Bending causing nail to lift

Hey all! Recently ive been noticing a unique problem, as i start to become more proficient at bending im incorporating it into my playing more. Over the past week I’ve noticed that the nail on my middle finger is slowly lifting st the edge from the tip of the finger, every time i bend it hurts and it feels like the string is pilling the skin underneath away. I cant tell if my technique is wrong somehow or if this is just a common thing that happens. Im bending from my wrist and ive triple checked and im sure my fingers are in the right place. Any advice is appreciated :smiley:

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Has happened to me too so not unique. Justin says make sure you’re just touching the string when you bend. Avoid to much contact with the actual fretboard if you can. Hope this make sense.

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have u cut your fretting nails super short?

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Not super short but short enough they dont get in the way

I don’t understand. Is the string getting between the skin and the nail?
Perhaps a picture of you bending could help see what’s going on.

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No it’s pulling the skin down. Ill attach a photo of me bending from above so you can see

This is a better show: the black line represents roughly where the string sits on my finger. The whit arrow shows which finger is getting painful and the direction it feels like its pulling. Its like the force of bending is pulling the skin down away from the edge of the nail

Is the same happening when you bend with ring finger? I find bending using second finger very unusual below 12th fret. Vibrato yes but not bending, if your nail in 2nd finger lifts up while bending with a third that means you rely too much on 2nd finger to bend with 3rd. Force should come out of your wrist, not 2nd finger. When I bend with ring finger it’s the only point that holds the string, 2nd is there just for a company but doesn’t do any work at all.

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As I said it happens to me. Often when I’ve not played for a while. Give it a rest for a couple of days. After a while your fingers will become conditioned to it. Try bending close to the fret.

You should be able to bend with one finger including the index and pinky. Some say lighter strings help in this. I’m happy with 10’s.

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My personal opinion is that the way you hold the neck is a bit awkward.
In the first two photographs, it seems to me you have grabbed the neck real well with your whole palm holding the back of the neck.
I’m not sure that’s the right way. It seems that this forces you to bend with your fingers, like Adrian mentioned, which is also seen by your 3rd finger being flat on the fretboard.

My opinion would be to reexamine how you hold the neck and to initiate the bend with your wrist, not your fingers.
And give your fingers a rest for a couple of days.

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Im definitely favouring the ring finger in my technique. Its hard to describe but it feels like the ring finger is under the most tension? Yet its the middle that seems prone to injury. Im constantly checking that the force is coming from my wrist, its not perfect but im aware of it and i keep on top of it

Middle finger in reality should not feel any pressure in my opinion, all should fall on the third and wrist. Perhaps a video or gif with focus on your hand while you bend?

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I was trying to replicate your problem. For me it feels like you may be bending with your fingers too parallel to the strings and with the tips pushing kind of over the top of the string rather than from the side.

This site won’t let me post my short video of my bend, so you have a before and after image below. I initiate the bend with the string on my finger tip much more diagonal than you have, then rotate my hand/wrist for the full bend. My thumb is not as far over the top, allowing me less pressure on the fretboard and a far easier rotation. Ask yourself if you really need to mute two strings during this bend. My rotation point is really where my thumb touches the top of the neck. Also, note how my palm sits before and after the bend compared to yours. You look like you are fighting your own hand, needing to overcome a tight neck grip.

I DO have all three fingers involved. I suspect this is a strength thing, and may change a bit as I get more accustomed to bends and build better strength. I will say that the ring finger is the master in this. if I need a little more bend to get in tune, I use the ring finger as the primary force and just use the middle and maybe index fingers to help as needed.

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Ive read through the feedback and i think theres a consensus im bending too much from the middle finger and my wrist is probably at the wrong angle bringing my thumb too far over top. Later when i play im gonna try consciously change these see if after the session my finger is in better shape, i had a quick go and the shifted grip doesn’t feel too different in terms of difficulty so with a but of practice it should hopefully come naturally. Thanks for the advice :smiley:

After 20 minutes of practicing with the modified technique its still causing damage. The only time it doesn’t hurt now is if i lift the middle finger off entirely, im starting to wonder if its not the string but the friction if the fretboard thats doing it. Either way it doesn’t seem to matter how my technique is as I’ve experimented around with different angles and such to no change

Like what I said at the beginning! The response I gave is the one Justin gives in the bending lesson. I took notice at that point cos I suffer with it.

It helps not to have the finger nails too short. Just a bit showing but not enough to dig into the fretboard when playing open chords. After a while you get through and it goes away.

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Give it a rest for a couple of days or more.
Your body is complaining.
Listen to it and don’t ignore it.
Revisit this part of your practice in a week or so…