Fingernail Repair For Guitarists- Ping Pong Ball Replacement

My friend Dusk Wings over at our facebook site found this video about Fingernail Repair For Guitarists that I think is a must watch if you are a fingerpicking guitarist. Dusk wrote in the following:

“Hey people, if u play fingerpicking and have long nail, sooner or later one of them will break, or as in my case, the friction against the steel strings will wear them out. Now, if u re poor like me and can’t afford a professional fix, here s a video I’ve just found that can help u fix the problem- I’ve just experimented it on myself and it works.”

Thanks Dusk Wings, this is a great video for anyone that plays fingerstyle and not only classical.

Fingernail Repair For Guitarists- three methods

On the video, Scott Kritzer explains that there are a number of types of broken nails, and goes through a few solutions which also includes gluing one of those fake nails underneath your natural nail.

Another solution is toilet paper with crazy glue- if you’ve developed a crack on the non playing side of the nail.

But the one he likes most is the pink pong ball cutout which he glues to the underside of his natural nail. He said it gives a pretty good sound.

What’s cool about this video is he shows the process of how to do it (visual directions) and the tools he uses to do the repair. And although at times the camera is not focused on his repair work, I think you get a pretty good idea of how he does it.

Although I don’t play fingerstyle, I know that the type of pick I use is perhaps the most important part for generating good tone. I prefer a tortoise shell in a triangle shape, and these picks now are about $50.00 a piece if you can find one. But just getting the pick and playing is not the end all, as the pick will probably have some fine scratches that can take away from the tone of the guitar. So I use a combination of fine steel wool and some plastic polish, a light liquid abrasive that will polish up the pick (rubbing it with a dry rag). You can find all types of plastic polish at your local hardware store (mirror glaze.. or my favorite Novis II plastic polish).

With the ping pong ball, I’m imaging the same problem, a scratchy sound perhaps with going over the strings when just cut out. Now Scott does use a file, but a little light gentle steel wool treatment would work for an even smoother surface in addition to the file. And if you want to get crazy, try some of that plastic polish that I use on my flatpicks. You just have to be careful not to loosen the glue seam.

Fingernail Repair For Guitarists is a bit time consuming but, being prepared in advance in the eventuality of an unexpected break is the key.


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