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nail breaking?
#2172498 10/26/13 05:58 PM
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A quick question about breaking nails. Is this normal?

Recently over the past few months, there were a few times when I was practicing and my LH pinky nail breaks. It usually happens when doing some sort of octave/solid-broken chord/arpeggio exercises.

I keep my nails fairly trim. Also it does not hurt when it happens. Each time this happens I just trim the nail back a bit so the bent/broke part is more even with the rest of the nail.


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Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172508 10/26/13 07:01 PM
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Are you sure you haven't got a problem that can cause brittle nails, like psoriasis, or a fungal infection?

If you haven't, try using a urea-containing emollient to moisturize and soften your nails.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172511 10/26/13 07:22 PM
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There's clear nail polish out there with all sorts of stuff in it to strengthen nails. I layer in on by the gallon...sure saves a lot of grief for very little $$$...

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172513 10/26/13 07:28 PM
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ajskfld576, I have read your post, here:

subject: A quick question about breaking nails. Is this normal?

Recently over the past few months, there were a few times when I was practicing and my LH pinky nail breaks. It usually happens when doing some sort of octave/solid-broken chord/arpeggio exercises.

I keep my nails fairly trim. Also it does not hurt when it happens. Each time this happens I just trim the nail back a bit so the bent/broke part is more even with the rest of the nail.

_______________

Interesting post. I have chewed my nails since childhood. Even putting no bite stuff on my nails didn't stop me because I ignored the stuff to get to the nails to chew.

But what is interesting is that be it a digital or an acoustic piano or even a computer keyboard over a year or two they show signs of wear and this without nails so what would keyboards and piano keys be like with someone with long nails. I don't know because I never had long nails but maybe someone who is old like me, 64, could tell me what their experience has been for a long time having long nails - like scaring the piano keys ! ! !

cheers,

3B26LN

Last edited by Michael_99; 10/26/13 07:30 PM.
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172520 10/26/13 07:57 PM
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Some of the keys on both my computational and musical keyboards have some definite claw marks... blush My nails are...well, some of them protrude further than they...pretrude? laugh Often I'll use the nail to get that little extra reach...um...snapping happens occasionally, but obviously is more likely to occur when you really go for it. Personally I have extreme fortune in having overtly resilient nails, but for you...if it's a new problem (well, condition at least) then that's peculiar..um...has your technique changed any? *Do* you have a fungus (I <3 fungi laugh )? Has your diet changed...I'm sure you're fully aware of how oversimplified nail structure is nowadays...um...if it's not a problem then I wouldn't worry too much, especially if it's not a painful break; thinking about the physics of it, it's probably just a slight brittling (pfft, it *should* be a word...that or embrittlement) and unless it starts happening when you, say, tie your laces or do up a zip then it's absolutely not a serious concern...um...excepting the rarest circumstances of House-like proportions, naturally ^_^ Now....I may only be a weak amateur at piano, but *nails* I know grin I hope this helps....
<3


Sometimes, we all just need to be shown a little kindness <3
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172573 10/26/13 11:08 PM
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Yes it's not a huge problem, I'm perfectly healthy and it only really happens when I do more extensive exercises.

Hmm this reminds me of other instances where somehow I would strike the key in just the right way so that the nail would catch right in between two keys. Which is crazy because as I mentioned I keep my nails fairly trim.

Again, it's not like this happens on a regular basis. Just curious to see if others have had instances of nails breaking after doing some intense practice.

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172576 10/26/13 11:12 PM
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You could try something like that (any brand).



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Music is my best friend.


Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172577 10/26/13 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ajskfld576
Yes it's not a huge problem, I'm perfectly healthy and it only really happens when I do more extensive exercises.

Hmm this reminds me of other instances where somehow I would strike the key in just the right way so that the nail would catch right in between two keys. Which is crazy because as I mentioned I keep my nails fairly trim.

Again, it's not like this happens on a regular basis. Just curious to see if others have had instances of nails breaking after doing some intense practice.


I used to have nail splitting and it was horrendous and painful. I slowly learnt how to trim my nails and to not contact the keys with my nails but with the flesh instead. You are probably curving too much if you hit the keys with your nails.

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2172593 10/27/13 12:03 AM
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My nails break a lot when I'm playing the piano, yes. I'm fortunate that it doesn't split down to the quick of the nail, but it definitely is annoying. I don't like to bite my nails since it's unsanitary.

The thumb nail is the most commonly broken for me.

Re: nail breaking?
andrewkoay #2172682 10/27/13 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AK92
.

I slowly learnt how to trim my nails and to not contact the keys with my nails but with the flesh instead. You are probably curving too much if you hit the keys with your nails.


I was thinking something similar, that the nails shouldn't be striking the keys. If I hear a nail clicking on a key I go and trim them right away. I hate it when nails scratch the fallboard too.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2173003 10/27/13 11:25 PM
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I cut my nails nearly to the quick, but still occasionally snag one in a white key cutout around an accidental. Drives me bat-poo crazy, and also it hurts. If the nail would break when that happens, it might hurt less. The rest of the time they break if I look at them.

Last edited by thorn_was_taken; 10/27/13 11:25 PM.

thorn

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Re: nail breaking?
thorn_was_taken #2173148 10/28/13 10:30 AM
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If all else fails, tape up your nails before playing.

Alfred Brendel did that regularly on most of his fingers; a few others tape just one or two fingers.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2173372 10/28/13 06:21 PM
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Keep them very short and rub in moisturizer to keep them supple and strong.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2173632 10/29/13 08:50 AM
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I used to bite my nails... until I contracted my second perinicial infection from it (an infection of the nail bed: incision, surgical drain, etc--- no fun at all).

I invested in a nail clipper.

Maybe the OP's 'fairly short' nails are not quite short enough after all. I've observed that if I hear my nails clicking on the keys, it's not long until I have the problem mentioned of having the nails catch in the cracks between the keys. It's a sign to me that it's time to trim. I have heard that drinking gelatin strengthens the fingernails.


Clef

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2183445 11/16/13 03:37 PM
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If it makes anyone feel better, Stevie Ray Vaughn's nails used to pull away from the bed from stretching the the guitar strings for blues notes. They would "fix" them with super-glue.

Kurt


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Re: nail breaking?
bennevis #2183514 11/16/13 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
If all else fails, tape up your nails before playing.

Alfred Brendel did that regularly on most of his fingers; a few others tape just one or two fingers.

I don't have breaking nails, but just another painful problem, which starts every year with the cold and dry air, regardless the amount of hand cream I'm using: The skin around my nails at the fingertips becomes very dry and breaks. It's really painful to have to play like this and I usually tape those fingers up.
I've been experimenting with various types of tape over the years. Does anyone know what Brendel used? Can anyone recommend good tape for this?


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But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
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Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2183545 11/16/13 07:20 PM
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I have the problem of cracking skin too. I seal the cracks with superglue, which allows pain-free playing while they heal.

(Disclaimer: not intended as medical advice to anyone!)


1989 Baldwin R
Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2183677 11/16/13 11:03 PM
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Generally, this kind of thing as well as splits in the fingertip, occur because excessive force is used in the key keystroke, or it is timed too low.

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2183681 11/16/13 11:07 PM
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Short nails and Weleda Skin Food..

Re: nail breaking?
ajskfld576 #2183695 11/16/13 11:43 PM
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Ugh, this thread is making me wince as I hurt my finger last week right at the nail and the cuticle. It's very tender and sore to the touch. It probably would be better by now, except that I'm constantly whacking it on the side of a white key, which brings tears to the eye each time. So my whole thumb is swollen now.


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