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Block / dot on 1st Fret?

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

  1. 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

    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. Just for looks. If you're going to do the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th, why not the 1st?
  4. It looks awful to me, but I guess some players aren't as OCD about the pattern of inlaid frets.
  5. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. FrednBass


    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.
  9. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    deviated prevert
    Hey, inlay money adds up quick, gotta save every penny...

  10. 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.
  11. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    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.