Rico Stover on Rico Nails

Does anyone use Rico Nails? Your results? They seem extremely easy to use, but I wonder how the adhesive would hold up after an hour or so of playing.

Thanks to Bobber for finding this video and sending it to me.

Posted on in Guitar CD Reviews


  • Bobber

    I have used them quite a bit. Never in a solo concert situation though. You can use the adhesive several times but it does tend to loose it’s grip after several uses. As long as you follow the instructions, it works quite well. The false nail must conform to your nail well. The adhesive must be applied uniformly. One thing I notice in this video is the way Stover applies the adhesive. He’s very careful about it and seems to make sure it is evenly applied before he takes the baking off.

  • Max

    I haven’t but I’m most curious about the adhesive. I know one can purchase a similar product from places like here and here. Rico’s nails peel right off (as he illustrated in the video) but adhesives like above require warm water before you take them off. This leads me to believe that the Rico nails would fall off easier.

    I only think of alternatives to this product because Rico charges by the nail ($1.50 each!) and that’s a bit steep. Plus, one would need to shape the nails and they seem pretty thick. Not to mention should one make a file mistake they would have to purchase a new nail.

    Fake nails can be purchased at any local drug store for a sliver of the price Rico is charging. I’m still trying to figure out what the surgical tape is for. (?)

    I think the reason why guitarists may like this is because it’s neatly packaged for them. I don’t think I’d go for it.

    P.S. On his site he has a section called “fingernail philosophy” that states at the bottom:
    “So my “philosophy” embraces two realities:
    1) strong natural nails are possible
    2) escape from damaging toxic substances is also possible”

    Yet, in the header image of his site he states:
    “I play guitar alot [sic] and I need fingernails. So I invented RICONAILS.”

    Why would he need them if strong nails are possible?

    This whole site don’t sit right with me. It just don’t sit right.

  • Max

    huh. I got the impression he was only referring to glues (super glues, etc.).

  • Bobber

    “Plus, one would need to shape the nails and they seem pretty thick. Not to mention should one make a file mistake they would have to purchase a new nail.”

    They are thicker than my nails but not that much. Filing is virtually the same.

    File mistakes are not a big issue. The nail does not have to be the exact length of your real nail. So there’s quite a bit of wiggle room. As long as you get the edge and shape that you like, you can position it in different ways to adjust the length.

    The tape is to protect against the edge of the nail catching when you do rasgeado. I have not found it necessary to use the tape yet. I guess it depends on how much rasgeado you do.

  • Mark

    I’ve used them when I broke nails before a recital. They do work in a pinch, but start to come loose after a while, which can be VERY distracting when playing. I didn’t use the adhesive more than once for this reason. It is a good temporary solution while nails grow out though.

  • JPSnyder

    I’m thinking they could almost be worth while @ $1.50/nail if you’re just using them for emergency situations. I would be worried though in a performance that the glue might let go. Is the tone fairly consistent to a natural nail with these? I couldn’t really tell in the video. Either way, fake nails are horrible for your nail bed, and silk wraps get worn down quick, so this seems like a good alternative.

  • Bobber

    The tone is very similar to a natural nail. Better in some respects because you can get a very smooth and uniform surface. Like real nails, a lot depends on how well you shape the nail and how you position the nail and flesh on the string.

    The grip of the nail is not entirely dependent on the adhesive. The adhesive capabilities are enhance by getting the nail to to conform to the curve of your own nail so that there is a large surface area for the adhesive to work with. This can be done by using hot water. You dip the nail into the water and try to form it a little bit so that it conforms as perfectly as possible to your own nail. It takes some practice and patience but is worth the effort.

  • UncleTito72

    I’ve been wondering about this for a while. I have paper thin nails, literally. They peel off and bend so easily, that keeping them in shape for guitar performance is nearly impossible. Unless they find a magical nutrient that turns nails hard overnight, I think this is the best solutionfor someone like me. I wish I could show you my nails. They really bend by just touching them.

  • Emil Espinosa
    Emil Espinosa

    I had a problem with thin nails that would shred easily , with an all natural nail product called onymyrrhe I found on Amazon coupled with obsessive-compulsive buffing of the nail edges with trimite sandpaper , it seems to have turned that situation around beyond my expectation. Something to try…

  • Beth

    I have thin nails and have tried a large number of solutions — acrylic nails (very damaging), gel nails (very drying, though less damage). Both require expensive upkeep… which I would gladly do if something worked.

    So I ordered Rico Nails. I have difficulty getting the nails to conform to the curvature of my nail. So that probably doesn’t help things. I used a nail on my index finger 3 times over a period of 2 days. The first 2 times, it adhered very well. The 3rd time, using a new glue dot, it lasted only about 5 or 10 minutes. I carefully pushed the nail down and “burnished” it for good contact with the adhesive. Well it lasted for about 20 minutes. Now the glue dot just won’t adhere to my nail. The nail is not greasy… in fact it is quite dry (having had acrylic nails recently removed).

    Have not tried using it on other nails, as I have a little more length on my middle and ring fingers.