How to Groom Your Nails for the Guitar

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One thing that many people not associate with guitar playing is nail grooming. Find out how to groom your nails for the guitar with help from an award-winning, critically-acclaimed musician in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Guitar Tips & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name's Jessica Delfino. I am an entertainer and musician in New York City, and I also teach guitar and ukulele lessons, not at the same time. If you wanna find out more information about that, you can at, that's And today we're gonna talk about grooming your nails for guitar. So, basically what I always do is, since I strum with my right hand and I fret with my left hand, I keep my nails on my right hand just a little bit longer for doing things like picking, and strumming if I choose to, and on my left hand I keep my nails a little bit shorter. So, I actually like to go get manicures, it's kind of a fun thing I do for myself. However, when I got to get my manicures, I make sure to tell the manicurist, please leave my nails on my right hand a little longer, and cut the nails on my left hand a little shorter, and they're always really perplexed by that. Sometimes they don't really exactly understand. So, what you can do is just take a nail clipper, or even scissors, a small pair of scissors works, and just go ahead and get in there, and trim them down, so that they are nice and short. And by short, I mean, not really poking over your finger skin too much. Because when you're fretting with your left hand, they'll get in the way. They'll actually touch the fret board and cause trouble and make it hard for you to make your chords. That's not fun. So just take your nail cutters, or your clipper what have you, and just get in there and make sure that they're nice and short, like so. I usually carry a nail clipper with me in my guitar case, so I always have one. Then you take your emery board and just kind of file down any parts that are sticking out, or whatever, 'cause you don't wanna jab yourself or someone else with a sharp nail, that's not fun either. So once you have 'em all filed down, they look and feel pretty smooth, then you can get back to rockin' which is the main part of playing guitar, right? Not to spend all kinds of time on your nails. I will however suggest if you go to get a manicure, don't expect the nail polish to stay on too long. As you can see, when you're strumming, and you're rockin', nail polish doesn't stay on very long, so I recommend a light color or clear. But, I was feeling crazy, so I got red. Anyway, thank you so much for watching, lots of luck to you. Have a great day.


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