Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

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Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Albatross »

I have 13-56 strings on a busking guitar and they are ripping my fingernails up. I was wondering about going to a nail bar and have them put on some acrylic nails.

Anyone tried this? Does it work for you? How long do they last? Ever just fall off or come loose?

Stuff like that really... much appreciated in advance.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Arpangel »

I wouldn’t do this, acrylic nails aren’t as tough as you think, they will come off at some point.
A friend who is a professional guitarist looks after his nails by filling and shaping them, and applying nail hardener, that’s the best way I think, you might waste money going to a nail bar.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Fishnish »

In the classical guitar world (in which I am now largely a bystander) there are some players who go the acryllic nails route. Almost all of the players I've come across who do this do their own and spend a huge amount of time on it. They mostly say the skills of a cosmetic nail technician are somewhat different from those required for applying and maintaining nails for playing. I tried acryllic nails myself a few times (although a long time ago) and my experience was that they were quite soft, not very secure, needed lots of replacements and required just as much daily maintenance as my natural nails, if not more. People who use them nowadays tell me the nails (specialist nail brands like GPN, etc) are more durable and modern adhesives are better though. They say there's still a lot of maintainance, they're not set and forget.
In my younger days my own nails were quite soft and thin, and keeping them in good order for classical playing was a pain, lots of emery paper, polishing and shaping every day. Diet also plays an important part in maintaining good nail strength. It took a couple of years of regular care to allow the nails to grow well and not split, curl or crack. Back in the day we used to do emergency repairs with superglue and Rizla papers. Nowadays my nails are much harder, like eagle talons, and i just give them a burnishing with a grinder every now and again :lol:
There is a wealth of info on this site: https://guitarplayernails.com/
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by djangodeadman »

I know that Martin Simpson has talked about going to a nail bar, where he has his nails silk wrapped.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Guest »

I find for me looking after my cuticles makes for stronger nails: https://www.burtsbees.co.uk/lemon-butte ... 03878.html

Obviously not an instant fix but worth doing.

I used to use nail strengthener but nowadays my nails are hard as hard can be.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by shufflebeat »

You might be better examining your playing technique. I'm assuming you're using a steel string acoustic with a pick, and missing the strings. Been there, still am sometimes. A few years ago I got fed up with wearing my nails back to the blood and changed my pick grip a little. It's awkward at first and easy to slip up and revert but I don't have the same problem now and my playing is no worse.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by adrian_k »

I’ve done it, my nails were a mess and I had a wedding to do. I found I needed to shape them afterwards myself.

I quite liked them until they grew out and left pink pads with the consistency of blancmange where my nails used to be. Took a while to harden up again.

These days I fix splits as soon as they happen with superglue and tissue paper.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by merlyn »

I was assuming Albatross is fingerpicking. Are you using an amp, Albatross? Wound strings do wear out nails. Try playing a bass with classical guitar nails (don't if you have a gig coming up). Trying to get volume out of an acoustic guitar will wreck your nails on wound strings. If possible you could try playing softer and turn the amp up.

There's a classical guitar book Solo Guitar Playing by Frederick Noad. In that there are fingerings for scales that mostly use the top three (unwound) strings because "repeated alternation on wound strings causes a snag in the nails".
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Guest »

I use one of these files: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... =UTF8&th=1

Every couple of days I use this to keep the left hand nails down and shape the right hand nails. Just wash these under a tap and they are like new.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Albatross »

Thanks for all your thoughts and advice.

I don't use a pick and I'm not using an amp currently.

This is a particular guitar that is just about perfect in every way for the current purpose and I love it. It needs hefty strings and really comes alive when its 'played'. But my nails are suffering 'tis all.

Looks like the general consensus is that the nail bar is best given a miss.

Really interested in this tissue paper and superglue thing if Adrian_K could elaborate. Ta

Thanks for the other links. I do look after my nails and use Sally Hansen diamond strength nail hardener and its fine but not cutting the mustard well enough on this instrument.

I just found this link to a Flamenco board that has some good info, just in case others look at this http://www.foroflamenco.com/printable.a ... 995&mpage=

Interesting thing there about Lavender oil ... Hmmm, I have some of that.

Thanks all.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by Albatross »

[ACCOUNT DELETED] wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 5:46 pm I use one of these files: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... =UTF8&th=1

Every couple of days I use this to keep the left hand nails down and shape the right hand nails. Just wash these under a tap and they are like new.

+1 excellent nail files. Boots do one but about three times that price. They last forever though.
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Re: Anyone ever used a Nail Bar?

Post by OneWorld »

I played classical/flamenco wa6 back when, then went over to steel string though continued to play nylon strung. I found that you don’t need to keep the nails that long, but they have to be well shaped, a slight nick has to be polished out sooner rather than later. The common knowledge back in the day suggested eating raw jelly each day strengthen the nails because of the gelatine, making them stronger but not harder and thus not brittle. I play at home these days, no gigging, I would imagine busking needs a fair amount of thrashing the guitar to get heard and so the nails are being made to operate beyond what they were designed for.
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