Skip to content

Audiophiles

Search
Close this search box.

Can You Play Guitar with Long Nails?

The quick response? Yes. Even if your nails are long, you can still play the guitar. You must agree that playing the guitar is enjoyable and entertaining. Could having long nails make it difficult for you to do so? Can someone with long nails play the guitar? Those are legitimate inquiries. Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of playing the guitar if you have long fingernails to address these questions.

Typically, when learning to play the guitar, it is advised to keep your fingernails short. Many gamers don’t see this to be a huge concern. What if you are a manicurist, though? What if having attractive hands is crucial to your appearance? Do you think you should give up now? Obviously not! There are many guitar playing techniques that sound just as good (or perhaps better) when done with long nails.

How to play Guitar with Long Nails?

Unbelievably, many guitarists prefer longer nails on their hand used for strumming. This facilitates fingerstyle playing, particularly on a classical guitar. Of course, you can use the pads of your fingers to pick nylon strings. But it’s better to let your natural nails grow out or to extend them with acrylics if you want to add volume and brightness.

Your natural nails can unfortunately be harmed by thick gauge steel threads. For protection, many acoustic musicians wear finger picks. Despite being frequently linked with banjos, many blues and country guitarists feel that they give their tunes a bright, treble-heavy tone.

Wearing acrylics on their playing hand is another well-liked choice for musicians of all sexes. You can play clear, consistent notes with their assistance. Additionally, they are far more comfortable to wear than finger picks.

You can fret your chords and notes with the flat portion of your fingers even though it is more difficult to produce a clean sound when you are not right on your fingertips. Simply press them onto the fretboard at a slight angle, keeping your nail’s edge away from the string. Initially, you’ll undoubtedly have some fret buzz, but with with practice, this will get much simpler.

This method is very useful for mudding undesirable strings. For instance, to mute the strings beneath your final finger when practicing a rock, blues, or metal song with power chords. In riffs when just one string is played at a time, you can do the same thing.

How to strum with long nails?

The simple part of having long nails is strumming. In fact, if you can learn to strum or fingerpick with your nails, you won’t ever need a guitar pick again!

Long nails can be used for a pick if you’d prefer to do that, with a little practice. Your ability to comfortably grasp a pick may be hampered by long nails. But it is possible! There are a few tricks to doing it correctly. It might be preferable to use a larger, more triangular pick because it would be large enough to extend over the nail when in your hand.

You can check into various guitar pick options or even make your own if you don’t have the appropriate pick. In order to prevent those nails from unintentionally brushing the strings while you play, you need first tuck your other three fingers into your palm.

How Short Do Your Nails Have To Be To Play Guitar? 

It goes without saying that it will be challenging and uncomfortable to play the guitar with exceptionally long nails. However, playing with nails that are too short can also be painful and uncomfortable! Pressing your strings down on the fretboard might be painful if you trim your nail too short and expose the nail bed. After trimming your nail, you should at the very least be able to see a thin white line.

The majority of guitarists will regard a nail as long if it crosses the fingertip, no matter how little. You must hold your fingers at a particular angle to correctly push your strings down if they are longer than your actual finger. If your nails are somewhat longer than your fingertips, you can accomplish that without feeling any pain.

Anything longer could feel awkward, especially for novices. Longer nails would certainly be simpler for intermediate or experienced guitarists to get used to, but it would still be irritating. The finish on your fretboard is more prone to get scratched and it will be tougher to hold chords as your nails get longer.

Should I Cut My Nails to Play Guitar?

To be quite honest, I advised my friend to trim her nails to a normal length when I started teaching her the guitar. If you’re serious about playing the guitar, I would also advise you to do the same. Maintaining long fingernails on your hand that is used for strumming may help you if you’re determined to become a pro at fingerpicking.

That might be worth attempting for long-nailed guitarists who are self-assured enough to master a new tuning style and how to play chords in a different way. For everyone else, however, I’d strongly advise having your nails filed down so you can grip chords correctly and comfortably.