the feel and range of tone that can be delivered from using your fingernails is not to be equalled.

    I also pick a 5 string banjo with my nails and get a range of tones and expression that metal finger picks cannot get near to. It is only in the top end of attack and volume that you risk damaging your nails. Glued on nails are OK if you can get along with the feel of them. Not for me, I have tried them and most everything else but the finger nails beat everything.

    My nails are not super thick or extra durable I just take as much care as I can to keep them in good order for playing. They do break and chip but the good lord decided they should renew themselves so just be patient, they will come back.

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