Long Fingernails

Hello. I have very strong fingernails and they are quite long. I’m wondering if I should cut them ?
I’m new to jazz piano (and loving it) and I seem to be doing my practice drills and attempting my first jazz standard ok… however, could I do better with short nails?

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hi. Donna and welcome! :blush: You said it right - just in my experience, having short nails

  1. will help you form, curve your fingers well on the keys , not to mention “touch”
  2. will help a lot with recording as it will tap on the keys and will give you that extra sound while playing if you have longer nails
  • though all this of course depends on your choice :blush: and where you are comfortable - as long as you are not forming bad habits in playing . Happy practicing!

Thanks Kristeta
Yes, I guess I knew deep down those nails need to be short.

It doesn’t bother me to not have long nails and I don’t paint them or anything, it’s more they grow so quickly ! I think I’ve just cut them and before I know it time to get the nail clippers out again!

I can’t see me recording anything (the long nails would provide added percussion?) but a good point about curve/formation - I don’t want to get into bad habits :grin:


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First, welcome! We love seeing new faces around here.

I suppose short nails would be more comfortable. I wouldn’t know, not having had long ones. One of my early memories of the piano is of my teacher cutting my nails before a lesson. (I was probably around eight years old.) She said the clicking sound irritated her.

Your comment about adding percussion made me laugh, thinking about a song from Joe Ely. He’s a West Texas country guitarist/singer/songwriter, one of my favorites in the genre, though he went on to open for The Clash back in the day. I used to see him on weekends at a bar called Fat Dawgs while I was studying for my Master’s degree at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. This has nothing to do with the program, but it’s fun. Here’s “Fingernails” (1978). Enjoy :musical_keyboard:


Haha … i was almost going to say - “will
add some extra percussive effects” lol

Yes true! Our nails grow quickly :smiley:
Enjoy exploring the site!!! Keep us posted :blush:

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Thanks Scott
I’m a big fan of the Clash - and Stiff Little Fingers (My formative years :grin:) and 40 years later I’m still listening to them plus all the jazz music I’ve been introduced to :blush:
I’m really enjoying learning a new skill now I’m semi-retired
Donna x

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P.s. forgot to say thanks for the video clip and also , how awful that your piano teacher cut your nails :open_mouth:

ye i totally agree the short fingernails are really important it change completely the touch feel on keys and the form of your hand.

and often just after cutting them we can really feel the change, dont you ?

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