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How to Play Guitar with Your Long Nails

  • Post published:December 2, 2020

If you are looking for a fun instrument, you should get a guitar. It can be played in many different methods. To play your instrument, you should keep your long nails.

It is also essential to know the way to maintain your healthy nails while you are still playing your guitar. Keep reading this post to get our basic ways to play guitar with your long nails.

Method 1: Modify How You Play

Don’t use a pick to play your guitar

If your nails are longer compared to a pick, you should not use them to strum your instrument. The reason is that they can lead to hitting other strings. Moreover, your nails may also be damaged.

Fingerpick your instrument’s strings

We recommend you to fingerpick your instrument’s strings. It is a better way than strumming it with your long nails. This method helps you choose a guitar string.

Then, it is not necessary to rub fingernails against your guitar strings all the time. You may have to take your time to regulate to switch strumming your instrument to fingerpick it.

Hold your guitar chord by tuning your instrument to the open tuning

If you want to let your nails become long, you should tune your instrument to the open tune. During this tuning, your instrument will play your chord automatically. The open tuning includes D, G, or E chord.

Method 2: Fill Your Nails

Round your nails

If you need to round the fingernails to strum classical guitars, you need to file the nail tip by using a nail file. Your nail should be smooth without any hard edges. Your guitar will get a greater tone while fingerpicking it.

Get a warm sound by sloping your fingernails

You can use a slanted nail for an instrument. File the fingernails in a slant shape to the left or the right. The slope must be straight. Besides, you may also keep your nails at the same slant angles.

Your fingernails should be kept in a point

If a guitar pick is shorter than your nails, file your nails into points acting like one. You can do this with a nail file. However, the slopes should be on any side.

Cut the nails if needed

It is not easy to use long nails to hold chords. Therefore, you may consider cutting your nails on the fretting hand short. Then, it will be less difficult to hold chords with your short nails.


There is a wide range of options out there. Therefore, there is no reason why you can’t play your guitar with long nails. More importantly, you really want to do it.

You need to adjust how you pick your guitar strings, tune your guitar strings, as well as fret your chords. We have looked at some of the methods to play the guitar with your long nails.

They can help your process become easier. We hope that they can help you play better in the future.