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I have to do WHAT in order to play the piano?

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When I was in a teenager, I always liked the fact that I had nice nails.  I have a vast collection of nail polishes in different colors.  I could probably change them every week and not use the same color twice. 

But one thing that I didn’t like was having to cut my nails in order to play the piano.

When my nails got too long my piano teacher would say, “I hear your nails, you need to cut them.” Ugh, seriously.  I had a choice, increase my piano skills or keep my long nails.

As you can imagine, I cut my nails.

But why?  Why can’t you have long nails and play the piano?

Well, technically you could, you just would have to be confined to certain music genres, mainly playing piano pieces with chords only or beginning level songs.

Playing the piano, especially being able to play highly technical, and fast, songs require you to curve your fingers.  If you curve your fingers, what happens?  You are going to be hitting nails and not the tips of your fingers.

Anyone who has touched the piano, knows the keys have a glossy feel to them, your fingernails are going to slip.  You won’t be able to move your fingers up and down the keyboard at a pace that is in line with the original piece. 

In addition, the tapping sound you hear when you hit your nails on the keys are a distraction.  Would you rather hear the beautiful sounds of the piano or the clinking sound of nails? 

I don’t play as much classical pieces as I did in the past, when I do sit down to a serious practice session and my nails are long I do end up cutting them.  I can still paint them a different color every week; there’s no stopping that part of my creative soul.