Long or Short Nails Playing the Classical Guitar? Which is Right for You?

Some classical guitarists prefer to pluck the strings with the nails of their right hand while other guitarists prefer to keep their nails trimmed and to pluck the strings with the tips of their fingers. If you are a beginner classical guitarist you might be wondering which way you should play. Here are some insights about each way so you can make a decision as to which style is right for you.



First off I want to say that I have been playing classical guitar for over twenty years and I have played with both long and short nails. For the past five years I have been playing with long nails but,Long or Short Nails Playing the Classical Guitar? Which is Right for You? Articles when I break or split a nail, I trim all the nails of my right hand and play without nails until they slowly grow back. For me, the most important thing about playing classical guitar is the playing! It is true that my oscillating back and forth between long and short nails has an effect on my virtuosity but this switching also brings a benefit. The two different styles of playing produce two very different tones and this awareness of tone improves my ear and my ability to express myself with the guitar. It helps me to better tap into the incredible range of tone the guitar is capable of.

The Long and the Short of it

Long Nails – Long nails give you a more vibrant tone, better volume and faster speed. But long nails can be a real mainten