If you are learning the piano or are a professional pianist, you might have wondered whether playing piano with long nails is possible. That's a commonly asked question among female pianists. If you are like most women, you'd love to grow your nails and practice lovely nail art on them. But does it affect your piano-playing ability? What if your nail chips on the keyboard? Or worse, your nail length interferes with the piano sound?

Some women can't remove their natural long nails or have flat fingers, as growing them is tricky. It takes months of care and patience to grow them big enough to get nail art done. While you might be passionate about piano and other musical instruments, you might be equally excited about growing your nails. So, is there any way you can play the piano while keeping your long nails intact?

Those who have just started learning this instrument are often asked to keep their nails short enough to hit the right keys properly. The question is, do your nails affect your piano skills? Or is it just a myth that you can't play the piano with long nails due to nails hitting? In this post, we have discussed all you should know about the connection of your nails with the piano and how it affects the sound quality. Keep reading.

Piano Playing: Can You Play Piano With Long Nails?

The short answer to this question is yes. It's possible to play piano with long nails, but it's highly recommended that you cut your nails to get a better grip on the keyboard and play the instrument without the risk of chipping your nails accidentally.

Long nails present a lot of problems when you hit certain keys. To play this instrument effortlessly, it's important that your hands and fingers are in a good position and you can use the keyboard without putting in the extra effort.

Usually, it is the fingernails that strike different keys, and that's considered the correct position. You shouldn't stretch your fingers more than required, as that makes playing difficult and disrupts the noise.

Downsides to Playing with Fake Nails

If you are a regular player, you shouldn't keep long nails. We've already mentioned some reasons, but unfortunately, those are not the only downsides. Below we have listed some downsides to playing piano with long fake nails.

The Tapping Sound is Irritating

If you haven't already noticed, your fingernails will produce a tapping sound as soon as you are done hitting the key. The sound is pretty obvious and can be easily heard, disrupting your session. If it's complex music, the tapping sound will easily get annoying.

You don't want your audience listening to your music to get annoyed by the click-click sound just because you couldn't trim your nails or get rid of those fake nails. Remember, it's possible to paint your small and original nails, but you can't get rid of the click-click noise with your long nails.

Lack of Contact Between Your Fingers and the Keyboard

When hitting the keyboard, your natural instinct is to bring perfect coordination between your fingers. However, with long nails, your fingers won't be striking the keys. It's rather those fake nails that will play the piano.

If you need a finger-contact with the piano, you should trim the nails and use your fingers properly. This small sacrifice will help you achieve immense pleasure and get greater control of the instrument.

Not touching the fingers to the keyboard also means you won't be able to express the emotions in the music, which affects the overall performance. You cannot understand the weight of the keys, which ultimately affects your ability to play nicely.

Difficulty Playing

The most obvious disadvantage of playing piano with long nails is the inability to keep your fingers firmly on the keyboard.

The long fingernails tend to slide and slip as you press several keys simultaneously. In addition to ruining the performance, this can create great discomfort for the pianist.

You don't want your audience to think that you are incapable of playing perfectly. And the only way to do that is to keep your nail length short enough to ensure perfect coordination between your fingers and excellent contact with the keyboard.

Possibility of Injuries

Another problem with long nails is that there's a risk they might get chipped in the middle of the session, causing pain. It can also cause bleeding if the nails get stuck in the space between two keys.

Likewise, it's tricky to play complex music with longer nails, irrespective of whether they are fake nails or the original ones. As your nails are bigger than your fingertips, it's obvious that your fingertips won't hit the piano keys. As a result, your nails might bend out and get torn off.

Tips For Playing Piano with Long Nail Length

While it's highly recommended that you trim your nails before starting a piano session, some people can't just sacrifice their long nails.

Fake nails can be easily removed. You can remove them before the session and glue them to your original nails once you play. That's the safest way to play piano without sacrificing your long nails.

Then again, this tip doesn't work for people with naturally long nails. Once they are trimmed, there's no way you are growing them back quickly. If you can't trim them, practicing simple music is the ideal way to play piano with long nails. Avoid too many alterations. Instead, it would be best if you stuck to a straightforward music session.

Some pianists believe that your nail shape and size are not a big deal. If you can adjust your piano playing strategy to what fits you and can be played easily, there shouldn't be any problem.

We understand women's desire to have long, pretty nails that are naturally curved and stunning. The good news is that regular practice can help you learn the art of playing this instrument without having to shorten your nail length. Just keep one thing in mind, consistency is key to quick learning. If you are considering fake nails, make sure you don't change the length and shape frequently.

Playing piano with long nails is not a challenge. If you used to have short nails and have recently grown them, you might need some time to get used to the new playing technique. But that's certainly not the end of your passion.

To answer the above question of "whether you can play the piano and get to keep the nails," the short answer is yes. You can get fake nails. If you love nail art and piano, your best bet is to get fake nails. It's easier to experiment with different nail arts and nail colors on them. And you can take them off when playing piano.

Why Keeping Short Nails is Better for Pianists?

By now, you must already know the reasons professional pianists keep short nails. First, the length of your nails directly impacts the level of comfort you enjoy when playing this instrument. Besides, the music is much better when your fake nails do not hit the keys.

Let's check out some common reasons why shorter nails are better for piano players and why you should trim them before playing the instrument.

It helps You Maintain the Right Hand Position

Short nails allow you to get more control over the keys, making your piano session far more comfortable and better than those with longer nails. It also removes the stress of hitting the keyboard with one of your fake nails and having them torn off badly.

You can play the piano without worrying about damaging your nail or getting any injury on your hand. The best part is that it ensures seamless coordination between your hands. Keeping your hand curved is easier, which is the natural position for playing piano correctly and effortlessly.

Good Expression and Sensitivity

Thprimaryin purpose of trimming your nail is to get perfect contact between your fingertips and the keyboard. Being able to touch the keys with your fingertips will allow you to play them properly. As mentioned before, you can focus on playing the instrument instead of looking at your nails frequently.


In addition, touching the keyboard allows you to express the emotions in the songs better than playing the piano with your long nails.

It's believed that touching the piano with your fingertips is not only a proper technique to play this instrument right but is also important to get all the chords correct and bring emotion to the song.

Excellent Speed

Long nails are not an option for pianists learning or playing difficult passages. Some types of music require complex passages. You need to hit the keys constantly and quickly. So, if you want to play tricky notes, it's best to get those nails off.

Playing with long nails won't only cause injury if your nail gets stuck in the middle of the keys, but it will ruin your song. Short nails are your best bet if you want to enjoy excellent speed and amazing music.

If you are currently taking a piano lesson, you should keep your nails trimmed so that you learn all the chords easily. It will keep your nails from hitting the keys and getting torn. Learn to play piano with excellent speed and enjoy this musical instrument with neat and short nails.

Piano Students with Long Nails

A common question people ask is, do piano students need to cut their nails? Since you are in the learning phase, you might wonder if you need shorter nails or the long nails are okay. Being a piano student, you might not yet perform live. But that doesn't mean making mistakes is okay.

Piano teachers will most likely want you to keep the length of your nail tips as short as possible. This is because the shorter your nails, the better your control over the keyboard, and the easier it is to press all the keys efficiently. So, it's advisable to keep your nails short.

However, some teachers may not mind the children using artificial nails or keeping the nail length longer, as it's better to learn with longer nails. Since it's just a learning phase, growing your nails shouldn't be a problem. It's going to be better. Once you learn to play piano with longer nails, playing any instrument with longer nails becomes much easier. So, if a situation comes up, you should be ready to play piano with long nails.

Some piano teachers are strict about the kids growing their nails, as they believe it affects the playing quality significantly and might injure the nails. If you are still confused about whether it's a good idea to keep the nails longer or shorter, it's best to seek advice from your teacher and do as they say.


I hope this post answered your questions about playing piano with long hands. If you are considering expert advice, you need to keep the nails short enough to play piano with your fingertips so that your fingers get in contact with the keys.

This way, you will spend more time playing the piano and learning different chords instead of worrying about getting your nails stuck in the middle of the keys.

Fake nails are the best option for those who can't sacrifice their nails but also want to play piano like a pro. You can remove these nails during piano lessons and put them back on once the session ends. While the size of your nails matters when it comes to musical instruments, once you get the hang of the piano and learn the proper technique to play it, nails will hardly be a problem. I hope you have a great time playing this magical instrument.

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Harlan Kilstein began playing piano during covid with no piano background at all. He taught himself how to play learning what to do and what not to do.
Today he's an advanced intermediate player and can help you grow in your skills because he learned all this on his own.