|Finger on strings before trimming|
Take a look at the picture above. Ignore the death grip I'm giving to my Hoffer's neck (The name I gave my violin, we'll go to that part in the future, as well as the grip) as I'm balancing the violin whilst holding the camera. Notice angle of my fingers on the strings. It's very hard to produce the correct sound because the nail is interfering with the finger pressure I'm applying on the strings. If I put my fingers squarely on the violin, my fingernails will be cutting into the string. That can lead to either finger injury or a broken string.
|Finger pressure after trimming|
Now compare the angles of my fingers from the previous picture to the one above. You'll notice that I'm now applying a more even pressure on the strings without compromising comfort. My nails are no longer cutting on the string and interfering with my intonation. I don't have to rotate my wrist and fingers just to avoid hitting the stings of the violin with my fingernails. BTW, Beth has a great violin tutorial in ViolinLab.com on how to apply finger pressure and strengthening exercises for good intonation.
The length of your nails on your right hand can also interfere with your bow hold. Long thumb nails can get in the way as you position your thumb right at the crook at the frog. Instead of getting a solid and relaxed hold on the bow, your thumb will be constantly sliding forward. As a result, you'll be adding useless pressure and your intonation will be affected because of this.
So next time when you practice, check the length of your nails and see if they need trimming. That very small detail can really reduce a great amount of frustration as you produce your notes.
What's your preferred length for your fingernails? How short do you trim them? Please share your tips and ideas, or comment on this posting below. :)