2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
76 members (accordeur, anotherscott, AndrewJCW, 3B43, Abdol, 8ude, 16 invisible), 663 guests, and 550 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Cracking/Breaking Nails
#2474802 10/28/15 08:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
D
DancerJ Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
I crack my nails while I play the piano. It usually happens on my left hand thumb nail, especially when I play staccato. Does this happen to anyone else? What am I doing wrong?


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474807 10/28/15 09:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
How long are your nails? I don't think mine are ever long enough to crack, but in the winter I have big problems with getting cracks in the skin next to the nails, which become extremely painful. But I found a solution - liquid bandages, which are sold under many names. I don't know if it would help with nails themselves.

Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474808 10/28/15 09:22 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
Originally Posted by DancerJ
I crack my nails while I play the piano. It usually happens on my left hand thumb nail, especially when I play staccato. Does this happen to anyone else? What am I doing wrong?


Do you mean you're actually causing your nail to crack when you play, or do you mean it makes a tapping sound?


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474818 10/28/15 09:36 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
D
DancerJ Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
I meant the side of my thumb nail cracks sometimes. Maybe I hit the keys with the wrong part of my finger?


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474822 10/28/15 09:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,298
Originally Posted by DancerJ
I meant the side of my thumb nail cracks sometimes. Maybe I hit the keys with the wrong part of my finger?


You should be hitting it with the side of your thumb towards the tip. Everybody's hands are a bit different, but there should be some flesh there to strike the key rather than your nail.

Be sure you don't have long nails when you play, either.

Even if your nail does hit the key, you should not be pressing down so hard that it causes them to break or crack (I assume you don't have psoriasis or something that would cause the nails to be brittle, of course).

Instead of "hitting" the key from above, try playing more from the starting point where your finger is already touching the key and just press down from there. Especially with staccato - it should begin by touching the key, not hovering above.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474835 10/28/15 10:12 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
F
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
F
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
How are you playing so that your thumb *nail* is striking the keys with that much force? It might make sense for glissandos, but for normal playing that strikes me as peculiar. Could you maybe upload a picture showing your hand position when your thumb hits the key? This strikes me as probably arising from an odd technique. Maybe I'm just having trouble visualizing how this comes into play but my thumbnails don't really ever even make contact with the keys (except incidentally) and certainly not with anything near a sufficient force to crack them.


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474892 10/28/15 01:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Is it maybe cracking by striking the adjacent key and not the key you're pressing?


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
Brian Lucas #2474899 10/28/15 01:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
D
DancerJ Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
Maybe. I will pay attention tonight when I practice.


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
Brian Lucas #2474900 10/28/15 01:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
F
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
F
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,640
Originally Posted by Brian Lucas
Is it maybe cracking by striking the adjacent key and not the key you're pressing?


Hmmmm....I didn't consider that. It's a good thought, though I think if they're hitting the adjacent key with that much force they would frequently play the adjacent keys by mistake.

I played around on my piano and I found that if I generated force by wrist rotation rather than weight drop (think of exaggerating the rotation from an octave tremolo) I could end up with my thumbnail cracking the keys (although this requires a pretty excessive wrist rotation). I now suspect that this is what the OP is doing. Though without pictures or a more detailed description it will be hard to know for sure.


Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
David Farley #2474901 10/28/15 01:23 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,738
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,738
Originally Posted by David Farley
How long are your nails? I don't think mine are ever long enough to crack, but in the winter I have big problems with getting cracks in the skin next to the nails, which become extremely painful. But I found a solution - liquid bandages, which are sold under many names. I don't know if it would help with nails themselves.

Sorry to stay OT, but I had this problem until I started using Lotil cream regularly in winter.

Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474918 10/28/15 01:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 348
V
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
V
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 348

How long per day you practice/play piano? If more than 6-8 hours then it's kind of normal thing, nails aren't designed to this. I usually have broken both thumb nails, sometimes also second finger nails, if I don't cut them enough. You should pay attention every day if your nails aren't too long, but they shouldn't be too short too.


Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
vevurka #2474929 10/28/15 02:05 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
D
DancerJ Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by vevurka

How long per day you practice/play piano? If more than 6-8 hours then it's kind of normal thing, nails aren't designed to this. I usually have broken both thumb nails, sometimes also second finger nails, if I don't cut them enough.

Wow! Really? I don't play that long.

Dancers have a similar problem. When I was a Latin dance competitor, I complained on an online dance board that my pinky toenails were ugly. Someone responded, "You still have a nail on your pinky toes?" Ouch!


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474952 10/28/15 02:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,667
Originally Posted by DancerJ
Originally Posted by vevurka

How long per day you practice/play piano? If more than 6-8 hours then it's kind of normal thing, nails aren't designed to this. I usually have broken both thumb nails, sometimes also second finger nails, if I don't cut them enough.

Wow! Really? I don't play that long.

Dancers have a similar problem. When I was a Latin dance competitor, I complained on an online dance board that my pinky toenails were ugly. Someone responded, "You still have a nail on your pinky toes?" Ouch!


Way, way OT - get to know some ultra-runners. Some of them lose so many toenails they end up having them all surgically removed.

Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2474961 10/28/15 03:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 144
S
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
S
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 144
if it is long enough could it perhaps be the nail getting caught between the keys and then the leverage of moving to a different position cracks it?

I play quite a lot everyday and due to guitar being my main instrument the nails on my right hand are pretty long. I keep them shorter than I used to now as I am playing piano and I don't play as much fingerstyle as I used to but I reckon they are long enough that if length was the issue without some other factor I would have run into the same problem. Thankfully I haven't thus far.

Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2475307 10/29/15 03:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268
J
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
Offline
Unobtanium Subscriber
6000 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6,268

Could it be a nutrition problem causing weak nails?



-- J.S.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2475544 10/30/15 10:03 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
D
DancerJ Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 100
I found the cause. It was hitting adjacent keys. I guess slow down is the answer....


Started my piano journey on Aug 13th, 2014.
Re: Cracking/Breaking Nails
DancerJ #2475757 10/30/15 11:38 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,139
Originally Posted by DancerJ
I found the cause. It was hitting adjacent keys. I guess slow down is the answer....

Do I get a prize? smile

You also might be twisting your wrist, causing the fingers to hit the keys at a slant. Make sure your wrist is straight and your fingers should point up the keys rather than at a sharp angle.


-Brian
BM in Performance, Berklee College of Music, 23+ year teacher and touring musician
My Downloadable Video Piano Lessons
My Sight Reading eBook
My Music

Moderated by  BB Player 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
100,000!
---------------------
NEW! Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Parents wanting more work - student not ready/interested
by Kyle J. Smith - 01/18/21 06:24 PM
Kurzweil ka130 vs Casio px770 vs...
by Ninchie007 - 01/18/21 04:45 PM
Refurb or Trade for a Rebuild
by brdwyguy - 01/18/21 04:22 PM
VST Spreadsheet not Available on Sticky Thread
by Harpuia - 01/18/21 02:57 PM
Roland FP Advice
by LongTimeNoSee - 01/18/21 01:49 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics204,365
Posts3,048,581
Members100,115
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4