I guess Mark Knopfler doesn't swing a hammer very often.
February 10, 2012 10:53 AM Subscribe
How can I, a male who used his hands a lot, keep longish fingernails for guitar?
posted by cmoj to Grab Bag (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I play guitar with a sort of classical/clawhammer finger picking style, which I don't want to change. This requires well maintained fingernails on my right hand that are long enough to extend slightly beyond my fingertips when looking at the finger straight on from the palm side. The problem is that I do manual labor, play sports, and generally use my hands a lot and when a nail tears and can't be shaped optimally or has to be too short, it can impact my picking ability noticeably.
I realize as long as I play like this and do the things I do I won't be able to eliminate the occasional problem completely, but what can I do to make my nails tougher? I've tried a (cheap) "no chip" clear nail polish, which seems to help a little, but still wears off pretty easily. Are there nail polishes that are actually really hard? Can I add anything to my diet that will help?