Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hard As Nails?

I play fingerstyle guitar, which means that I rely on my right hand fingernails rather a lot. Let's face it, fingernails are really grow-your-own plectrums and an intrinsic part of your sound. I ought to take more care of them than I do, but I've found that it's when I try to act all precious about not breaking a nail that I run into problems.

Once, I was about to play classical guitar at a Masonic dinner and had walked about with my right hand behind my back for most of the day, just in case. In the end, I was drawing the living room curtains and I tore my thumb nail... It happens doing the most stupid mundane stuff. I can use power tools or service a 747 quite happily and my nails remain intact – but simple interaction with the living room curtains and suddenly we're at Defcon 5.

Luckily, I had my 'don't panic' kit which comprised a tube of glue, the make of which was recommended to me by a flamenco player. It was only available in Spain and so if anyone I knew was going over there, I didn't want any duty free, just some glue. Some of my friends suggested counselling...

Anyhow, the glue did its trick and my nail helped me entertain the Masons. I've since stopped using it and have forgotten the make, too – and if anyone goes to Spain these days, it's a bottle of Rioja, please.

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