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Side position markers

Discussion in 'Bluegrass [DB]' started by Tenbrooks, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Tenbrooks


    Nov 26, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    I'm new to the upright bass but am excited to start learning. I will only be playing bluegrass so no bowing is needed.

    I would like to place side position markers on my fingerboard but I don't know the best place for them or how many would be helpful. Is there anyone out there that can give me some guidance as to where on the fingerboard these side position dots should be located?

    I know that technically, I should not use them but I believe they will help and I've decided to put them on.

  2. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    I like to put little dabs of White Out at 3, 5, 7 and 12 ie G, A, B and the octave on the 'E' string. Its a safety thing...
  3. Tenbrooks


    Nov 26, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    Jake, that's exactly what I was looking for. My luthier suggested at the G, A, B position and I asked her to include the E as well. You've just confirmed what I was thinking.

    Many thanks for the quick reply..........

  4. I put tape at 3, 5, 7, 9, 12. Basically the harmonics and a couple of guide notes.
  5. I keep it simple, a dot on the side of the fretboard at the "5th fret" (To check the relative tuning quickly) and the octave ("12th fret").

  6. I use the White Out dots...you can only see them from the side, and you can easily rub them off with your fingernail. Tape leaves sticky gunk, and tells the world that you are a beginner (when you're not!) I put them at first, second, third, and fourth position for my middle school orchestra (or, 2nd fret, 3rd fret, 5th fret, and 7th fret)
  7. I drilled small holes in the side of the fingerboard at 3 5 7 12 ,and iserted some 3mm brass rod ,then lightly filed it off, it looks classy and like it is meant to be there
  8. Tenbrooks


    Nov 26, 2011
    Magnolia, TX
    tez123, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Brass looks so cool.
  9. I use guitar fret marker dots on the side of the fingerboard. Rosette Guitar makes something called "Rosette BlueDots Gold Markers." They are semi-permanent, small, and easy to install. I understand they are removable, but they have not come loose in normal playing or in wiping down the bass after playing. I have no affiliation with the company, but I like their dots. They're only about $6 for 9 markers. See: BlueDots Gold Fret Markers

  10. superman

    superman Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2007
    Nashville Tenn
    White out,paperdots either will work,I have seen too many times folks go and have pearl inlay dot into the side of the board,,then to find out the bridge was in the wrong place,,thus the dots were wrong,,whoops
  11. sporter323


    Jul 9, 2011
    I have played bass for years and I do not care it it is professional or not....I use stickers. I just plain need the insurance! I use small cute ones that are girly and make me smile...flowers, dragonflies, etc. :D
  12. bssist


    Jun 23, 2007
    St. Louis, MO USA
    Although it may look really nice, and "original equipment" I would avoid permanent markers. As you progress things may change where those actual notes are. Raise or lower the bridge - note moves. Raise or lower the the end peg - note stays in the same place but looks out because you are looking at it from a different angle. I like white out at only 3, 5, & 12 to keep things from getting cluttered. It's only a reference while you're learning. Too many dots and it become easier to loose your point of reference.
  13. T Bassman

    T Bassman

    Dec 13, 2010
    I got some little coloured 'dots' from a stationary store to mark the G, A, B and E octave to help find my positions, especially in poor lighting conditions, and for accuracy when recording against piano/fretted instruments.
    I am fairly new to crossing over to Upright from Electric bass, and figured this way as I build confidence in my technique and intonation I can remove the dots when i feel comfortable enough. Easy to replace as well if I decide to move the bridge for any reason, or they just plain get sweated off:).
    So far this has worked out really well, and the added confidence in intonation has allowed me to focus on my right hand technique and overall tone/projection.
    I know some may scoff at these 'cheat' marks, but honestly I feel it is allowing me to develop into a proficient player much faster than without, and is bringing my confidence/skill level up to a place that relates to my confident electric bass playing.
    Hope this helps!

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