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I can't see my fret markers at gigs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Bayou_Brawler, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I have a rosewood fretboard with white fret dots. it seems like under certain lighting, or lack there of, i have a problem seeing my fret markers at gigs. not like they are not there...but i have to focus for a second to see em...which can be too late.

    the band i'm playing with right now playes fairly complicated tunes so i'm constantly moving around the neck.

    anyway i probably missed about three notes last night because of it. not a big deal but i was wondering if anyone else has this problem.

    i was thinking maybe finding some reflective sticker or something.....

  2. I had a bass with really dull fret markers on the top side of the neck and the binding was a dark wood - so it was really difficult to see.

    I put a small piece of electrical tape on the back of the neck where my thumb rests while playing in the fifth position. It was just enough to give me a point of reference.
  3. There was a thread about this a couple years back. Other suggestions included painting bigger dots on the side with white paint (that could be removed later), taping on white dots, and painting on glow-in-the-dark paint temporarily. Then there's always the option of adding LED's to your neck!!!
  4. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    i had this problem one night whenthe club had really bad lighting. so since i messed up a bit, my x singer told me to start playing the songs with my eyes closed.

    and once i got it down, now i dont have to look.
  5. I almost never look at my neck except when making sure I'm in the right key at the start of some songs (or when I forget what I'm playing or screw something up). However, this doesn't solve your problem. There is an English company that installs LEDs on necks. I don't know the name, but if your posted the question on the Telecaster page tdpri.com somebody there could tell you. Also, Danny Gatton used cubic zirconium fret markers on the side of the fingerboard. I'm told that they are visible no matter how dark the stage.
  6. Bayou_Brawler

    Bayou_Brawler The most hurtful thing ever realized

    Oct 23, 2003
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i hear ya. that works great when you're in position. but we go pretty nutty sometimes. all over the fret board. and we do a lot of improv so i may have to get places on my neck in a split second when the fiddle player gives me a nod.
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
  8. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    That's pretty cool. :cool:
  9. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    Practice playing with your eyes closed...in the dark too. It's fun.
  10. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I hung out with Jerry Only of the Misfits behore and after a gig, and it turns out he uses electrical tape on the back of his neck where every dot is. Can barely feel it but you know its there. It worked for me for a while on dark stages, and I only recently got good without it.

    In a flash, electrical tape is great, in the long run, practice more in the dark.
  12. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    The worst for me is red-colored lighting. For some reason I become totally blind.
  13. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I'm a fan of practicing in the dark so you don't have to look at the fretboard, BUT a cheaper alternative to LED lights is to make new dots on the neck side of your fretboard with a glow-in-the-dark paint. Cost you $5 for an entire can, dab the dots on with a tiny artists brush. They will glow enough to be visible on a dark stage without the necessity for costly modification.
  14. This may sound hokey but it's an excellent solution that I use on all of my basses. Go to the hardware (or whatever) store and purchase white reflective tape. Then get a paper punch - the type that looks a bit like a pair of pliers.

    Punch out a dot. Then (I) use the tip of an X-acto knife to move the dot to the neck without having to foul the adhesive with my fingers. Apply the dot and press on it firmly. You now have a 1/4 " reflective fret marker that will not come off unless you deliberately remove it.

    The process is reversible and costs under $5.
  15. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    I've done sort of the same thing in the past. Go to the art mart or craft store - or Walgreens, for that matter - and get little glow-in-the-dark dot stickers.

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