Up-to-date news and information about Classical Guitar. We will bring you product reviews, information and timely news about topics related to Classical Guitar including best technique practices, music, composers, instrument care and much, much more.
Classical Guitar Blog Post - May 2013:
For the longest time John Williams has been one of my major classical guitar heroes. Not only is he a magnificent technician, he bravely champions music that isn't regarded as "repertoire de rigueur", as it were. In this case it is the highly energetic, melodically pleasing and rhythmically challenging "Sunburst" by Andrew York...
Classical Guitar Blog Post - May 2013:
Recently I sent out one of my regular P.D.F. pieces for classical guitar to my subscribers. I apologized for not posting for a while explaining that I've had a few problems with my nails in terms of splitting and breaking.
What I didn't expect was the avalanche of advice from my subscribers on helping to keep my nails in good condition. I really appreciate their kindness and help. Following are some of the responses I received which might be helpful for you also...
Per your comments about nail problems, I am including a brief description of what cured my various nail problems permanently. My growing nails soon bent over when growing even a little bit. My nails were also thin and easily tore, split or broke. I did some research and tried some dietary supplements. I take a daily dietary supplement, actually several supplements together, daily.
My nails now are much, much stronger. They are thicker, they grow much faster than before and they no longer curve or bend but just grow straight out. This takes patience to achieve because the supplements help the new growth, so be patient and take the supplements which also happen to be good for skin, hair and nails.
1. One general multivitamin and mineral tablet of a normal daily dosage type. This is just for general health, not nails health specific.
2. 1500 mcg (microgram) of Biotin (3 each of 5000 mcg Biotin capsules).
3. Hair, Skin and Nails daily supplement. (tablet or capsule)
This really works and has a firm basis in nutritional science and I can testify that it works very well. The Biotin is available from many sources. A single 5000 mcg capsule of Biotin will work, but slower. Biotin one of the many forms of vitamin B and is a special form that the body uses as raw material for skin, hair and nails. I found that 1500 mcg of Biotin daily gives very visible and strong positive results in fingernail strength and growth.
The Hair, Skin and Nails supplement, a single tablet or capsule with a number of compounds, is offered by many vitamin sellers. I have tried several and found them all similar, providing the additional substances that complement the Biotin. I recommend the Hair, Skin and Nails.
Here is what to look for in any acceptable Hair, Skin and Nails supplement per tablet/capsule:
MSM 500 to 700 mg
Horsetail 500 mg
L-Cysteine 100 mg
Choline 50 mg
Inositol 25 mg
The specific content should contain at least these compounds in at least these doses and be recommended for daily use, up to twice daily, though I recommend only one per day with the daily Biotin.
These are the necessary contents of the Hair, Skin and Nails supplement. It is fine if you choose one that has these compounds and also has gelatin (doesn’t hurt, but really doesn’t help much – it's more of an urban legend), or even Biotin, but take the separate daily Biotin, no matter what. You can research these individual compounds if you want more information.
If you have any concerns, of course talk to your doctor, or better yet, a certified nutritionist. I now have fast growing, iron-hard and straight fingernails. This means I have to constantly file them but this gives me continuous good nail material. I use micro-mesh for filing, from coarse grain to fine grain mesh, for the filing when I need to remove nail (it grows fast!) to medium and fine grain mesh for polishing. The micro-mesh really makes a difference in play-ability condition of the nails!
I buy my micro-mesh in stick form, similar to a fingernail file, rather than in squares. I buy my micro-mesh from a commercial, industrial micro-mesh manufacturer directly. They have an online website with a storefront. Let me know if you want micro-mesh information.
I have to file the nails weekly to keep them the right length and of course I “file polish” the nails with fine-grain micro-mesh before each time I play the guitar.
A good nail hardener does help, but it is not the cure for the nails. It will harden the nails. Most finger style steel string players have acrylic nail hardener applied once a week. This may help you a little bit with your nail problem but is more of mild to moderate hardener and will not resolve your nail health issues.
I sometimes use acrylic nail hardener if I am going to pick steel strings, though frankly my nails are now so strong that I can play a steel string guitar like a dreadnought regularly and I see no real wear on the nails.
That’s about it. I hope this helps you cure your fingernail woes
My solution for weak nails is a raw clove of split garlic rubbed well into the nails and massage each nail with the clove for a few minutes and allow to dry. Wait for the oil to dry before wiping off the excess dried garlic.(Don't worry about the smell, as the results are worth it!)
I do this whenever my nails are dry and brittle. The finish is similar to a coat of clear lacquer. I have tried garlic oil from the bottle but the results are not the same.
Sorry to hear about your nail problems. I spoke to a fellow guitarist some time ago, complaining that I was always breaking and "nibbing" my nails. He advised me to eat three or four Brazil Nuts every day.
Although I was skeptical I thought - why not? Since then I have eaten four Brazil Nuts every day (two years now) and have NEVER since broken a nail! Also my nails seem to produce a better sound! Hope it works for you.
P.S. hope you like Brazil nuts!!
I empathize with your nail dilemma. I have this problem continuously, but have found satisfactory solution with fake nails. I always have one or two glued on.
They last about a week, sometimes more, and I keep putting them back on. Not as good as your own nails, but they work. I suppose you must have tried some of this already yourself.
About your nails
problem some people say the castor oil is useful if you are using it on your
nails daily. I didn't try it myself but for shore this will not make your nails worst.
Well I hope that was helpful. The link to my original page on shaping you nails for guitar playing is here...
Classical Guitar Blog Post - May 2013:
Back in 2010, Christopher Davis of www.classicalguitar.org wrote an article on preparing a score. Mr Davis is good at writing short pithy articles on guitar technique and other classical guitar matters so I can highly recommend you visit his site if you want to deepen your understanding of music and guitar playing.
In addition to his excellent article I would like to add a few more items on the "to do" list, as it were. Mr Davis talked about:
· Organizing - Making copies etc
· Highlighting the dynamics
· Translating the musical terms into English
My old teacher would always make me do several things as I received a new piece of music for study. They were:
1. Try to put in the fingerings yourself BUT try different fingerings not just the "same old, same old" ones that are just plain obvious.
2. Try to play certain phrases and passages in a different location on the guitar. One that comes readily to mind is the Villa-Lobos Prelude No. 3 in A minor. This prelude was supposed to be imitating Bach's music but in a modern way. It's a really lovely piece especially in bars 21 following forward.
It is here that I employ the technique of shifting where I play the melody. It sounds great on the upper register of the guitar beyond the lower bout. Additionally, I changed the fingering somewhat so that by employing both these techniques you are able to produce a different, yet more enchanting sound from the same music.
These two extra steps, if done properly, can really enhance both your enjoyment and interpretation of the music. Give it a try, you never know what you can come up with!
Here is the link to the original article...
2009 Sergio Tezanos 1A right-handed, spruce / madagascar, 664mm, lacquer finish. New condition. Played against a 1957 Ramirez and a 1971 Bernabe when I
Want To Learn Classical Guitar? Then Read On For Great Guitar Secrets to Success...
Miscellaneous Classical Guitar Questions
Here are Various Julian Bream submissions about their favorite classical guitarists...
Here are Various Andres Segovia submissions about their favorite classical guitarists...
Here are various best classical guitar player submissions made on my site...
Here are the 3 favorite classical guitar players that people submitted to my page...
Here are various guitars for sale on my site for you to peruse...
Here are various general classical guitar questions that have been asked on LearnClassicalGuitar...
Here are various questions about using Fingering on Classical Guitar
A Bit About Me...
Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...