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Thread: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

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    Default Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    yes,,, am I missing something when it comes to a radius fretboard?? ..when I play on one it always seems as though I don't quite make a solid finger contact on the E string. I don't have that problem with a flat fretboard. What makes radius fretboards so popular with players.... I wonder what the likes of Bill Monroe and other pickers of the past would think....ie comfort and playability. Thanks, ja

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    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by po56okie View Post
    yes,,, am I missing something when it comes to a radius fretboard?? ..when I play on one it always seems as though I don't quite make a solid finger contact on the E string. I don't have that problem with a flat fretboard. What makes radius fretboards so popular with players.
    They have different hands and the opposite experience.
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Try both types enough to give them each a fair chance.

    You may decide that your first impression is correct... you do better with the flat board.

    You may decide that the radius board isn't all that hard to deal with once you get used to it... you may even end up liking it better.

    You may decide that either is fine and you can go back and forth with no real problem.

    Whichever way you go, don't forget to start another thread insisting that your preference is the one that makes sense and that anyone with another preference is wrong.
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    It does take time, my first was flat, I got a radius and it was like I had never played until I gave it some time.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by po56okie View Post
    yes,,, am I missing something when it comes to a radius fretboard?? ..when I play on one it always seems as though I don't quite make a solid finger contact on the E string. I don't have that problem with a flat fretboard. What makes radius fretboards so popular with players.... I wonder what the likes of Bill Monroe and other pickers of the past would think....ie comfort and playability. Thanks, ja
    My Eastman 515 has a radius fretboard, and have the same experience as you. My Gibson Gold Rush has a much flatter fretboard and it is much easier to play, given comparable set ups. I still play the Eastman, but usually reserve it for situations where there is a lot of alcohol and noise. As for what old Bill would think...Well Bill could play a bard wire fence if you could tune it!
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    I may step in it here, but I think our fingers, hands and arms articulate way more than any impact from radius or flat, and that muscles and muscle memory adapt accordingly.
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Many years ago I played a Gibson F2 with the severe(IMHO) V-neck. I came down with a severe case of wrist and arm tendonitis, and quit playing mandolin for about 18 months. After that long I couldn't stand mandolin deprivation and researched how to re-enter the mando world. The answer was a radius fretboard. I got a Phoenix and it was just great to play again. Over time I acquired other mandolins, all with a radius. Recently I gave myself a retirement present of a Nugget mandolin. Stupid me didn't inquire about the fredtboard when I bought it online. The Nugget came, I saw that it had a FLAT fretboard. It has turned out to be the nicest mandolin I've ever played--no surprise. Moral of the story is play as many as you can, don't generalize, and get the one that plays best in your hands.

  10. #8

    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    I believe that the majority of the problems a player has going to and from radius or flat boards will all be in your mind. You may develop a favorite but I do believe a player which has both radius and flat fret boards will be able to go between the two with little or no difficulty after time.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Some people prefer radiused boards. I prefer flat boards on mandolins, and lightly radiused boards on guitars. Whatever fits you . . .

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    Registered User George R. Lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    To me the shape of the neck has more to do with it than if the board is flat or radiused. My pet peeve is small frets drive me crazy.
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    My beater The Loar Mandolin has a flat fret board. I like it better then my Webers radius fret board. I didn't choose my Weber but would have prefered it to have a flat one. However, both are playable and I like them both.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    What George R. Lane said: The neck shape on my Nugget was the big difference in my being able to play a flat fretboard again.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    I have both, and don't even notice the difference when I switch from one to the other.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Neck size and shape are the most important to me, followed by a good fret job.

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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Neck size and shape are the most important to me, followed by a good fret job.
    I agree neck shape and size make more of a difference than anything else. Since I need and like low action a good fret job is also top priority. Flat or radius, I can go back and forth and barely notice a difference.
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    When ever I go from radius to flat it feels so good. Same is true when I go back to a radius. It just feels so good.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to my playing either way.
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    en kunnskapssøker James Miller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Wonder if there was such a thing as a reversed-radius, more concave, if that would help us shorter fingered folk? For the sake on conversation. Think radius would be favored for those with extra long fingers or more finger length than they know what to do with.
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  21. #18
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    Quote Originally Posted by James Miller View Post
    Wonder if there was such a thing as a reversed-radius, more concave, if that would help us shorter fingered folk?
    There is a scalloped fretboard: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/s...-on-a-mandolin
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    have some that are flat*, a few that are arched, I did not order any of them ,

    (Well I do have an electric solid body 4 string.. made from scratch)

    Generally I just Cope.

    * A-0, A4, the Djangolin,, arched MIX A5, Lebeda jazzica..
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    Default Re: Flat fretboard VS Radius fretboard

    a 12" radius ain't much on a narrow board like a mandolin. Ya'll need to get out of your own way sometimes.

    flat, radius, v-neck, boat neck, 7.25 vintage strat, 9.5", Clapton V, 12" Gibby lester, J200, flat board round neck long scale 'zouk, old Gretsch 6120 shallow C, K2, Weber OM, 17th C Lute repro, Oud, whatever. It doesn't matter, my hands are more adaptable than any of those are different. If you tell yourself it's harder to play, it surely will be.

    Mandolinetto now, that's a right PITA

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