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Grooves in the fingerboard...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Jeremy Allen, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Friendly luthiers:
    My G string has been making a funny buzzing/whining noise when I play notes in half position (but mostly the A). My action is not particularly low (compared with where it has been in the past), and this has never happened on my bass before (which was made in 1994).

    When I changed strings yesterday, the light hit the fingerboard just right and I noticed a fairly significant groove in the fingerboard where the G string makes contact. The groove is noticeably deep, and extends from about the A to almost the C. When I took the D string off, I noticed the same thing.

    Is this supposed to happen, or am I just cursed? I imagined that an ebony fingerboard would last longer than ten years before needing to be worked on...but then again, I've only been playing string bass for eleven years, so I guess I wouldn't have noticed.

    How to fix it--does the whole fingerboard now need to be re-planed or something, sanded down so that everything else matches the depression?
    Thanks for any suggestions,
  2. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    The board will certainly need some work but it is probably just a minor planing to fair it out. If you only needed to do this every ten years a board will almost last you a lifetime-not bad eh? I think most players will need board touch up more frequently than that though.
  3. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Thanks, Jeff. My bass has been in your shop one time before, but now I'm stuck in the middle of a mass of red states and I haven't yet had an occasion to seek out a luthier. Looks like I do now!
  4. Recently purchased a bass from mid 19th century. It's got some pretty deep grooves in the fingerboard. Not sure if I should have it planed (alot!) or go for the repair. Is there a rule of thumb on this one?
  5. prelims222


    Sep 20, 2004
    Southeast US
    Jeremy - Your best bet is probably the Bass Cellar or Nick Lloyd. I'm headed out there today, it takes about 2 - 2.5 hours usually. Otherwise, I think you'd have to go to chicago and pay a lot more to get the same thing done.