Has this been done? Bass with different fretboard woods for sharps?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by kirkdickinson, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. basslayer


    Jan 3, 2008
    Beaverton, OR
    I like it. Very piano-like.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  2. tonym

    tonym Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2011
  3. gtrbasser

    gtrbasser Play that again.... The right way. Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    I think it's a stellar idea for someone just learning the board.
    For me as a player, I rarely look at the board.
    I do love the idea of it and think it surely has a niche.
    Thanks for sharing that.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i think your brains works better than mine! :thumbsup:

    first: you thought of this.
    second: you already play unlined fretless (same here), so if you could go from unlined to that (your design) without getting horribly confused: you have a better functioning noggin!
    third: there is no third: you're just way ahead in the eye/hand/brain bit.

    refreshingly novel/clever, however, and if you ever build it: please share a demo.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  5. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    It's cool that you decided to make it, um, morally available, but I can't wait to see your version of the concept. I always go back to the songwriter's version of a song of his/hers, even if it was recorded later than the most famous, or the first ever recorded version.
    I do dig the multiscale suggestion, I'd love to see both made, maybe one by you and one by another builder...

    Oh, and I vote for unlined personally. But, again, I'd love to see different interpretation of the concept including lines/"keys".
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  6. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Bloody well right, you may be. But I'm too shallow and uptight for it. That's my point. Maybe that's why I never took to keys. I did not accuse anyone of cheating here. Well, maybe keyboard players cheat. ;)

    And maybe I ought to use emojis more. :woot:
    dalahorse likes this.
  7. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    I think it's a brilliant idea, ether for fretted or fretless.
    Not so much as a playing aid, but as a brilliant visual/artistic representation of music and a cool aesthetic choice.

    I'm not sure I'd personally order up such an instrument, but I love the concept. Also, I'm a big proponent of naked fretless boards, but if you're going to have markings on the board this is a pretty cool way for them to provide additional visual enjoyment.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  8. BrentD


    Jun 7, 2008
    Lansing, MI
    I see a cool pattern here!

  9. Steven Ayres

    Steven Ayres Supporting Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    Northern Arizona
    I think it looks edgy in a cool way.
    Matthew Fisher and Kubicki Fan like this.

  10. THE ZEBRA...!
    by Abbey Road Guitars

    Now, the Lead Guitar Player will know, at a glance, the root note you are playing.
    Even if he is color blind! (Or has not yet learned his colors.)
    When not busy at rehearsal, you and the Lead Guitar Player can play chess!!
    (ok, maybe someone else...)
    Also, with two different woods, the tone differs for naturals and accidentals*!
    Another aural miracle!
    *Flats not included

    Carrying this guitar may pose safety hazards when walking along train tracks.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
    dalahorse and kirkdickinson like this.
  11. does your avatar turn it's head...? sometimes...?
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
  12. pilotjones


    Nov 8, 2001
    Interesting, and kind of a cool pattern visually. It will look different, and possibly better with either frets installed, or black fretlines. The black fretlines would divide the two white "keys, " as they are divided on a piano. (Someone may already have suggested that.)

    I came to guitars originally as a keyboard player, and this may have helped me, but what it would not have helped is learning the fretboard with respect to the conventional 3-5-7-9-12-15... fret markers. Would have totally ruined that, actually.

    Also, there's a question relating to the gap from string to fretboard, and viewing angles. If you're playing and you want to, say, jump to a high F# on the D string (16th fret), when you sight it from playing position (not as an observer from in front of the instrument), you will see white "behind" the place on the string where you should fret it because you're looking from above. Your brain may or may not make the 3D geometric correction.

    So the way I see it right now, the design does make a nice pattern, visually. Functionally, it may or may not successfully visually indicate positions of all the sharps. It certainly does not help you learn the standard fret dot system. Also, visually and functionally, it fails to portray the group of three black keys / group of two black keys that is essential for positioning/identifying on keyboard.

    If you wanted to make one with the least concern over disparate materials, you could inlay black dyed maple into maple.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  13. RickyWoo


    May 26, 2016
    One man's flat is another man's sharp.
    kalanb likes this.
  14. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
    I was not so sure, but I've warmed up to it. It would be an innovative look and hey, why not have a little fun? The comments along the line of "I don't wanna look like a noob" aren't super relevant to me; it's simply a bit of visual fun. Go for it.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  15. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
  16. NaH

    NaH Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2010
    I've seen it at a museum. It didn't sell well.
  17. Very cool idea. And I'm glad you're up for people copying it, because I just might, for a six-string I want to have built. The body will already be playing with a two-tone, dark/light alternation, so this would fit in with that aesthetic, and I'm getting back into walking through jazz standards so it might be cool for thinking in terms of notes instead of patterns again, and analyzing chord shapes. So your post is very timely for me. Just a question of whether it would mess with the fretless tone, because I don't want an epoxy/polyurethane finish on this one. It's meant to be a semi-hollowbody fretless with Pyramid tapewounds and a piezo pickup, so I want the woody fingerboard sound.

    Anyway, very cool. Congrats on coming up with something new!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  18. RedJag


    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    It would be cool to do this with carbon fiber fretless.
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  19. Do you think there would be any tonal difference for a unfinished fretless fingerboard with this design, or is density/hardness the main determining factor? I think I notice a different between between my ebony fb six-stringer and my wenge fb six-stringer, but there are many confounding factors (TI flatwounds vs Pyramid tapes, solidbody versus semi-hollowbody, mag vs piezo, etc.) involved so it's hard to be sure. I've never played a maple fretless fb.

    Edit: drew out the pattern for a six-string. Very cool.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
    kirkdickinson likes this.
  20. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    @kirkdickinson - Yes, I'm about to do something like this, only not quite as elaborate.

    @Will_White - Yes indeed. I've even decided how I will be approaching this.

    I've decided that I'll be doing an inlay approach. It will look something like the pic below. I've actually cut some different limba for the markers that are a little harder, just so that the mismatch of the density of the wood isn't so large. I'll be coating this with epoxy, and putting a binding on the neck. My thought is that this, in theory, should seal the woods of the FB enough to prevent them from absorbing moisture, and consequently changing shape.

    kirkdickinson and Will_White like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 27, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.