Product: Musical Instrument: String
Retractable fingernails   (+5, -5)  [vote for, against]
For the multi-instrumentalist.

As a guitarist, I find that I need very short nails on my left hand for fretting, and fairly long nails on my right hand for picking or strumming (I am right-handed). However, when I switch to keyboard, the right-hand nails interfere with correct fingering action, sometimes to the extent of jamming between two keys. The solution would be to have nails which extend for guitar and retract for keyboard.
A press-on is made to the size of a trimmed nail, but it's hollow and a similarly-sized inner nail fits fully inside it. In the basic version, the inner nail is spring-loaded so that it extends a quarter inch or so beyond the tip of the outer nail, and retracts when pressed inwards. The deluxe version has a latch to hold the inner nail which is released by pressing near the cuticle.
-- angel, Sep 20 2001

Cut your nails in the morning then do all your piano playing. Then eat a lot of gelatin. By the evening, your nails should be long enough to play the guitar. Guaranteed.
-- lubbit, Sep 20 2001

Thank you, [lubbit]. Translation: cut your nails before playing the piano intro of a song, then eat lots of gelatin (while playing the piano). Before the guitar break, your nails should be long enough. Then cut them again before the next piano bit. Rinse and repeat.
-- angel, Sep 20 2001

How about flip-up press-on nails? A little hinge would allow you to move them out of the way for those times when they're inconvenient (opening a soda can) and drop them back down prior to your night on the town.
-- phoenix, Sep 20 2001

forget retractable finger nails, I want extending claws... (incedently I am not much of a musician - a little piano/keyboard is all I can manage...)
-- RobertKidney, Sep 20 2001

Nice one, angel.
-- iuvare, Sep 21 2001


Aren't there fingertip picks?
-- StarChaser, Sep 21 2001

[phoenix]: Flip-up nails? Fine for your problem, but they wouldn't solve mine.
[Star]: Yes, there are, but, for me, they don't have the 'feel' of fingernails. Anyway, the nail/pick-on-piano-key issue is still an issue.
[UnaB]: 'Plectra' = plural; 'its' = singular. For shame!
-- angel, Sep 21 2001

Yay, have a croissant with the filling of your choice!
-- Miss Weston Smith, Sep 21 2001

You're right [angel]. My post didn't make any sense at all.

Extra points if your extensions have a 'French manicure' look. Minus points if they deploy while holding your S.O.'s hands.
-- phoenix, Sep 21 2001

Angel: Do you have to go from guitar to piano so quickly that you don't have a moment to remove them?
-- StarChaser, Sep 22 2001

Yes. This issue first arose when my band covered 'Alone' by Heart. We had no keyboard player at the time, so keyboard duties were split between singer, bass-player and guitarist (me). As the last organ chord of the second chorus is sounding, the guitar break starts, and as the last note of the break dies away, the piano starts again. It's *that* close.
-- angel, Sep 23 2001

Ah, so desu. Maybe rubber-on-the-outside coated picks so they don't mung the pianny keys?
-- StarChaser, Sep 23 2001

How about latex finger extensions which cover your long finger nails allowing you to play the keyboard..remove for the guitar playing.
-- jdpti, Sep 23 2001

Why not just invest in a set of pick-fingers?
-- troglodyte, Jan 10 2004

random, halfbakery