Fingerstyle and classical guitar players share the same problem: how to maintain their picking hand's nails, or use artificial nails to enhance performance and tone.
For many professionals, the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, with nail salons shut, where can they get acrylics or other synthetics applied? But before you cast the nylon-string aside, grab a pick and rethink your whole approach to the instrument, there's an LA-based company that might help.
The SoundFile specialises in precision-based nail care for guitarists, and has a range of Nano-Glass, Sapphire metal files and SoundPapers to help players maintain their nail shape and form, and in turn their tone.
SoundFile's NanoGlass files last up to one year without wearing out and causing micro-fibre tears in the nail. There is a variety of wood-handle finishes to choose from. The Crescendo, pictured above, has a handle carved from African Paduak heartwood.
The Grammy Award-winning American classical guitarist Scott Tennant even has his own signature file, the Espressivo, which features an custom-engraved black palm handle.
The SoundFile's SoundPapers, meanwhile, are a pocket-size dispenser containing 14 pre-cut proportional sheets in 500 grit open coat silicon carbide for finishing your nails with a glassy finish.
To the flat-picker, this might sound a little OTT, but if you've got a recital or a studio session these are the fine margins that need to be taken care of, and as Paul Reed Smith says, “Everything that touches the string is God.“ Attention to detail is everything.
The NanoGlass files are priced from $18, while SoundFile's Sapphire metal files, pictured top, are priced $12, with SoundPapers selling for $2.50. Check out SoundFile for more details.