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Fashion and music are two forms of art that have coexisted and intertwined throughout history. Both fashion and art complement each other and have the ability and power to evoke emotions and express individuality. They allow people to showcase their creativity. Many people associate music with certain fashion styles, such as the punk rock movement with leather jackets and spiky hair.
But this does not mean that you are bound to a specific style. You can use whatever combination of fashion and music you like to enhance your performance and convey a particular message to your audience. Fashion is a form of self-expression, and so is music, then why can’t you combine the two? You sure can!
Can I Play Guitar with Long Nails?
Staring at your guitar case and your beautiful long nails, wondering which one you will choose? But here is the good news, you don’t have to choose just one. Yes! You heard correctly. You can definitely play your guitar with your long nails.
Despite the popular opinion that you need to have short nails to play the guitar, playing with long nails actually adds a unique flavor and tone to your music. Long nails act as a natural pick and give the plucked strings a brighter sound, and they can also increase the volume and quality of your playing. Moreover, it adds a personal touch to your music.
It may seem difficult to get a hold of it in the beginning, especially with fretting, but as they say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’. And considering it also helps you create a unique tune with your personnel element, it’s like getting the best of both worlds.
Hurdles of playing guitar with long nails
Playing guitar is more than just something that appears to be fun and cool; it is a skill that necessitates proper technique, and even minor details, such as whether your nails are long or short, affect how the results turn out.
If you’ve never played guitar before, let me explain how both hands play different roles at the same time. One of the hands is used for fretting, also known as the ‘fretting hand,’ which involves pressing down different string combinations. The other hand is known as the ‘picking hand,’ and it is used to pick the strings, which is where the magic happens.
Now let’s see where the long nails come in,
Many guitarists have long nails on the picking hand that acts as a natural pick. However, for the fretting hand, having long nails makes things very difficult as it becomes harder to press these closely distanced strings down with long nails. The inability to press down on the string distorts the sound and ruins the experience.
Long nails not only make it challenging to play the guitar, especially on the fretting hand, but they also cause health problems.
- Long nails can cause pain and discomfort in the fingertips by putting pressure on the fingertips while playing the guitar.
- Long nails are more likely to split or break, causing painful injury to the fingertips.
- Long nails can make it difficult to press down on the strings and execute proper playing technique, resulting in hand and wrist strain and repetitive strain injury.
Long nails can clog dirt and other germs, and playing guitar with these nails can cause dirt to accumulate on the strings. This clogs the string with dirt, making it difficult to clean and affecting the sound quality of the guitar.
How to Play Guitar Even With Long Nails
Playing guitar with long nails can be hard, but it is not impossible. If you are a guitarist or want to learn to play the guitar, then keeping long nails is surely not a hurdle for you. There are many tips and techniques that you can use to make it easier for you to play the guitar while not having to shorten your nails.
Let us dig deeper into these tips and techniques:
Maintain a Comfortable Nail Length
Make sure that you are comfortable with your nail length. Some people can manage long nails pretty well, while some people find it difficult to do simple tasks such as typing with long nails very difficult.
So, if you want to have a comfortable experience, it is advised that you keep nail length with which you are comfortable. A good length for you is the one that allows you to comfortably press down the strings while playing, but not so long that they hit the frets.
Use A Prick
Whenever there is a problem, there is a solution, and in this case, the solution is a prick. If you want to keep long nails and play the guitar, you can always get a prick. It is a very convenient solution that will also reduce the chances of your nails or the guitar strings getting damaged.
File Your Nails
Have you ever heard of a nail file? If not, then this is your clue to get one, as by using a nail file, you can soften the edges of your nails. Soft and smooth nail edges will make it easier to play the guitar with long nails.
This will prevent your nails from digging into the strings, which can cause unwanted noise or even damage the strings of your guitar.
Experiment With Different Playing Techniques
There are various techniques that you can use to play guitar with long nails. Some of these techniques include using the side of the tip of your nail. But you should experiment with different techniques, as what works for one person might not work for another. Experiment freely and find out what suits you the best. Then you can stick to that way.
“Practice makes perfect,” this is something everyone has heard, and it also applies here. The more you practice playing the guitar with long nails, the more comfortable you will be. So, you should practice regularly as it will help you in the long run.
Playing the guitar with long nails can be difficult, but it is possible, and with a bit of patience and some practice, you can surely get there. Remember to believe in yourself, as a bit of faith goes a long way.
I have been playing guitar for the past 15 years, and my knowledge and passion for guitars prompted me to start Guitaresque to share my knowledge, tips, and tricks with other guitar players. The sole purpose of this website is to help and inspire guitar players worldwide, to improve their playing and their love for guitars.