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Sheehan's fretboard

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by picknslap, Apr 3, 2006.


  1. picknslap

    picknslap

    Sep 9, 2004
    Manteca
    I have been searching here on TB and other places, and am surprised that I haven't found this answer yet. What are the indents on the high end of the fretboard for? The ones under the D and G strings. I have read numerous interviews where he talks about his bass, but none where specifically mentions those indents.

    The only thing I could come up with is that they are used as an alternative to bending the strings, he just pushes down harder and get's the desired effect. Or are they just for looks?
     
  2. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    日本/Alyeska
    Partial scallop job which would normally be found on a guitar, all frets.
    Steve Vai's JEM series was notable for adding this same partial scallop on the last of the upper frets, although it does go all the way from E-E.

    I don't personaly find any advantage to scallops on fat strings or high frets.
     
  3. DougP

    DougP

    Sep 4, 2001
    i believe the scallops are for extra bending range.
     
  4. yes...i believe ritchie blackmore's and yngwie malmsteen's guitar both have them too
     
  5. yngwies board is completely scalloped, whole thing, looks ugly...just to make bending easier i heard....makes it harder IMO
     
  6. 8guy

    8guy

    Jun 19, 2005
    Madison WI
    Ive actualy Played Billys attitude so billy could Hear his set up in the audiance Of A clinic he did At a Music store I worked at in madison(Talk about Nerve Wracking)...and I belive the Scalloping of the fret board starts at the 12th fret under the G and D strings.
    I found it to be of no use but I only played it 15 minutes, But We also had A Malmstien Fender sig that I found to be the most unplayable guitar Ive ever touched.

    Jay
     
  7. The Lurker

    The Lurker

    Aug 16, 2002
    Ankh-Morpork
    it does make playing chords on a guitar a good bit more difficult.....
     
  8. steve21

    steve21 Banned

    I believe it's 18, 19, 20, 21 on the D & G are scallopped, so he can bend the 21st fret on the G up to the G (at the 24th fret). He did this because he's not used to playing with 24 fret instruemnts, I believe.
     
  9. dannoman

    dannoman Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    It is on the 18th through the 21st frets. I own one and have no problem at all with them.
     
  10. skewh

    skewh

    Sep 5, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    Would you mind posting a picture? I've never heard of this before, and would like to see an example of it.
     
  11. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have seen a couple of Billy Sheehan vids where he explains what they're for. He says they're for extreme bends. He also says that he did it himself the first time with a dremel before he started having them made for him. One other thing he says it helped him with is finger pressure. It kinda keeps you on your toes, because if you press too hard, you go sharp.
     
  12. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    日本/Alyeska
    I had a half scallop done on a Strat years ago so that it was only done on the treble side. The benefit is to keep your fingers from dragging on the fingerboard, particularly when doing stretches.

    A few years later I bought a JEM and with the bigger frets to keep my fingers higher from the fingerboard found there to be no benefit whatsoever with scalloping. It's a cool gimmick that loses any benefit whatsoever when going to strings thick enough to prevent your fingers from ever touching the fingerboard.
     
  13. Sound Chaser

    Sound Chaser

    Mar 19, 2005
    Lockport, NY
    They're so when you do a high bend, the wood of the fretboard isn't in the way. That's what Sheehan has them for, anyway.
     
  14. sobie18

    sobie18

    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    SoundChaser,
    You are exactly right. I own Attitude basses and the lack of wood there help facilitate the bends. Also gives you some ease in vibrato. As for going SHARP, you would have to squeeze REALLY hard to get that string to bend into the scallop.

    Check my site for Attitude pix...

    www.geocities.com/sobie_18website
     
  15. funny, when i bend the string never comes into contact with the fingerboard, just the frets:meh:
     
  16. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA

    But I bet your finger does....
     
  17. I played an Attitude with scalloped frets in Boston a while back and I remember not noticing anything different at all in terms of sound or playability, just aesthetic.

    I guess I should try it again?
     
  18. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    日本/Alyeska
    No need to 'cause you're right the first time! It's nothing more than a nifty gimmick.
     
  19. JKwo

    JKwo

    Jan 12, 2006
    Berklee
    Eh.. I would normally be one to agree, but when players at the top of the technical ladder like Sheehan and Malmsteen insist on it, it gets me thinking that there's something more to it.. likely more or less depending on what your technique is like.
     
  20. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ

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