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scalloped fretboard???

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kran Banger, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Kran Banger

    Kran Banger

    Dec 1, 2006
    has anyone ever heard of a scalloped fretboard, its where the spaces on the fretboard in between the frets actually dip down, does anyone know how to do that
  2. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    Scalloped fretboards are usual on guitars but I never heard about one on a bass. They are fine for you if you are a lead guitar player on a band but I don't know why a bass player should want a scalloped fretboard on his/her bass.
  3. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    Billy Sheehan has the high end of his fretboard scalloped under the d and g strings. It's more about feel and getting the string pressure on the fret. It's said it allows players to play fast and clean. I don't know as I can't play fast. As for doing a scallop job, it's quite straight forward and labor intensive, but not all that hard to do.
  4. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    And it is true (I've played guitar some years ago and from time to time I grab my old acoustic guitar play a couple of songs killing a few cats around :bag: ). That's why usually lead guitar players like Malmsteen, Vai and other monsters are the one who use scalloped fretboards.

    I think this is matter of likes\dislikes. Personally I don't think why a bass player would need one of those on his bass.
  5. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006

    Ahh... sexy.

  6. :eek: Wow!

    Yeah the idea behind scalloped frets is it requires a lighter touch, so then you can play faster. But if you have them you HAVE to play with a lighter touch, because if you're a little heavy handed you can very easily play out of tune. I don't know why you would want them on a bass.
  7. eleonn


    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - Perú
    :eek: ...that is a true USED guitar!!!
  8. It would let you bend notes more, I guess. I would do it using a dremmel to rough out the spots, then alot of sanding to even it out
  9. I think it's more of a BUTCHERED guitar :D

    I was assuming it was a picture of an attempt at scalloping a fretboard.
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    That's absolutely horrible....I did a better job on my first try a scalloping back in 85.......LMAO

    There are so many ways to do scalloping. Personally I use 1/4" to 1" ball grinders to get the valley, and smooth the taper out to the frets. It's all about developing a technique that works for you.
  11. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    This picture is soooo old, and still funny. I'll never forget it.

    If you really wanna scallop your frets, do Musiclogic's method, making sure that you GO VERY VERY SLOWLY!!! You can always do 5-8 passes and then do 3-4 more. you CAN'T ungrind your fretboard. Make sure you get a gauging tool of some sort to assure you've gone deep enough. Calipers work great, cuz you can measure your thickness, and then dial out how deep you wanna go, then grind until you can just barely push the calipers onto the neck at the valley. Once you're really really close, hand sand the wood to the frets to give a nice concave profile.

    And remember, it takes very little work to make a huge difference in playing. You could find that only .05" is enough to get huge results! And .05" isn't much at all. That's about as tall as the quotation marks in this text!
  12. Dusty G

    Dusty G

    May 30, 2006
    There is absolutely no reason to scallop the fretboard on a bass. Period! (Unless you're inventing some new style.......)

    With guitars, it's awesome in the upper frets. And if you don't have frets installed, it's fairly easy to do with a tapered rasp, and careful sanding. I did a bloodwood fretboard; mark the depth on the side, and around the slots,and tape it off!
  13. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I did it years ago in a Sheehan-esque mood and style.


    When done properly, it's great.
  14. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
  15. Alaska Bass

    Alaska Bass

    Dec 31, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    Maybe if you actually do something melodic or in any way lead with it? If it gives an edge to your speed, why not?
  16. asnutter


    May 11, 2005
    Southwestern PA
    Here is a link to a "you tube" clip which has sheehan explaining the design of his bass, including the scalloped fretboard...
    If you can get by the first minute of his shameless "self promotion" he shares some interesting concepts that yamaha used in producing his bass...

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