View Full Version : Number of Frets and Fretboard Extension
So what's the usual number of frets on various styles of mandolins. A lot of this kind of thing is derived from 100-year-old Gibson models, right?
Does a classic "F style" generally have a long fingerboard extension? Some of them seem to have as many as 29 frets or partial frets. That practically goes all the way to the tailpiece and I can imagine what you'd use those last half-dozen teensy, tiny frets for in actual playing.
Then the "A style" might have an extension but it's shorter, right? Maybe 24 or so frets?
And ovals are maybe even shorter than that. And some fretboards just end squarely like on a guitar at about the 21st fret.
What's the canonical arrangement up there?
Varies .. have 20 on the Gibson A50 in my lap at present.. you can look at all the pictures in the eye candy section,
linked from the home page... . and count them for a survey..
see the other styles in the menu ..
I'm not very observant am I? Never even noticed the "Eye Candy" gallery. I'll have to clean the shmutz off my glasses and get to work counting frets.
My intial quick look-see finds an lot of them the around 22 frets in both A and F bodies. Later today I'll try to make a comprehensive sample of a dozen or so brands and see how common those mile-long extensions really are. For my part 20 or 21 frets is more than enough and I doubt I'd ever notice if there were just 19.
I know not many of us ever hold down the strings way up on the extension on an F model but myself I like the looks of the partial frets there instead of just a plain piece of wood, I also know some pickers say that their picks clack against the extension when they play and they scoop out the extension, might be better to just cut it off entirely...But for looks if it is kept on I like the half frets myself, even though they don`t serve a purpose but neither does the scroll or points....Willie
Don MacRostie, builder of Red Diamond Mandolins, comments over on this thread (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?65098-Gibson-F-5-Fingerboard-extension) that he believes the extension can play a very important tonal role in an instrument's overall sound.
I am not remotely qualified to comment about this one way or the other, but find the hypothesis nonetheless intriguing!
I rarely need to play notes that high .. to attract mosquitoes? the find me on their own ,
have a CO2 detector I'm told.
double checked, .. Stevens paul glasse 5 string electric has just 15 frets,
there is more room between the 2 pickups, as a result.