Block / dot on 1st Fret?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dje31, Aug 12, 2013.


  1. dje31

    dje31

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Gainesville, Florida, USA
    Okay, so I've been here nearly five years, and don't recall this being discussed. It probably has, but I don't remember, and this board has a ton of daily activity.

    So, why do some basses put a dot or block inlay marker on the first fret? Typically, the octave points at 12 and 24 have the double / split dot, with two blank frets on either side, as appropriate.

    Is there any particular reasoning behind having one at the first? Or is it just an aesthetic option?
  2. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    It's an optional thing seems like. For me it's not necessary on the first fret. Sometimes looks weird actually.
  3. mcarp555

    mcarp555

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Location:
    East Midlands, United Kingdom
    Just for looks. If you're going to do the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th, why not the 1st?
  4. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    It looks awful to me, but I guess some players aren't as OCD about the pattern of inlaid frets.
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  6. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    SE Como
    Might be a retroactive idea taken from block-inlaid designs where the first fret area is blocked to match the 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc.
  7. TolerancEJ

    TolerancEJ

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    It's just an option. No special reason.

    It can't be for uniformity, otherwise, they'd need an inlay at the 13th fret as well.
  8. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Because there is a pattern to what the inlays signify, based on the intervals between frets.. If you're inlaying the 1st, then the 13th must also be inlaid.
  9. FrednBass

    FrednBass

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Maybe that's the reason they stoped doing it.
    Instead of adding an inlay on the 13th fret, they decided to take off the one on the first fret.
  10. wraub

    wraub

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    ennui, az
    Disclosures:
    I'll have an IPA, please.
    Hey, inlay money adds up quick, gotta save every penny...

    ;)
  11. mcarp555

    mcarp555

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Location:
    East Midlands, United Kingdom
    No there isn't; only the octave signifies anything, so the 12th fret should be marked. The odd ones are probably marked because there are fewer of them than the even ones (3, 5, 7, 9 vs. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10). Or maybe it's a tradition for some reason. I agree it's redundant to do the first one, but don't have a problem with with for aesthetic reasons only. Big deal.
  12. wraub

    wraub

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Location:
    ennui, az
    Disclosures:
    I'll have an IPA, please.
  13. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Location:
    SE Como
    Seriously guys, read my post.

    When blocks are used the first fret is often done as well for uniformity of aesthetics. In turn you will sometimes see a dot there now as well because somewhere someone figured if a block or bird or sharkfin or whatever can go there why not a dot.

    Some older banjos and ukes had every inch of the fretboard covered in inlay.

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