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Thread: Fret markers

  1. #1

    Default Fret markers

    Why is the 10th and not the 9th marked? Just happened to notice and after building many guitars, I automatically marked the 9th here.
    https://flic.kr/p/2hSnP1k

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fret markers

    Its just tradition. There are all kinds of thoughts on how and why with this but there is no definitive answer.

    Twenty years ago, I did exactly the opposite mistake on a guitar. I still have the neck.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fret markers

    Good question.

    Why don't all builders put double side dots at the 12th fret?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fret markers

    Lowest note is G.
    Fifth fret on next string-G.
    10th fret on next string is G.
    15th fret on next string is G.

    Works for me, but probably not why it’s done that way.
    Play it like you mean it.

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  6. #5
    Registered User amowry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    I just scrapped two uke fretboards because I assumed the markers would be on the ninth like the guitars, but they're in fact on the tenth like mandolins. Go figure!

  7. #6

    Default Re: Fret markers

    I'm not changing this (impossible), I don't think it is very serious?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    Fylde insist on doing it the “wrong” way - and, personally, I find it b/00dy annoying!

  9. #8
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    I've seen them in both positions on mandolins. The oldest mandolins I own all have them at the 10th fret, so I think it is partly traditional. I've built them both ways and concluded that the dots on the fretboard face are primarily cosmetic. They have a more balanced appearance with the dot at the 10th fret, due to the short length of the board. I think you get accustomed to whichever position the dot is located telling you where your notes are. The biggest complaint I hear is when there is no dot at the 3rd fret - also traditional on a lot of mandolins and guitars.
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  10. #9

    Default Re: Fret markers

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Good question.

    Why don't all builders put double side dots at the 12th fret?
    I guess mostly because they don't want to.
    However, both on the face of the fretboard, and on the side of the neck, the slightest misalignment of the two dots totally stands out as a terrible glitch and its super easy to get it wrong if your drill bit drifts just a little.

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  12. #10
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    I guess a lot of this is prejudiced on what you are used to and how you came about as a musician. That acknowledged, to me, the tenth fret marker just makes so much sense on instruments normally tuned in fifths. In similar ways, I assume that a ninth fret marker is useful to instruments tuned in fourths. I don't know. I did not start on guitar and did not notice the difference till after i had been playing mandolin for years.

    The tenth fret marker just about as important to me as the fifth fret marker, in navigating my way around.
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  13. #11

    Default Re: Fret markers

    The Acoustic World electric mando in my avatar has a ninth-fret marker (the builder was asked to recreate a '59 Les Paul, and well, so he did) it drives me nuts. I've become quite adept at sliding (correcting!) my ninth and tenth-fret notes.

  14. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    One sees the tenth fret marked on many (most?) tenor guitars.
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    One sees the tenth fret marked on many (most?) tenor guitars.
    I had a '53 Harmony 1215T with the 9th fret dot. (Boy did it bother me - once I noticed!) I've seen plenty of the same model with it on the 10th. I have several tenors, all with 10th. I think this simply was brought along from tenor banjo.

    I have a '57 Ibanez 6 string with the dot on the 9th, and have seen the same on other ealy MIJ guitars.

  16. #14
    Registered User Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Lowest note is G.
    Fifth fret on next string-G.
    10th fret on next string is G.
    15th fret on next string is G.

    Works for me, but probably not why its done that way.
    Thanks! - your's is the best explanation that I've read yet, anywhere.

    Huck

  17. #15

    Default Re: Fret markers

    Lowest note is G.
    Fifth fret on next string-G.
    10th fret on next string is G.
    15th fret on next string is G.
    I had never noticed that .
    Always good to know
    Thanks

  18. #16
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV View Post

    I have a '57 Ibanez 6 string with the dot on the 9th, and have seen the same on other ealy MIJ guitars.
    Oops! I meant to say the marker's on the 10th.

  19. #17
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Lowest note is G.
    Fifth fret on next string-G.
    10th fret on next string is G.
    15th fret on next string is G.

    Works for me, but probably not why it’s done that way.
    Yes the fifth fret is the octave of the open string below, and the 10th fret is the octave of the fifth fret on the string below. 15th fret etc. Very useful information.


    I am sure their are guitary symmetries involving the 9th fret that guitarists know about and use, but I don't know what they are.
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  20. #18
    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret markers

    position markers, (for your index finger) you don't need them all and it was quite common to only mark 3rd 4th & 7th on early mandolins
    2nd position marked at fret 3
    3rd position marked at fret 5
    4th position marked at fret 7
    5th position is just in front of 4th so not marked
    6th position at fret 10
    7th is at the octave on fret 12
    etc up the fretboard.

    The idea being that rather than memorising loads of fingerings you just mark your score or remember that you play this or that section from position x,y or z as appropriate. so you just shift to locate your index finger then play from there. The guide when learning is to look where you're going not where you are for a shift, the position markers might help with that.

    Here's a link to an illustration of the violin positions https://palomavaleva.com/en/the-violin-positions/ which we share with the other 5ths tuned instruments (including tenor guitar)
    Eoin



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