When I first learn how to play the ukulele, I came across this thought of whether or not to leave fingernails on my right (strumming and hand plucking) hand. Maybe I’ll share my thoughts with you all now.
Initially I kept a certain nail length, about 2mm.. And I found that my playing was kinda ‘picky’ sounding. As the nails were hard and they created a more ‘picked’ sound. My nail length was about the same as the picture below:
And my playing sounded like this:
So I switched and cut my fingernails, to minimize the chances of any part of my nails from touching the strings. After that, my playing sound changed, and sounded like this..
Basically, playing without fingernails gives a softer sound, which is more suitable for slow and soft sounding songs. So depending on what kind of music / song you’re playing, you should experiment around with having longer or shorter nails, and eventually develop into your own style….
Well, there are a lot of other factors which needs to considered. For example, if you are a female, as females tend to leave longer nails, due to fashion or beauty reasons, you might be reluctant to cut your nails. Also, if you play more strumming of chords, rather than finger picking, nails would help you sound louder.
If you have any questions, pop me a comment, and I’ll try my best to answer your question.