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#1858633 - 03/08/12 09:09 PM Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble?  
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I am pretty sure that I have settled on the FP7 for purchase, but due to my guitar playing, I keep my right hand nails long and I understand this is/was a problem with the faux ivory finish. I read all the older posts but what is the worst case scenario here? Should I be looking elsewhere because cutting my nails isn't an option?

Clickity clickity clickity == me playing 3 triads with my right hand.

Thanks.

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#1858650 - 03/08/12 09:32 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Solution:
1. Wear rubber thimbles
2. Play everything with your left hand
3. Slather I Can't Believe It's Not Butter on the keys to soften the impact.

Seriously though, I've never seen any major problems from finger nails on digital pianos, beyond minor scratching. The bigger problem you'll find is controlling weighted keys adequately with very long nails.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1858733 - 03/09/12 01:00 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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I have the same situation. I've learned to keep my right hand nails as short as I possibly can whilst retaining their usefulness. You'd be surprised how short you can go. Guitarists often get used to long nails and think they are necessary, but really it's a habit thing. I'd suggest incrementally filing them shorter and adjusting your guitar technique to suit. I still get a bit of clacking on the keys, but not hugely so. I still have to compromise my right hand piano technique a bit. I play with flatter fingers than the ideal, but I've found a compromise that works for me because I don't want to give up either instrument. I haven't noticed any key damage on my Korg workstation or my Yamaha acoustic.

#1858754 - 03/09/12 02:09 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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By the way, the typical complaint about Rolands is that the Ivory feel surface wears off with scratching. Meaning in the area where you play it becomes more like an ordinary digital piano key--flat. That's not a terrible tragedy, though I suppose there's an aesthetic loss. It probably won't hider your playing or get deep, unpleasant gashes.

Personally I'd rub off that Ivory feel stuff (at least the Roland version of it) if I had it. The material is ok (besides the wear issue) but they paint it on so it has a grain, like elephant Ivory does. In my opinion that is bringing in a negative characteristic of real ivory. It looks and feels worse than straight plastic or flat Ivorite (or whatever). You don't see Ivory grain painted on to upper-level acoustic grands, though some do have an ivory simulant. That's because grains are obnoxious and,for many, not desirable.

So yeah, scratch it off with your guitar nails and be happy with a nice, flat key surface. smile

Last edited by gvfarns; 03/09/12 02:10 AM.
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#1858773 - 03/09/12 03:23 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Just don't get those nails caught between the keys...hurts allot.

#1858777 - 03/09/12 03:38 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Alrighyt. Thanks for the answers. I didn't understand that it was just a thin coating and the problem was so minimal...I was picturing those deep unpleasant gashes and an unplayable surface.

The clickety clack doesn't bother me because I am either playing with headphones of playing loud enough that I can't hear it.

Yes getting nails stuck would hurt! No, not trimming my nails to a shorter length....they are short for a guitar player but long for a piano player.

The rubber thimbles idea would be perfect for playing Black Sabbath stuff...get very close to Mr. Iommi's secret to hit style. As to the left hand only, I am afraid I draw the line at being a half-assed piano player -- half-handed would cripple me.

Cheers for answering my silly question.

#1858782 - 03/09/12 04:00 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Not silly at all. I have the same problem from the other direction. Pianist first, now learning guitar. I can't compromise on RH technique (though I understand others do) so I just can't grow my nails.

Would be grateful for any insights you can offer me as a guitarist. So far I have discovered:

classical isn't an option but plectrum guitar is
steel strings and finger pads aren't all that bad
plastic thumb-pick and metal finger-picks

Anything else?

#1858796 - 03/09/12 05:17 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs

plastic thumb-pick and metal finger-picks



An excellent option if you aren't interested in tone...

#1858804 - 03/09/12 05:45 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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I keep nails short on both hands. If I grow them they break too easily and catch in the strings (RH) or dig in to the fingerboard (LH). I play classical guitar using the tips of the fingers. They don't have the articulation of nails but they tend give a wider tonal range.

Finger pads? Do you mean the callusses? You'll get them on nylon strings too. And they make just as much clack on the piano as nails (if you play with your fingertips).

Plastic thumb picks are fine if they suit you. They're way too hard for strumming chords in my opinion and the tip is too far away from the thumb for picking individual strings. They're good for thumb picking, though no better than the thumb for me, and they save you dropping the pick if your fingers are cold.
Finger picks feel like typing with chopsticks. They're too far from the tip of the finger for me to know exactly where the tip is and I can't feel the pressure I'm putting on the string for dynamic control. It's personal.

Me? Classical: bare fingers; acoustic: Jim Dunlop Medium Nylon; electric: Tortex 1mm or Gibson/Martin Heavy.

Last edited by zrtf90; 03/09/12 05:46 AM.

Richard
#1858882 - 03/09/12 10:25 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Originally Posted by Jonny Guitar
Should I be looking elsewhere because cutting my nails isn't an option?



Yes, you should.

#1858912 - 03/09/12 11:55 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Jonny, regardless of the piano you end up playing, I think you'll find it difficult to play piano (or any keyboard) with long nails - they slip around on the keys.


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#1858920 - 03/09/12 12:13 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Would be grateful for any insights you can offer me as a guitarist. So far I have discovered:


If you are just starting out I would say Hybrid picking is the best of both worlds. Hybrid is Pick and fingers: either thumbpick and pointer/middle/ring or regular pick and middle/ring/pinky. It allows you to have the speed and dynamics of the plectrum and all the options playing with your fingers presents. Also, even though I have the nails, I would say I use the finger pads 80% of the time and the nails only 20% so you can still play finger style without the nails.

It will be hard on your left hand finger pads to start however you can alleviate some of the finger irritation by using coated strings. These strings have a thin mylar coating on them which is easier on the fingers and as a benefit, the tone of the string last about 3 times as long as regular strings -- good thing too because they are 3 times the price. You can also soak your pads in rubbing alcohol which will dry them out get them calloused a little earlier than otherwise. If you get a steel string, and you are in a period of finger pain and still want to play, detune your guitar down to Db or even D for a bit to ease the string tension on your poor aching fingers.

I would stay away from finger picks if possible because they really limit the tones that your fingers can product. The plastic under the nail versions are better but they limit the dynamic options available (ie. make string snapping pretty much impossible. It is all about dynamic variety with the right hand...like piano action. Tons of songs all have the same chords progressions but sound totally different because of the right hand's contribution.

edit: and you can play a nylon string guitar with a pick if you really want. Easy on the fingers, nice wide fretboard to get those fingers forming chords, warm sound. Works for Willie Nelson and his battle scarred Spanish Martin.

Last edited by Jonny Guitar; 03/09/12 12:28 PM.
#1858921 - 03/09/12 12:16 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: toddy]  
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Originally Posted by toddy
Jonny, regardless of the piano you end up playing, I think you'll find it difficult to play piano (or any keyboard) with long nails - they slip around on the keys.


I am okay with the me part of the equation because I don't aspire to be a great; I just don't want to damage the ivoroid keys to the point of a service issue. Seems I am making the proverbial molehill.

#1859014 - 03/09/12 03:16 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Yes, its really a non-issue. Keep your nails because as you say you don't aspire to be a great.
Piano technique will suffer, but not the keys. I play both, but I'm not finger stylist. I play with a thumb pick and fingers on nylon and a standard pick (and fingers) on steel. A soft nylon pick can also sound great on nylon strings! Especially on latin styles.


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How that music used to make me smile....
#1859081 - 03/09/12 06:52 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Regardless of the impact of long or short nails on guitar or piano technique the fact is that the Roland key surface is nowhere near as resilient as that of other manufacturers. I suspect long nails will cause faster and more significant degradation of the Ivory Feel key surface. So if I were wedded to having longer nails then I would not buy a Roland with synthetic ivory keys.

#1859101 - 03/09/12 07:37 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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I know there was trouble with key wear on Rolands a few years back, but I have seen no abnormal wear on my FP-7F. I wonder if other FP-7F owners (long-nailed or otherwise) could chime in here and relate their own experience.


"you don't need to have been a rabbit in order to become a veterinarian"

mabraman, 2015
#1859110 - 03/09/12 08:15 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: zrtf90]  
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Originally Posted by zrtf90
I keep nails short on both hands. If I grow them they break too easily and catch in the strings (RH) or dig in to the fingerboard (LH). I play classical guitar using the tips of the fingers. They don't have the articulation of nails but they tend give a wider tonal range.


That's good to know. Maybe I shouldn't discount classical.

Quote

Finger pads? Do you mean the callusses? You'll get them on nylon strings too. And they make just as much clack on the piano as nails (if you play with your fingertips).


Sorry, I just meant fingertips. No callouses on RH.

Quote

Plastic thumb picks are fine if they suit you. They're way too hard for strumming chords in my opinion and the tip is too far away from the thumb for picking individual strings. They're good for thumb picking, though no better than the thumb for me, and they save you dropping the pick if your fingers are cold.
Finger picks feel like typing with chopsticks. They're too far from the tip of the finger for me to know exactly where the tip is and I can't feel the pressure I'm putting on the string for dynamic control. It's personal.


The thumb and finger picks were just for folk-singing. I found the metal fingerpicks you mould around the finger, I could get used to fairly easily. So, not much control, but a sharper and louder sound (unamplified) than I could get with fingertips.

Quote

Me? Classical: bare fingers; acoustic: Jim Dunlop Medium Nylon; electric: Tortex 1mm or Gibson/Martin Heavy.


My acoustic is steel string: medium. Electric, also medium strings, I forget which type.

#1859115 - 03/09/12 08:22 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: gvfarns]  
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
Personally I'd rub off that Ivory feel stuff (at least the Roland version of it) if I had it. The material is ok (besides the wear issue) but they paint it on so it has a grain, like elephant Ivory does.

I could be wrong, but I believe the Roland "Ivory Feel" is the way they mold the thick plastic that forms the tops of the white keys. I'd be very surprised if it were as thin as paint or could be rubbed off or otherwise removed without sanding the entire top of the key away.

If the keys on our NX ever start chipping and flaking away I think I'd try to get some straight plastic PHAII keys as replacement. And I'd endeavor like a demon to not get stuck with parts or labor costs.

#1859116 - 03/09/12 08:23 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Originally Posted by Jonny Guitar

If you are just starting out I would say Hybrid picking is the best of both worlds. Hybrid is Pick and fingers: either thumbpick and pointer/middle/ring or regular pick and middle/ring/pinky. It allows you to have the speed and dynamics of the plectrum and all the options playing with your fingers presents. Also, even though I have the nails, I would say I use the finger pads 80% of the time and the nails only 20% so you can still play finger style without the nails.


Hybrid is what I found worst, because of the sharp difference between the pick sound and the fingertip sound. If it's just fingers, then that's not so bad. But the combination didn't work. Maybe I just need to work on technique more?

Quote

It will be hard on your left hand finger pads to start however you can alleviate some of the finger irritation by using coated strings. ...


Thanks, I'm way past that. Have no sensation left there!

I would stay away from finger picks if possible because they really limit the tones that your fingers can product. The plastic under the nail versions are better but they limit the dynamic options available (ie. make string snapping pretty much impossible. It is all about dynamic variety with the right hand...like piano action. Tons of songs all have the same chords progressions but sound totally different because of the right hand's contribution. [/quote]

Ok, I'm curious, what's snapping?

#1859132 - 03/09/12 09:01 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs

Hybrid is what I found worst, because of the sharp difference between the pick sound and the fingertip sound. [quote]

Ok, I'm curious, what's snapping?


I use a really thick pick would sounds much closer to fingers so the difference is not a problem plus I do a lot of travis picking so I want the walking bass lines to have just a little more sizzle. Thin picks sound really different; Delrin picks have a deader sound than plastic; really crazy thick bone picks have a really close sound.

Snapping is when you snap the note off the fretboard by either allowing your nails to grab the string and pull up and release or pinching string between finger and pick and doing the same. Combined with 'choked' notes (ring and then muted in one of several ways) snaps are staple of chicken picken hot country twang stuff....however I use them in everything.

#1859133 - 03/09/12 09:02 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: voxpops]  
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Originally Posted by voxpops
I know there was trouble with key wear on Rolands a few years back..


Yes, this is the impetus for my concern.

#1859138 - 03/09/12 09:18 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: ten left thumbs]  
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Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Sorry, I just meant fingertips. No callouses on RH.


Ah, I get you now. See below.

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
My acoustic is steel string: medium. Electric, also medium strings, I forget which type.


Medium gauge on acoustic is 13 - 56. They'll hold their tune for ages and give good tone and volume but they might be hard for a beginner. Medium gauge on electric is 10 - 46. I trust that's what you've got.

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Hybrid is what I found worst, because of the sharp difference between the pick sound and the fingertip sound. If it's just fingers, then that's not so bad. But the combination didn't work. Maybe I just need to work on technique more?


You'll find ficker-picking on steel will also build mild callusses on your right hand with a subsequent improvement in tone and volume. Don't give up on it too soon.

Originally Posted by ten left thumbs
Ok, I'm curious, what's snapping?


Pulling the string away from the guitar and snapping it back against the fingerboard. This became popular with bassists in the seventies. I don't use it myself.


Richard
#1859143 - 03/09/12 09:31 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: dewster]  
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Originally Posted by dewster
I could be wrong, but I believe the Roland "Ivory Feel" is the way they mold the thick plastic that forms the tops of the white keys. I'd be very surprised if it were as thin as paint or could be rubbed off or otherwise removed without sanding the entire top of the key away.


That would be nice, but I don't think it's right. That sort of implies that

1. The Ivory feel material as as robust as (if not identical to) the material on their plain plastic keys.

2. The Ivory feel material is the key-plastic, not a coating on it.

I *think* both are incorrect.

A friend of mine just got a fairly new Ivory Feel Roland and within a very short amount of time had scratched up the surface pretty well with his fingernails. He contacted Roland and they sent someone out to replace his keys with the standard, non-ivory-feel plastic. To me, this says the Ivory feel stuff is a different material.

My impression last time I tested Rolands was that it was a thin coating of a material with more ivory-like properties (absorbing sweat...yuck!) on top of the regular plastic.

Of course, I could be way off. I guess I don't actually have any reason to think the coating is thin other than my impression and what I've heard here in the forum. You actually own a Roland, and I do not, so your guess may be more reliable than mine.

Last edited by gvfarns; 03/09/12 09:35 PM.
#1859167 - 03/09/12 10:40 PM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: zrtf90]  
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Originally Posted by zrtf90

Pulling the string away from the guitar and snapping it back against the fingerboard. This became popular with bassists in the seventies.


They stole the concept of it from Roy Nichols James Burton and a bunch of 50's 60's country players.. they totally made it into a different thing: They combine with slapping the strings off the frets and make whole passages of only that technique.

Last edited by Jonny Guitar; 03/09/12 10:44 PM.
#1859192 - 03/10/12 12:21 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: gvfarns]  
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Originally Posted by gvfarns
That sort of implies that

1. The Ivory feel material as as robust as (if not identical to) the material on their plain plastic keys.

Not necessarily. My theory is that it's a semi-porous casting of some sort, and the porosity is what makes it fragile.

If you take a flashlight and look at the grain it seems to have a "strain-like" pattern around the cut in corners for the black keys. If the ivory feel were merely painted on it would be difficult to get this pattern, whereas a casting might naturally do this as the plastic is injected into the mold. Here's a picture of it on our RD-700NX (all of the keys have a similar pattern):

[Linked Image]

#1859194 - 03/10/12 12:39 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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I wonder ... does it really matter how the keytops are made?

In the end, the damage gets done.
Many people have experienced the problem over the past several years.
So, whether painted, cast, or molded ... you just have to skip Roland and go with the other guys.

#1859217 - 03/10/12 02:26 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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I own a Roland V-Piano, and, I am now waiting for a full key bed replacement of my "Ivory Feel" keys with another set that might be more resilient to scratches, although that is the question that remains to be seen.

Keeping very short finger nails apparently makes no difference with this issue since any contact with the keys (particularly the thumb nail which invariably scrapes the key even when trimmed) will scratch and mar the surface.

Have had detailed correspondence with another PW member who has an HP-305 / 307, as he is now on his third key bed exchange and I am waiting to hear if they are any better than the others.

Still no confirmation of more resilient keys with these key bed exchanges...

#1859223 - 03/10/12 03:05 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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^^ That concerns me, especially with the only store that carries them locally only offering a 12 month warranty.

#1859269 - 03/10/12 08:03 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Wish I would practive so much to see any scratches on my FP-7F's keys :-)

Last edited by ClavBoy; 03/10/12 08:04 AM.

Roland FP-7F

Working on:
Schumann: From Foreign Lands and Countries, op. 15; Burgmüller op. 100, Arabesque; Tchaikovsky op. 39 no. 15, Italian Song

Dreaming of:
Some Scott Joplin pieces i.e. Bethena. Still years to go for that...
Satie: Gnossienne No. 1. Maybe a bit earlier


#1859305 - 03/10/12 10:13 AM Re: Long nails and Roland FP7F - I am asking for trouble? [Re: Jonny Guitar]  
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Most of the DP key surface will be scratched after continuous playing. The question is which surface is more resistant to scratch. The plastic glossy finish or the matt ivorite finish?

I have a feeling that matt, slight porous ivorite finish would be more resistant to scratches.

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