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Index fingernail V

I've had a problem with my index fingernail with my picking hand on and off for a few years. The nail chips off right in the center from either rhythm playing or lead. Sometimes when I'm playing lead the nail will catch and tear on the string and it can be very painful. Anyone else experience this?


  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Paris swing, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 234

    Yup...... exact same problem .

    I’ll wrap a Band-Aid around the nail tip to keep the fingernail from catching but then I can’t feel the pick and it makes playing difficult

    Charlie Castelluzzo
  • karmarkarmar New
    Posts: 9

    I used to have that all the time from having dry nails. My issue was compounded because I also play fingerstyle guitar and need my nails for picking - and I hate fingerpicks! A dermatologist told me to lather my hands with Aquafor at bedtime and then put those grocery store plastic bags over my hands to keep the Aquafor from rubbing off during the night. Also drink lots of water. I haven't had that problem since except when playing over 4 hours a day for several days in a row. Try it for a week and I bet you will see improvement. Regular hand lotion doesnt do it for me. (Alternatively, you could try holding your pick differently so that our index finger tucks further back toward the base of your thumb and doesnt graze the strings)

    Charlie Castelluzzo
  • edited September 2019 Posts: 18

    I have tried tucking my finger back but it feels akward, I could try practicing a bit more this way though. I will typically cut the nail super short when this happens and it's solves it, but I hate doing that. Thanks.

  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,900

    I've always kept the nails on my picking hand cut as short as possible for that reason but yeah if you are catching your nail on upstrokes you are probably not tucking it in enough. See lots of posts on the forum for how people hold their pick in the traditional way (?? if you want to call it that ??). The index finger is typically curled back, not pointing toward the strings. You can train your fingers to curl in enough and in the right direction that they won't catch. That said, the top of the nails typically brush the strings (along with the pick) for downstrokes especially for rhythm (at least mine do). Believe me, if you catch that nail on the upstroke a couple times (especially playing rhythm) you will find a way to NOT do that. Ouch!! Good luck.

  • edited September 2019 Posts: 16
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