#1
Hey everybody.
I'm probably going for a conversion to fretless guitar because I want to be able to play all the possible tones and the sliding effect is sick. However, it sounds normal that roundwounds will make marks in the fingerboard, unlike flatwounds, but flatwounds apparently tend to go sharp if you press even slightly hard. So, I was thinking, does a glass fingerboard get marked with roundwounds, or is it quite solide?. Anybody done this?
#2
Glass is a nonsensical material to make a guitar from. Not because it cannot take the wear of the strings, but the glass is not going to withstand the bending of the neck that occurs with adding string tension without it shattering. If nobody has done it before, it's for a good reason.
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#3
I'm not too sure, a guy called Ned Evett is known mostly for playing fretless glass necks. I don't know if it's fitted in a certain way or glued somehow. But his playing makes fretless slide blues seriously awesome.
#4
Yeah, it's definitely been done, and more than once. The thing which somewhat confuses me is why strings sounding sharp with too much pressure is a problem on a fretless instrument...
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#5
Those glass fingerbboards - not the whole neck - have been around a long time, but it is the first time I have seen them mentioned in years. I've been toying with the idea of a fretless board for playing slide, but glass would be a bit too accident prone for my tastes. I would be thinking in terms of something like fibreglass banded with hard epoxy.
#6
@K33nbl4d3 I'm not too sure, but I think it's because ,unlike fretwires, fretless boards prevent the string from being bent with high precision in a certain spot or something like that. The bendiness of the string has a bit more freedom on fretless guitars. If you wanted to make a note slightly sharp on a fretted one, you notice that you'd have to push down pretty hard (depends on gauges and the tuning together).
@Tony Done That could be good actually, I could mention that to my neighbour and see what he thinks too.
Last edited by jzRTCAQ!PY13575 at Jul 27, 2015,
#7
if a string sounds sharp or flat on a fretless insturment then the issue is the person playing it is in the wrong place not the strings (if tuned correctly)
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#8
i have been interested in using carbon fibre in a fretless app. i need to make a prototype neck and see what happens.
#9
@K33nbl4d3 robbgnarly's explanation would be better, coz' on fretless guitars, you have access to as many tones as you want, so if you wanted to play without sounding flat or sharp, a part of your finger has to be on the bit where the fretwire used to be in a very precise area. You're accuracy would be much better if you fretted the spot vertically with your nail, but playing everything with your nails would be extremely hard, and could make markings in the fingerboard
#10
Quote by jzRTCAQ!PY13575
Hey everybody.
I'm probably going for a conversion to fretless guitar because I want to be able to play all the possible tones and the sliding effect is sick. However, it sounds normal that roundwounds will make marks in the fingerboard, unlike flatwounds, but flatwounds apparently tend to go sharp if you press even slightly hard. So, I was thinking, does a glass fingerboard get marked with roundwounds, or is it quite solide?. Anybody done this?


Idk about making it out of glass, I haven't used flat wounds for any really long amount of time, so idk how much they would score the fretboard. As for glass, I would imagine round wounds would also score the glass. Even if you made it out of gorilla glass. Put it this way, would you want to put your phone under your strings and bend around over it for a while? I wouldn't.

I don't think you should worry about being sharp or flat by how hard you press. You have full control on a fretless to get the exact pitch you want. So how sharp or flat you ever are depends entirely on you, and not your gear, really. Even if the intonation and stuff is slightly out, you could accommodate for that intuitively. You would want everything in tune and with correct intonation though anyway, obviously, but sharp or flat depending on how hard you push? It doesn't matter, really, imo.
#11
@fingrpikingood As proper flatwounds don't have those gaps like in roundwounds, it looks like they wouldn't chew anything up on guitar as quickly. As for bending, that's out of the question. I'll put some good gauges on until bending is nearly impossible, because usually on fretless, you have to quickly slide up instead of bending.
You are right about the flat/sharp thing, but I think that's mostly if your playing in a sort of sliding manner on one string. Chords will be a different story, and if I can get some 12-tone chords down, playing mixed microtonal ones will be approchable. It'd be a nightmare trying to do that with unequal intonation in different areas.
#12
Good luck with chords. I don't think I would ever embark on that journey. Chords are hard enough sometimes when I have the whole fret of space for margin of error.
#13
You don't need to worry about flatwounds going out of tune with pressure on a fretless. They pull out of tune on a fretted instrument because they glide easily perpendicular to the fret, and when you press down too hard, you yank more of the string past the fret. With a fretless, it's essentially impossible to add tension in this way, because you are merely stopping the string between the board and your finger. More tension just pushes the string tighter to the board, which is probably bad for your hands in the long run, but not something that's going to pull the string noticeably sharp.

I think the bigger problem with glass would be practicality. I'm sure there are a couple of people out there capable of making a glass board, but it can't be cheap, and it doesn't strike me as something that could be managed by an amateur. Resin/epoxy/CA would be far easier, and less fragile. There are plenty of instruments out there with resin boards and they work quite well. You can put fiberglass or carbon fiber under it, too, if you like. Pouring and shaping resin is far more forgiving than working glass, and doesn't involve a furnace.
#14
^^ +1 on Roc's first point. Playing flatwounds taught me how much excess finger pressure I was playing with.