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Thread: Fretboard inlays

  1. #1
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Fretboard inlays

    Fretboard inlays. There's so many types...

    Dots (Traditional)
    Blocks (Reminds me of an SG or Les Paul)
    Vines (Artistic - unique)
    None (self explanatory)

    Thoughts on inlays? Nobody cares?
    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

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  2. #2
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I vote for artwork.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I like just the dots for reference points. Too much adornment on the fretboard, though, can be disorienting.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

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  5. #4
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Blocks, nah. Dots or subtle inlays are fine on the front of the fretboard but for utility I find that side dots do the trick. The other is more aesthetics but i suppose it does help some with orienting when you have to switch position.
    Jim

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  7. #5
    Mandolin user MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Blocks, nah. Dots or subtle inlays are fine on the front of the fretboard but for utility I find that side dots do the trick. The other is more aesthetics but i suppose it does help some with orienting when you have to switch position.
    I can't see the surface of my fretboard while playing...
    I suppose it's for helping your music partners?
    2007 Weber Custom Elite "old wood"
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  9. #6
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I love the old late 20's-30's F-5 pearl block inlays as well as the 30's F-7 ,F-10 and F-12 inlay work-way KOOL! Just adds a bit something rather than just a few little fret board dots! IMHO anyway.

  10. #7
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I could do with or without the fretboard dots. I can't see them but the side dots I do need.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  12. #8
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Can't see them, I only care about side markers. In the years when I was ordering custom acoustic and electric guitars, they were always with no markers on the fretboard. I just like that look. My current and only mandolin has dots on the fretboard and I might not have bought it with anything fancier.

    With one exception...

    I once saw a custom Jaroslav Prucha F-style custom mandolin, offered for sale secondhand. The theme was bats, with a fancy bat inlay on the headstock, and all the fretboard markers were flapping bats in different sizes. It was like Dracula's mandolin. If I had been able to afford it at the time, I would have bought it. Always wondered where that one ended up.

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Without inlay, how is one supposed to know you paid way more for your mandolin than I paid for mine?

    Seriously. I like small dots on the fretboard and plant life on the headstock. Twist my arm and I'd take the Ellis at the top of this page.
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  15. #10
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Pruscha also made a series of banjos with what i'd call ''off the wall'' inlays - bats was one of them.

    I really like the Gibson ''Sam Bush'' style block inlays,but my favourite,is the polar opposite - none !. To me it looks like my favorite charcoal grey suit - understated & very smart. Imagine putting white buttons on it !. That's the way i feel about marker 'dots'. Maybe a sliver of MOP or Abalone at the 12th wouldn't be too bad,but i'd mostly go for the side marker dots,& maybe a small inlay at the edge of the fingerboard - think Gretch guitars,but 'smaller',
    Ivan
    PS - From Br1ck - "Twist my arm and I'd take the Ellis at the top of this page." That's the headstock on Tom Ellis's own mandolin,one which i've read is totally outstanding, even within Tom Ellis's awesome build standards.Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #11
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    fret board inlays is almost like tuner buttons, its all what your personal preference is! Plain plastic, different wood, grained ivoried, pearl, Handel style etc...

  17. #12
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    Can't see them, I only care about side markers.
    I think the block inlays on the fretboard are quite fetching, myself.

    Also, owing to my, err..., replete nature, I can see the dots on my fretboard quite easily.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

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  19. #13
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I know it's a guitar but the Fender Hellcat has just that, cats.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I know these are stickers but I never knew so many existed:

    https://www.inlaystickers.com/collec...s/contemporary
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  20. #14
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    If it’s tasteful, it’s cool. I’ve seen some pretty awful “trees of life” that looked more like poison ivy! But, I’ve always been partial to small diamonds (Martin style) on fingerboards but, I have never been able to part with the funds to have much more than the peghead inlay in my avatar. And that was a birthday gift by the artist!
    The elegant “Yellow Rose of Texas” is just below the “hanging dot” The Guild.
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  21. #15
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I could do with or without the fretboard dots. I can't see them but the side dots I do need.
    Yea, 1 thing I did after a few years, many years ago, on my Plain-Jain A nil,
    was have a luthier* add side dots .. it had fretboard face dots, from the beginning...


    My Showy F is a Lebeda 'jazzica' it has block oyster/abalone/oyster shell inlays ..

    When *he built my 4 string Solid body electric , I asked for Gretch style semi circular ones,

    on the top edge of the fretboard face to take care of both, face & edge, in one go.









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  22. #16
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Without fretboard inlays, it makes it difficult to work out where to put your capo

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  24. #17
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I honestly didn't select my F-9 because of the lack of fretboard markers, but after having it for a number of years, I really prefer it now.

    The side markers are essential to me when I look at my left hand, but most of the time I don't look anymore.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    -- Don

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  26. #18
    Confused... or?
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Call me silly, but the maple-on-ebony vine inlay of Taylor's koa guitars, in fact the whole dang guitar, gets me drooling. And the curls of the vine make effective fret markers. Don't own one... yet?
    - Ed

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  27. #19
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I am quite fond of the small diamonds on my Webers. Simple and elegant.
    Don

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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    Quote Originally Posted by dhergert View Post
    I honestly didn't select my F-9 because of the lack of fretboard markers, but after having it for a number of years, I really prefer it now.

    The side markers are essential to me when I look at my left hand, but most of the time I don't look anymore.
    Your F-9 has that special look without any inlays. The pickguard is great and the armrest, nice. I wish we all (Café members only)could teleport our mandolins to each other so we could share.

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  31. #21
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    My Yellowstone has some real small inlays and I prefer that to the big dots Gibson uses. I too use the side dots for reference when playing. FYI, I can see a portion of the fretboard as my tummy is a little on the round side.

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  33. #22
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    A totally blank fingerboard,alway puts me in mind of the 1926 Chanel ''Little Black Dress'' for women,that was so 'plain' it was stunningly beautiful in it's own right,& it started a trend which is still going today. Mind you,it was mostly the gorgeous ladies that filled the dresses that were looked at eg. Audrey Hepburn for one !,
    Ivan
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  35. #23

    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    +1 for small diamonds
    " Practice every time you get a chance." - Bill Monroe

  36. #24
    Registered User Ken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I don't care that much for a full tree of life fretboard inlay, but for something a little fancier than dots and diamonds, here are a couple that run from the third to the seventh frets. Click image for larger version. 

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    And then instead of blocks.their is the rising moon. Click image for larger version. 

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    For whatever its worth, I also like dots, and even plain fretboards.
    Peace

  37. #25

    Default Re: Fretboard inlays

    I love the look of a clean fingerboard with no inlays. Also tasteful artwork that isn't necessarily useful for position markers.
    Robert Fear
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