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Comfortable, cheap solution for a weak or broken clawhammer nail

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Apr 5, 2020 - 2:57:55 AM

gavdven

Netherlands

21 posts since 2/3/2018

Hi fellow-clawhammer banjo players,

Recently on YouTube i watched a Lukas Pool instruction video in which he uses a dummy nail, made out of a pingpongball. And he shows he can easily take it of. But no further instructions were given. So i started experimenting myself.
A satisfying solution i found in a lady's fake nail ( full set with different sizes = $1,50) and Pritt "fix-it" posterbuddies.
The largest fake nail fitted without adjusting and a small piece of a flattened poster buddy on the backside, fixed it perfectly to my natural nail. (The poster buddy is cheap, usable several times and easy to renew.) The fake nail stayes on it's place without a problem.
Only thing was: the nail was too glossy and smooth. With some sandpaper this was solved in a minute. Probably a piece of pingpong ball or a plastic bottle wil also do the job. If you should prefer metal, then a piece out of a beercan could work.

I hope this info wil help.

Keep on picking ! ????????
Gerard.

Apr 5, 2020 - 3:23:24 AM
Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

904 posts since 6/15/2014
Online Now

Here are some instructions for the ping-pong pick.

Apr 5, 2020 - 4:09:10 AM

875 posts since 5/19/2018

Easiest way is to do what Kyle Creed did or actually a variation of it.

Take a typical generic Dunlop fingerpick and turn it upside down. Very cheap, very easy and you get a lot of tone volume and control.

Been doing it for decades. Zero nail issues.

Ask any lady out there. Glueing fake nails on for extended periods of time is really bad for the nail underneath.

Apr 5, 2020 - 4:10:05 AM
likes this

gavdven

Netherlands

21 posts since 2/3/2018

Hi Neil, thanks for your pingpongball pick instruction.
- wonder why the end of your pick, that causes the annoying click, should be significant longer than your natural nail ? Also: à bit of standing sound change the sound
- As far as I could see, Lukas' fake nail did not have a fixing ring like bluegrass picks have.
He also must have used some fixing gel or a glue or somekind....

Apr 5, 2020 - 4:15:48 AM

gavdven

Netherlands

21 posts since 2/3/2018

Sorry for the one strange sentence. (My text tool accepts only Dutch words. )
Also: a bit of sanding should change the sound

Apr 5, 2020 - 5:04 AM
Players Union Member

Neil Allen

France

904 posts since 6/15/2014
Online Now

Hi Gerard,

The end of the pick can be as long or as short as you like it. It's just the way I like it for clawhammer. The upside down Dunlop bluegrass pick, as mentioned above by Alvin, is also usually excellent.

I found that each of my three banjos responded quite differently in terms of pick noise. You just need to experiment and find what works for you. In some cases the brass Dunlop can make a dreadful harsh sound on the strings. In other cases, it is just fine.

One thing I would avoid doing is putting any glue on your nails. I would also avoid doing what some people do and having a permanent fake nail attached because I hate having long nails and I have no desire to have a banjo pick fixed permanently to my hand. However, some accomplished players do this, and that is their choice.

Apr 5, 2020 - 5:14 AM

331 posts since 10/9/2017

On Ken Perlman’s recommendation, I use 3M brand “Scotch” tape when my picking nail gets damaged. It has to be the opaque rather than clear kind and 3M, not generic. Unfortunately I don’t know what the brand equivalent is in NL. I find it works very well for both tone and volume and is very easy to apply and remove.

Apr 5, 2020 - 7:38:23 AM

gavdven

Netherlands

21 posts since 2/3/2018

Ofcourse i already tried that. Sounds ok but it has not the typical sound of a nail and i found it uncomfortable .

quote:Originally posted by Alvin ConderEasiest way is to do what Kyle Creed did or actually a variation of it.

Take a typical generic Dunlop ... (deleted by the poster)

Apr 5, 2020 - 7:44:42 AM

gavdven

Netherlands

21 posts since 2/3/2018

Pritt poster-buddy isn't glue. It 's  an innocent  sticky stuff, best to compare with the coloured "Post-It"  memory cards


Ask any lady out there. Glueing fake nails on for extended periods of time is really bad for the nail underneath.


Apr 14, 2020 - 2:06:05 AM

29 posts since 9/13/2015

I do same as Alvin and use a Dunlop fingerpick, sounds fine to me

Apr 20, 2020 - 4:19:06 PM

DRH

USA

420 posts since 5/29/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Alvin Conder


Ask any lady out there. Glueing fake nails on for extended periods of time is really bad for the nail underneath.


And if you catch it on something it can rip the real nail halfway to the cuticle.  Ouch!

Most women that get fake nails done regularly end up with nail fungus.

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