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  1. #1

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    Why do so many modern archtops have no fingerboard markers? Isn't playing jazz hard enough without making it harder?



    Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    That clean, uncluttered look. I don't know if Jimmy D'Aquisto was the first, but he definitely influenced a whole generation of archtop builders with his minimalist aesthetic.

    What's the matter with side dots

  4. #3

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    My ASAT has no inlay but it does have side dots. When I'm playing I look at the side of the neck. I don't flip it up and look at the fretboard. On the other hand, maybe someone who "reads" the fretboard could be looking at my fretboard...
    Attached Images Attached Images Why no fingerboard markers?-sm_g4-jpg 

  5. #4

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    Markings on the fretboard itself has little value to me outside of lessons. It helps orient myself to what my teacher is doing a bit quicker. I don't look at my fretboard directly, just the side dots.

  6. #5

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    I’m not a fan of the minimalist look. I like a little bling on my guitars. Strange as it may seem, I actually do look at the inlays when shifting to other positions. You would think side dots would be enough, but I find they are not that visible, especially in low light on a gig.
    Keith

  7. #6

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    Gretsch does it in a smart way on many models.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by floatingpickup
    I’m not a fan of the minimalist look. I like a little bling on my guitars. Strange as it may seem, I actually do look at the inlays when shifting to other positions. You would think side dots would be enough, but I find they are not that visible, especially in low light on a gig.
    Keith
    Good side question: what bling do you like/not like?

    The golden (geddit?) age a jazz guitars was definitely blingy. I've come to like Telecasters. Even fretboard binding seems excessive to me now.

  9. #8

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    I am like Floatingpickup I want some bling. I don't want the tree of life inlay but blocks or split blocks is fine. Plain is just that plain. The only thing worse than plain is dot inlay. I absolutely hate dot in lay on an archtop guitar and in fact any guitar except a Gibson 335, then it fits great.

    While some like the look to me it saves labor for the maker or manufacture and it is true they don't contribute to the sound of the guitar. However any guitar I buy is going to have position makers.

  10. #9

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    I love the abalone markers on my bound ibanez fingerboard. It makes my tele feel very austere. But then I play that and love it too.

    I'd be put off buying a guitar without any markers on the front at all. Gretsch thumbnails are cool. Ibanez used something similar on the contemporary series.

    Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

  11. #10

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    I can't say I ever use the fingerboard markers. My tele doesn't have them...I like the look.

    Now SIDE DOTS. I need those babies.

  12. #11

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    Bling has to fit the guitar for me. Gold on a natural archtop, metal flake on a telecaster, binding can go on just about anything and improve it.

    Ever see that mother of toilet seat telecaster Danny Gatton had? It's so bad it's good.
    Attached Images Attached Images Why no fingerboard markers?-screenshot_20210920-131417-png 

  13. #12

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    Side dots are enough for me. Classical guitars tend not to have anything on the front or side. I wasn't long into my first recital to discover that stage lights shining from a side direction can make you feel you have never played this guitar before in your life! So, since then even on my classical I have a dot at the 7th.

  14. #13

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    PS What drove me nuts was playing a Selmer-style guitar with a dot at the 10th! That got me into a lot of trouble!

  15. #14

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    ya side dots only, i dont like them on the fingerboard anymore. My Victor baker is side dots..There was a Comins forsale here not long ago..i remember it without dots..the second buyer had dots installed...bummer..was so damn clean without...i mean it wasn't bad but without the markers was killin.
    Last edited by jazzgtrl4; 09-20-2021 at 09:43 PM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob MacKillop
    PS What drove me nuts was playing a Selmer-style guitar with a dot at the 10th! That got me into a lot of trouble!
    I've gotten so used to playing my Manouche guitars that not having a dot on the 10th fret makes me a little crazy! I think the 10th fret just makes more sense, all the natural notes before hitting the octave.

  17. #16

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    I prefer fingerboard markers, but if I have side dots, I can do just fine with a classical board.

    I can adjust to a 10th fret dot, but I prefer the 9th. It is a guitar, not a mandolin.

  18. #17

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    The 10th fret actually makes much more sense...but it's not what I'm "used to," so it can throw me off!

  19. #18

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    My stella has a 10th fret marker. I switch guitars so much I'm always confused

  20. #19

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    Funny when I play my Pat Martino which has no fb markers I do not miss markers but... when I play any Gibson or other git with markers I use them. Go figure.
    Last edited by GNAPPI; 09-20-2021 at 10:52 PM.

  21. #20

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    I always had dots or blocks on the fretboard. I might get lost without them plus I don't like the look.
    It would be like having a piano with the black keys white also or the white keys black also....yuk.
    Too plain Jane for me.

  22. #21

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    Classy.


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    On the other hand, maybe someone who "reads" the fretboard could be looking at my fretboard...
    I think of this when I see a guitar instructor on YT play a guitar without fretboard markings---it makes it harder to track where HIS hand is on the fretboard.

  24. #23

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    I like the look of wood, if I have a choice, no fret markers (except on the side of the neck). It's an aesthetic thing, and the only practical use of fretboard makers is for lessons.

  25. #24

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    Bling is part of the archtop-building tradition. The gist of it is, "Because I can."











    When someone like Bob Benedetto, who had mastered the 'bling' techniques, chooses to go with minimal decoration I get that.

    When someone like me -- who knew how to use a drill press for dots and not one darn thing more -- built a guitar with no decoration it's a reflection of lack of mastery.

  26. #25

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    Did Bob B. do it because it was less work? Possibly but just a comment.