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Thread: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

  1. #51
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by A 4 View Post
    I remember spending some time thinking about it, and eventually realized that all the frets with dots corresponded to notes with sharps or flats on any string, which I think is pretty good criteria for a dot. That means, though, no dot for the third fret.

    I also think the fingerboard dots are often too big relative to the size of the mandolin fingerboard - why so large? Side dots always seem to be the perfect size for a side dot.
    I think you mean WITHOUT. Which is what I said earlier (Post #40).
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

  2. #52

    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by belbein View Post
    Of course it's not arbitrary. It's to discourage the heathens (guitar players and banjo players) from soiling holy ground.
    well, its been a zombie thread,
    but belbein old boy, banjos have the same dot layout as mandolins.

    maroon, your favorite color perhaps?

  3. #53
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    I think you mean WITHOUT. Which is what I said earlier (Post #40).
    Yes to both of those things!

  4. #54
    Registered User Kevin Stueve's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philphool View Post
    No. All the frets NOT marked also correspond to elements of the circle of fifths, since the circle applies to all 12 notes in the chromatic scale.

    Markers just mark where all the notes are "non-sharps/flats" (discounting things like Fb, E# and such). But this is just my theory.
    Hmmm My mandolin has a dot at the 3rd fret and 15th fret which have a Bb ne c'est pas?
    Last edited by Kevin Stueve; Mar-04-2018 at 1:37pm.
    2012 Weber Bitterroot F5.

  5. #55
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Stueve View Post
    Hmmm My mandolin has a dot at the 3rd fret and 15th fret which have a Bb ne c'est pas?
    Yeah. They mark all the notes without sharps/flats, ...... and then sometimes a few others too.

    It's just to keep you thinking. Free mental health treatment.
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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  7. #56
    Stop the chop!
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    The fret markers on frets 3, 5, and 7 correspond to 2nd-4th positions on violin. After these it seems that violinists recognize a fifth position starting from th 9th fret, but also a 6th position starting from the 10th fret. If I play in 3rd position it's usually in keys where the scale notes fall on frets 5-10, and in 4th position on frets 7-12, so the 10th fret and 12th fret dots certainly aid orientation on the fretboard.

    One of my mandolins for some reason had a 10th fret side dote (the ony fret marker ON the fretboard was the octave) so I had to have that moved. At the same time the repairperson installed a double side dot at the octave.

  8. #57
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    I always wanted to put some dashes next to the dots on a guitar and tell people it was some sort of secret Morse Code . . . . .

  9. #58
    Registered User Bauzl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    My Airline Mandola has dots at frets 3, 5, 7 - which is normal. A dot at 10, that's o.k., 9 would also be acceptable. Then it has the almost mandatory double dot at 12.
    So far everything is o.k.
    The rest is also o.k. as it does not impact playability. But I do not understand why it has dots at 14 and 16 instead of 15 and 17?
    By the way I did not even recognise this before reading this thread ;-)

  10. #59

    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bauzl View Post
    My Airline Mandola has dots at frets 3, 5, 7 - which is normal. A dot at 10, that's o.k., 9 would also be acceptable. Then it has the almost mandatory double dot at 12.
    So far everything is o.k.
    The rest is also o.k. as it does not impact playability. But I do not understand why it has dots at 14 and 16 instead of 15 and 17?
    By the way I did not even recognise this before reading this thread ;-)
    How odd. Online pictures show one at the 15, not 14. But one picture has a 9 instead of 10!

  11. #60
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do the dots on the fret board mean?

    Fylde mandolins have a dot at nine instead of ten. Were I to get one (and there are more than a couple I have been interested in), I would get that changed right away.

    Three is nice, but 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 are the ones I most rely on.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
    funny....

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