Tips on how to kick a nail biting habit?

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by Mr-Jemhead93, May 23, 2013.

  1. Mr-Jemhead93

    Mr-Jemhead93 I think I'm profound

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    I want to pick up classical guitar to expand my playing but I have a habit of biting my finger nails and I know they play a big role in playing classical guitar. Would any of you have any advice on the situation? I've already tried dipping my fingers in garlic and assortments of peppers but that didn't keep me from chomping on them haha
     
  2. Exit Existence

    Exit Existence SS.org Regular

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    stop putting your fingers in your mouth and you wont bite them


    lol but really you are f#$ked. Been there, done that, failed every time. Gave up on classical. Good luck though!
     
  3. Exit Existence

    Exit Existence SS.org Regular

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    On the optimistic side, you can still get decent tone without nails for most situations although it is a lot more difficult to play. If you have a teacher, they will be pissed but oh well.

    Also, just change the menu to left hand only.
     
  4. ittoa666

    ittoa666 /)'3'(\

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    Willpower! That's what I've been trying not to do, and it works. Just think about the negatives of doing it when you go to bite your nails.
     
  5. erotophonophilia

    erotophonophilia SS.org Regular

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    Put clear nail polish on the tip of your fingernail. I doubt you'll like the taste or the smell.
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    I was going to suggest something similar, but instead nail polish remover. When I was 14 or so I was a goth kid painting my nails black haha - sometimes I'd instinctively go to chew them after cleaning it off and the taste was disgusting. That taste stays for long time.
     
  7. erotophonophilia

    erotophonophilia SS.org Regular

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    She doesn't seem to think so. And brushes her teeth with acetone.
     
  8. yingmin

    yingmin Parker ├╝ber alles

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    I started keeping a nail clipper on my keychain to stop nail biting, but that only lets me keep my nails short; it's not very helpful if I want to grow my nails out. However, I don't feel that nails are essential for playing classical guitar.
     
  9. Mr-Jemhead93

    Mr-Jemhead93 I think I'm profound

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    Hmm thanks everybody! I think I'm going to try nail polish remover
     
  10. Given To Fly

    Given To Fly SS.org Regular

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    Wear gloves all the time...seriously. Classical guitarists are allowed to be crazy when it comes to their nails.
     
  11. PrestigeFan92

    PrestigeFan92 SS.org Regular

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    Habanero pepper, crushed, and up under the finger nails. Do it once, and youll never bite again.
     
  12. Mr-Jemhead93

    Mr-Jemhead93 I think I'm profound

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    I've tried the peppers thing before but I don't think it was a habanero pepper, I'm actually very tolerant to spicy foods I think that's why it didn't work. I'm Mexican so I grew up slathering everything in salsa haha
     
  13. Overtone

    Overtone SS.org Regular

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    There is a concept called the habit loop. The idea is that something stimulates a craving, you do the activity, and then there is a reward. So for example you finish eating, so you want a cig, so you smoke, so your body gets nicotine. Trigger -> activity -> reward. The reward isn't really a "reward" so much as your brain getting some kind of satisfaction. With this concept they say the key is to identify the triggers, and replace the activity. So for example if you are trying to quit cigarettes, it'll be more effective if after you finish a meal, you have a coffee or a small piece of chocolate or something so your craving gets a reward even though it is through a different activity.

    What sucks is that the main example the book in which I was reading about this gave was about nail biting, but I can't remember shit about what the triggers were and how it was dealt with. I think the person kept a log of every time they bit their nails and what they were doing leading up to that, and they identified a wide range of situations that were stress related, and they started to chew on a toothpick or something. That's the general idea... good luck!
     
  14. Argo

    Argo SS.org Regular

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    I actually had this same sort of problem a few years ago when I wanted to start playing classical. As silly as this sounds it just takes focus! Also if you're maintaining them with a file and sandpaper you really don't want to mess up you're work.

    Just keep reminding yourself to not do it. And even though you might slip up and bight some off, it'll grow back :D
     
  15. mniel8195

    mniel8195 SS.org Regular

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    start smoking
     
  16. vansinn

    vansinn SS.org Regular

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    Nail bitings often is a result of something not being addressed in ones life.
    Looking into personal self development stuff, in order to find out what it is can be helpful.

    Not saying it cannot simply be a result of pure bad habit ;)

    I once upon a time had this habit of muscle pinches, dragging left side of my mouth/throat downwards, while twitching my eyes like in a nervous disorder syndrome.
    Mostly a bad habit, though I did have some issues to get over.
    I simply decided to pay attention to those phenomina, and reprogram myself to fight the urge/habit.

    The "start smoking" suggestion was hopefully intended as a mere lame joke..
     
  17. Mr-Jemhead93

    Mr-Jemhead93 I think I'm profound

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    I'm currently on day 2 of not biting my nails this is harder than I thought. I still haven't put anything on my nails to prevent me from biting them. I'm going to go with the whole willpower thing for now and if that starts to slip ill just dip my fingers in acetone or something lol
     
  18. fretninjadave

    fretninjadave Seven String Samurai

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    :idea: Start wiping with no toilet paper. You're welcome.
     
  19. Exit Existence

    Exit Existence SS.org Regular

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    keep at it, once they get a little longer it will be easier to realize you are about to chow down and stop.
     
  20. Suho

    Suho Guitar Guardian Contributor

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    I bit my nails as a kid, but kicked it a long time ago. I think I did it through willpower and having a nailclipper nearby, which allowed me to clip them down before I could bite them and gradually I just stopped doing it.

    You may have to focus on kicking the biting before getting to the point where you can grow your nails out, if that makes sense.
     

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