#1
i was thinking about how you would play a fretless neck after watching this

chords would be practically impossible to play in tune

so then i thought about scalloping a fretless neck so it looked roughly like this(i just gimped this up for this post, excuse the terrible shading of the body i was too lazy to make it look good)




this would defeat the purpose of it being fretless and after a while the "wooden frets" would probably get worn down a bit creating all sorts of buzz problems and whatnot... so i'd assume you would have to use a pretty dense wood for the fingerboard

im just curious what this would do for the sound of the guitar


anyone else ever think about this?
#2
Well, I don't know for sure, but I think this is the method that was used before fretwire was used on guitars.
#3
It'd be hard to maintain the edges where the frets are supposed to be and you'd probably end up wearing it down so far as to make it useless. It's an interesting idea though.
#4
Quote by matt154
It'd be hard to maintain the edges where the frets are supposed to be



thats what i was thinking...


the only way i can think of fixing that is to make the fingerboard out of a material that wouldnt dent or get worn down over time


but since its scalloped you cant press down too hard anyway otherwise you would change the pitch of the note your playing
#5
I'm pretty sure even ebony would wear over time, and once it's worn you can't repair it without replacing the fretboard. I have seen wierd instruments made like this though. This may have been the standard before fretwire came along.
#6
I'm trying to wrap my mind around a way that this wouldn't screw with the intonation, but I can't figure one out. It'd be a bitch to play.
#7
Quote by Jack the Bard
I'm trying to wrap my mind around a way that this wouldn't screw with the intonation, but I can't figure one out. It'd be a bitch to play.



technically its impossible to get perfects intonation for every note with straight frets, hence the true temperament fretting systems


if the frets were straight it wouldnt mess with intonation as long as they were scalloped straight across
#8
Quote by matt154
I'm pretty sure even ebony would wear over time, and once it's worn you can't repair it without replacing the fretboard. I have seen wierd instruments made like this though. This may have been the standard before fretwire came along.



maybe build it in such a way that instead of the fingerboard being glued on its removable(but still stuck on firmly)?

so you would just have to strap on a new one if it ever got worn down...


lol
#9
i've seen someone ask about this before, it seems to me like this would be purely for aesthetics seeing as it is essentially just making frets. but if you want to do it then i'd suggest fretting it, scalloping then pulling the frets and filling. but it would wear on the wood a lot more and it seems a bit risky to me. but that's just my opinion, if you wanna do it then go ahead, we'd never get anywhere without ideas like this
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#10
You couldn't do it with steel strings, you'd wear through the wood very fast. Nylon strings would work though, so maybe on an acoustic.
Last edited by earthwormjim at Apr 3, 2011,
#11
To be able to get a fine enough point in the "fret" that it would intonate properly, you'd wear through the point very quickly, and the intonation would go sharp pretty quickly.

Also, I don't really see any benefits of doing it.
#13
to play a chord would be like trying to apply the right amount of pressure on each string to make sure they all stay in tune lol
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#14
I think the only way to do this without wearing it down would be on a classical guitar with nylon strings. Cool idea though kinda makes me want to buy a cheap classical to experiment
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#16
So many opinions (and excuses). When I was researching, before I scalloped my Epiphone, there was no disagreement that early stringed instruments were scalloped and fretless. Remember how impossible it was to make basic chords for the first couple weeks? And now you can do it in our sleep.

JUST DO IT. Pick a guitar that already needs fixin, so no risk but time lost. Then please tell us how you like it.

It would also be good to play some other scalloped guitar(s) so you can compare. I play a scalloped Epi with big frets. Its quite a change when I switch to my sg with flat, skinny frets. One really needs to pay attention to pressure.
#17
In my comp sci course in college, whenever we would ask the professor if certain code would work his response was always, "Let's try it and find out!" I think that applies here too. I agree with RebuildIt, just get an old guitar and try it.

I've thought about this too. I think there are three ways to successfully do it:
1) Use a crazy hard wood, like iron wood.
2)Use a non-wood material, like graphite.
3) Or if you have access to a milling machine you can try to make a fully metal fingerboard.

Personally, I like the idea of a metal fingerboard, that could look kick-a$$. I will probably give it a try when/if I get a milling machine.
#18
Check this out:

It's a Bond Electraglide. The fretboard isn't wood, of course. However, I don't get the TS' train of thought... Having realized what fretless necks are good for, you want to "fix" the things that it isn't useful for and in the process also cancel out what you'd want a fretless neck for in the first place?
#19
There was something similar in the 80s - the Bond stepped fretless guitar.

http://guitarcollecting.co.uk/2009/01/05/bond-electraglide/

This tried to get the benefits you're talking about while dealing with the wear problem by using (I think) a phenolic resin fingerboard.

Although some big names experiemented with it, it was a little ahead of it's time and never caught on.

No harm in trying again though ;-)
Last edited by 93SuperVee at Apr 8, 2011,
#20
^About 8 minutes late... Anyways, I read that it was a black anodized aluminium fretboard.
#21
The idea make no sense at all since you're just making crappy wooden frets that will wear away fairly quickly, defeating both the purpose of it being "fretless" and having scalloped frets on it. Unless you plan on making a Lute, don't bother.
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#22
It is possible and a grand idea, so long as you are not building the fretboard out of wood. If you were making it from an incredibly strong polymer, maybe, but ideally it would be metal.
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