My fingernails are in the way!

September 30, 2004 at 07:28 PM · I've been taught that the proper way to place the fingers on the fingerboard is perpendicular to it. Is this right? If so, I've got a large problem because my fingernails are in the way. I've tried cutting them, but I can't seem to cut them short enough to achieve "perpendicularity". Are my fingernails just attached too far down? Any suggestions?

Replies (8)

September 30, 2004 at 09:41 PM · Perpendicular is ideal because you will need to bring your wrist around to the side of the neck instead of letting it just hang underneath. Having your wrist and hand in this position allows you to reach the notes on the lower string (G). Secondly, practice, practice, practice!... and trim nails every week.

Just playing regularly helps the nail bed recede and also helps to form a little pad or callous which helps to thicken the skin at the tips beyond where the trimmed nail ends. Trim close as you can to the skin but don't trim so close that it hurts. Leave about (+/- 1/8 to 1/16" growth) you can be your best judge on this. You should still see tiny bit of growth. We don't want to let bacteria (germs) get under the nails. Good Luck!

October 1, 2004 at 12:10 AM · Greetings,

Peggy, sorry if I am confuded here, but I think you might be talking about being parallel, orperhaps not?

Perpendicular would mean making a line across your fingertip that makes a corss with the nail line if it was extended in the air.

This line is slightly to the left of center in beginning stages.

The position of the w3rist, , assuming it is straight is determined by the fingers themselves. the left elbow remaining under the litlte finger. The ability to play in tune on other strings is governed by the elbow rolling fromleft to right or vice versa, a very importnat aspect oif etchnique that should be worked on right from the beginning.

If the nails are in the way the neck of the instrument may actually need to be just a litlte lower down the index finger so that mor epad is on the string . The tips of the fingers appear a little more open ratehr than an awkward square shape.



October 1, 2004 at 03:54 AM · Left elbow under the 4th finger? I've never heard it explained that way, and once again you may have helped me solve a year old problem.

October 1, 2004 at 04:16 AM · Greetings,

happy birthday dear problem,

happy birthday toooo yoooo,



October 1, 2004 at 07:01 PM · Maybe try to file your nails down after you cut them?

October 1, 2004 at 07:02 PM · I usually have to cut my nails every few days...around 3 or 4. My nails grow really fast! They really do get in the way, you just have to keep cutting them.

October 1, 2004 at 07:32 PM · I've cut them back to the point where it's uncomfortable for me to cut them anymore, and I've tried filing them down. I don't think I can get them any shorter without drawing blood. :)

Perhaps I need to keep pushing them shorter little by little?

October 1, 2004 at 07:37 PM · Don't do anything with your nails. Just lower your hand so when your fingers are on the string, your nails face to you. Notice, now you place fingers a little more flat (the best position for vibration) and not "perpendicular" to the fingerboard. In this position you have more flexibility, more adventage for stretching finders, better technique. You can check it if you just raise your left hand in playing position (without the violin) and look at your natural finger position. They are NOT perpendicular to the imagined fingerboard, but your nails face to you. Now take the violin, press hard your fingers one by one on A string, take fingers off and look at the string trace on the fingertips. If you do it correctly, this trace will appear like diogonal line which crosses the fingertip in the middle (sometimes not in the middle, it depends on special finger position and other things...) from lower left fleshy part to the right corner of fingernail. Sorry, my English is bad ^-^ GL

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