Another area of Tammy’s expertise is in applying acrylic nails for musicians who specialize in playing “fingerstyle” guitar.
What is “Fingerstyle” Guitar?
The term “fingerstyle” applies to a specific guitar playing technique where the strings are individually plucked (rather than strummed) by the nails of the thumb (although some players prefer to use a thumb pick over an acrylic nail) and the first three fingers (pointer, middle, and ring fingers) of the strumming hand. The fingerstyle technique is an essential part of many styles of playing including classical, flamenco, bluegrass, country, rock, and is equally applicable to gut string acoustic, steel string acoustic, and electric guitars. A seemingly endless list of fingerstyle guitarists includes James Taylor, Paul Simon, Chet Atkins, Don Ross, Andre Segovia, and on and on. Check any of them out on YouTube, you’ll be amazed.
Why Acrylic Nails Are So Important
It is a well-known fact that naturally grown fingernails are not durable enough to withstand the rigors of plucking the steel strings of an acoustic guitar for hours on end. They curl, peel, crack, rip, and break. Acrylic nails completely solve that problem. They are extremely durable.
But additionally, the thickness and shape of the nails used to pluck the strings are a critically important contributor to achieving beautiful tone when playing fingerstyle guitar (especially on an acoustic guitar). If the nail tip tends to be more pointed in shape and has a thinner consistency, it produces a much brighter or trebly tone. If the nail tip tends to be more round in shape and has a thicker consistency, it produces a much deeper or full, rich tone. And then there are the various degrees of thickness and shape that lie somewhere in between.