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Glow-in-the-dark fret markers...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by parrott, May 28, 2003.

  1. .... or "the skint student's alternative to LEDs"

    It's that old story, unlined fretless (Aria IGB-68) and dark stages. Crappy monitors and loud drummers mean I can't hear myself very well either. So I need to see where to put my fingers.

    I know about having LEDs there, I've seen a few basses that have had it done, but I don't have the cash to do anything like that. :(

    However, my sister suggested using glow-in-the-dark nail varnish (available in all the Goth shops uptown, apparently) on the dots along the side of the fingerboard.

    I know if I did put it on, I'd never be able to get it off again, and if I make a mess putting it on then it's stuck like that, but how well would it work?


    Does anyone have any experience with glow-in-the-dark nail varnish? (I might have to post that in OT )
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It depends how long it glows for. If the stage is that dark, you might find the glow has gone by the time you get up to play!

    How about fitting a light to shine down the fingerboard? One of those LED based ones sold for cyclists might do the job...

  3. You mean like the fret laser light thing that's available? I don't see how that would work on an unlined fretless - which is why I want something for the side of the neck.

  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    great question, here's a little bump for you.

    btw, have you thought about glow in the dark paint on a little sticky paper (circular paper?)

    i have thought about this for quite sometime as well.

  5. I think glow in the dark fabric paint may work better, glow brighter, be less messy, and easier to remove if you decide you don't like it. I'm not sure how well it'd work on wood, but you could give it a try. See if you can't find the stuff that gives a "raised" bump line instead of the thinner stuff that goes on like paint.
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How about shining it down the side of the neck (if frontal illumination isn't enough to see the side markers anyway).

    Another point of view is that if you can't really hear yourself, you should either not bother about playing too much in tune ( :eek: ) or resort to a fretted bass instead!

  7. if you cant hear yourself, and your listening really hard, the audience definatly aren't hearing you, so time to get a bigger amp id say.
  8. but.....but.....but..... :eek:

    Pity I have the severe lack of money, or else I'd get all the options (LEDs, fretted bass & the bigger amp mentioned in the other post). I can dream about that......
  9. Spotlight (Ego Light).... Nuff Said.


  10. Actually, they are hearing me quite well.... enough for some to notice my intonation difficulties!! :eek: It's just the stage volume is always as low as we can get away with, I can't *actually* remember why.

    Still, the amp I use *is* a 115 100W combo or a 410 200W combo - it's only being used as a monitor onstage, all the audience is hearing is coming from the PA. I'd love something better but the choice (and price) round is is pretty woeful.

    Maybe in-ear monitors?

    *cries* it's all £££ I don't have!

  11. But that'd mean taking the spotlight from the guitarist.... he'd never like that :rolleyes: :D

    Actually, I'd more likely be trying to get whoever does the lights to take one away from the (really hot) keys player. :eek::rolleyes:

  12. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If the audience are hearing your intonation gaffs and you can't hear well enough to avoid them, maybe your stage volume is lower than you can get away with!

    Where do you normally stand in relation to the other members of the band, and where are the amps set up? A little bit of positioning may solve your problems without even costing you as much as a pot of luminous nail varnish!

  13. yeah, if you're going to need to be in tune, you've either got to go fretted, or do some kind of in ear monitor, or maybe even just headphones, you could wear them around your neck, and have them really loud. I know I wouldn't be able to play without seeing markers, and I play fretted.
  14. In all seriousness why cant you get the lighting person to fix a light that is on you the whole time? It can be any colour just as long as you can see what you are doing. There is usually one spot in my "area" that has a spot light that is always on, be it red or blue or whatever.


  15. Volume is probably all that's needed. I was in between the percussionist and the drummer last night, but I was playing through a lecturer's 300W 155 + 210 Ashdown half-stack (with the volume higher than I would have put it, because he set that bit), and I was fine.

    I think next time, I'll angle my amp right at my ears and have it louder than usual. Not too loud, though, but maybe another couple of notches.

    Also, @ Merls - there was a bit more light last night (damn this playing before sunset) so I could see myself too. It was just at the point before the dots aren't obvious enough, but it was enough. I'll try and get a spotlight on myself next time, even a not-so-bright coloured one.

    All in all, the only gaffes I made were just ordinary mistakes that happen. Thanks for all the help & suggestios though!
  16. This is actually such a good Idea that I'm going to do it. On my Ibanez, the only markers are on the side of the fretboard, not on the face where I'm used to it being. I figure I'll get some glowy paint, and make the side dots more noticeable.
  17. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    high low

    the varnish idea is great and i may do it to my
    p-bass, but i think ill save up the money for some LEDs on my LTD sereis:D
  18. Actually, I visited a couple of the "goth" shops today (I was bored and I was uptown...) they said that they only had stuff that was very UV sensetive, nothing that was truly glow-in-the-dark.
  19. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx
    well unless your playing in total darkness... wouldent that work even better?

    cuase the "glow" wouldent go away after awhile :meh: :rolleyes: ;)
  20. I don't know, to check which nail varnish was so UV sensetive, the dude in the shop held them under a UV light. While that'd be fine in all the goth clubs, how many ordinary jazz clubs and pubs have them hanging around? I might try them under a blue or red torch to simulate the me-in-the-dull-spotlight situation.

    I know to get something that truely glows and doesn't dull away, I'd have to use something from the faces of old watches..... y'know, the radioactive stuff! :eek: Not something I'm gonna do.

    Aside; It'd look cool on the fingernails of your plucking hand. Both the nail varnish and the radioactive stuff.... ;)