Can You Play Guitar With Long Nails? [Everything You Need To Know]


If you are a guitarist with long nails, can you still play the guitar?

The answer is yes! While it’s not impossible to play with them, you may need to make significant adjustments to your style or just keep the long nails on one hand in order to play the guitar with long fingernails.

It may take some time to get used to playing with your nails, but it’s possible.

This article will give you some tips on how to play the guitar with long nails so that you don’t have to change your style.

So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?


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How short should your nails be to play guitar?

Long nails have a variety of meanings in the world of music, and the guitar community is no exception.

The nails should be long enough to pluck the guitar strings without straining. Nail length for a typical electric guitar player is around 2-3 millimeters for the index, middle, and ring fingers.

The majority of guitarists keep their nails short of an edge on their fingers, while most think that any nail that extends over the edge of the finger pad is a long nail.

In general, if your nail hovers around the length of your finger pad, it will not be a significant impediment to your performance.

Allowing your nails to grow unchecked may be a little inconvenient, but your nails shouldn’t really handicap you until they become considerably longer.

If your nails extend past the tip of your finger, you may want to consider trimming them back a little bit.

It will make it easier for you to fret the notes and chords, but if your nails are too short, they probably won’t be strong enough to produce a clear tone.

In this case, it’s up to you whether or not long nails affect your playing style.

This is because some guitarists can play with their fingernails longer than others, or even grow them out in a specific style.

If you want to keep your nails long and still play the guitar, there are 3 ways that can help:


Trim Long Nails Back Regularly

If you have not been using clippers to trim down your nails regularly, it’s going to take some time to get used to them.

Trimming your nails back a little bit at a time can help you adjust and reduce the risk of injury due to long fingernails.

The trick is not trimming so much that it affects the tone of your playing, but instead getting rid of any jagged edges or bumps in order for you to play with ease.

Use A Capo

A capo is a device that you can use to shorten the length of your guitar strings so that different notes and chords become easier for you to play, as well as allowing you to change keys without having to re-tune any strings.

This is helpful if there are certain chord progressions that you want to play in a song but your nails are too long.

Use A Guitar Pick or Thumbpick

Some guitarists use picks made of plastic, wood, metal and other materials instead of using their fingers because it can be difficult for them to fret notes with these kinds of guitars due to their long fingernails.

If you’ve never used a pick before, it can take some time to get used to playing with one of these instead of your fingers.

You may want to invest in an accessory called the thimble or thumbpick that is specially designed for guitarists who need their nails short but still prefer using their fingers over picks.

How To Play With Long Nails Effectively: Technique and Practice

Now that we’ve gotten through all of the basics, how do you actually play with long nails?

The most important step is finding an effective way to hold your guitar while playing with long fingernails.

You may want to try holding your pick between two fingers on one hand or use a traditional grip that involves pinching the neck of the guitar in order to hold it.

It won’t be an easy adjustment for you if you’re not used to using a capo, picks, and/or thimbles, but you can still play the guitar with your nails.

You may need to spend more time on things like practicing changing chords and switching between different parts of songs, as well as playing certain scales that require fingering instead of strumming or picking notes.

As you practice and get more comfortable with the basics of playing guitar, you’ll be able to work on incorporating long nails into your performance.

Long nails may affect how easy it is for you to play certain songs or chord progressions, but they won’t inhibit your ability to play in general.

The last thing that we want to make sure you remember is that if your nails are really long, they can take a toll on how quickly your fingers and hands get tired.

If the tips of your fingernails feel uncomfortable as you play or start to hurt, it’s time for them to be trimmed back down again.

In order for these instructions to work well for you, make sure that your nails are cut back regularly if they’re too long and follow the tips above to play guitar with them.

If this is a common problem for you, it may be time for you to invest in new equipment or accessories that can help protect your hands from any discomfort later on.

Is it better to have long nails for guitar?

Many guitarists, believe it or not, prefer longer nails on their strumming hands. This is because it makes their playing style more comfortable and allows them to play with ease.

Longer nails give you better contact between your fingers, thus allowing for greater control when holding down chords or moving between different strings quickly.

However, that doesn’t mean that long fingernails will benefit every guitar player out there.

If you have smaller hands, long fingernails may prove to be more difficult for you.

You will not only have trouble holding your guitar correctly with these nails but also playing certain parts of songs or performing complicated chord progressions where the chords are played close together.

Do long nails make guitar harder?

Longer nails might be more difficult for intermediate or advanced guitarists to master, but it would still be inconvenient. The longer your nails grow, the more difficult it will be to hold chords, and the greater your frets’ finish will be scratched.

Additionally, your nails can make it difficult for you to play quickly if they’re too long.

While this may not be much of a problem with simpler songs, more complicated pieces could prove impossible due to the length of your fingernails taking up valuable time that would otherwise go towards strumming or picking notes.

When playing the guitar with long nails, you will need to make sure that your strumming technique is as perfect as possible.

This means practicing chord changes and switching between different chords or fret combinations quickly in order to avoid slowing down the song’s pace.

A combination of these factors could affect how well you perform live if your fingernails are too long, so be sure to make adjustments as needed.

Why do guitarists tape their fingers?

Guitarists use tape to protect their strumming hands from getting cut and damaged by the strings because it helps them pick the notes faster.

The tape helps you strum the strings more quickly by reducing tension between your fingers and the strings.

You can also use the tape to protect your fingers if they are getting cut by accident.

As you play more, it becomes easier for expensive strings of guitar players with long nails to get broken during a performance or practice session.

This is especially true when playing faster songs where there’s less time between strumming each note compared to a slower song where there’s more time in between each strum.

Using the tape on your fingers will help to provide some cushioning and protection for your hand as you play guitar with long fingernails, so if they’re getting cut or nicked by accident it won’t affect them at all.

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