Can You Play Electric Guitar With Long Nails?


Playing guitar is a very nice hobby and profitable if you are a professional guitar as well. Many people and musicians wonder whether they can play electric guitar with long nails. However, there are some benefits and disadvantages of playing electric guitar with longer nails.

The short answer is yes, you can play electric guitar with long nails. Longer nails are not a barrier to playing the guitar. In fact, it may even be more comfortable for people with long nails because they have a larger surface area to rest their hands on the strings.

In addition, it’s a bit more difficult to bend strings and fret notes at the higher end of the neck because your fingers are further away from the fretboard than if you had shorter nails.

Below you can find some tips and more information about this topic and related questions you might have, so stay tuned until the end to find all the answers you need.

How Long Should a Guitarist’s Nails Be?

Nails are a good indicator of health for guitarists.

A good length for nails is about 3mm or less. Nails should be short enough so that they don’t get in the way of playing the guitar, but long enough so that they don’t hurt the fingers when playing chords.

Nails should be long enough to cover the fingertips. They can also be filed into a square shape, but they should not extend past the fingertip.

playing electric guitar with long nails

Reasons Guitarists Have Long Nails

There are many different reasons why guitar players often have long fingernails so we have decided to share some of them with you.

Every guitarist in the world owns his or her own unique style and that’s why he or she chooses to have long nails, so let’s see them below more in-depth.

More Surface

First, as we mentioned in the beginning, long nails can provide more surface area to pluck the strings, which can result in a better and more complete sound.

Better Playing Experience

In addition, long nails can help guitarists play faster and with more precision because long nails work like an extension for them so it makes it easier for them to play the guitar.

Better Vibrato

Long nails allow for better vibrato control. Vibrato is a technique that guitar players use to add expression to their playing.

It’s created by rapidly shaking the hand that is holding the guitar string, and it can add a lot of feeling to a performance.

Part of Personality

Finally, some guitarists simply think that having long nails looks nice, so apart from the benefit of playing better the guitar, they let their nails grow as a style or fashion of their personality.

Tips for Playing Electric Guitar With Long Nails

Playing guitar with long nails requires practice and determination, so we have decided to prepare a list with some useful tips in order to help you further with your guitar sessions and practices.

If you’re a guitarist with long nails, there are a few things you’ll need to take into account in order to play your instrument effectively.

Nail Care and Trimming

First of all, you’ll need to make sure your nails are well-groomed and not too long. You don’t want your nails to get in the way of your fingers being able to move freely on the fretboard.

Be Careful When Changing Chords

Moreover, you’ll need to be extra careful when changing chords. When you’re first starting out, it’s best to practice chords without using your nail. Once you get the hang of it, you can gradually start incorporating your nails into the chord. Be careful not to use too much pressure, as this can lead to your nails breaking.

Practice Makes Better

Try to file your nails down so they’re not as long. You can also try to file them in a way that they don’t get in the way of your strings. Another option is to use guitar picks that are made for people with long nails.

Whatever you do, make sure you practice a lot so you can get used to playing with your long nails. It might take some time to get used to, but once you do, you’ll be able to play like normal.

With a little bit of practice, you’ll be playing guitar with long nails like a professional in no time!

Is Playing Electric Guitar Hard With Long Nails?

Many people wonder about whether or not playing guitar with long nails is hard. At this point, we will talk about this and also mention some solutions that you can use if you have long nails on your fingers and want to start playing guitar.

Is it hard to play guitar with long nails? Even if your fingers are not long enough, you can still find ways to make a few easy chords without any difficulty.

However, playing guitar with long nails is quite difficult and it takes quite a lot of practice before it becomes easy and natural. You may find yourself struggling to make a few simple notes or chords with your nails, but you can eventually train yourself to do so.

Why Do Guitarists Not Cut Their Nails?

There are various reasons why guitarists do not cut their nails. One of the most common reasons is that they want to maintain their nails as a form of expression. This is not just limited to guitarists, but also other forms of musicians.

playing guitar with long nails

Another reason is that they want to get a better grip on the strings and fretboard while playing. Nails help create a better grip which can lead to more precise playing and fewer mistakes.

Guitarists also use their nails as a way to create different kinds of sounds on the instrument, which would be impossible if the nails were cut off.


Summing up, in this article we have mentioned a lot of things about the long nails and playing the guitar. In general, you can play guitar with long nails but it may be a little bit difficult in the beginning because it requires practice before being able to play comfortably. In addition, we have added some other questions like some tips in order to play the guitar with long nails, and we answered some other general questions for guitarists with long nails. If you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to reach out to us in order to help you further.

Sourav Biswas

Music is my life and I love to play guitar so much. It's been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a musical family, and my parents were always supportive of my passion for music. I am also a freelance writer who has been writing for over 10 years. I have written for both online and offline publications, including Amazon and Medium.

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