If you were looking to buy a guitar and had narrowed it down to two that were identicle in every way except for the fingerboard inlay style, which would you buy...One has block style inlay similar to what you'd find on a Les Paul...The other has a vine style inlay that elliminate the fret position markers except for the tiny dots located on the side of the fingerboard? I'm asking this because I was showing a friend of mine a guitar I had made about a year ago that I inlayed the neck with a vine style mother of pearl inlay. I love it, but, noticed when he tried to play it, he was lost for awhile because of the lack of fret markers and he even mentioned it was giving him a problem. It got me wondering if most people would rather have a guitar with fret markers or an inlay design that they love but elliminates the fret markers and accept they will be putting time in to get comfortable playing it? What's your thoughts?
I guess it depends on the person. Some people need the markers on the fretboard and not just the ones on the side. A lot of people can play with no markers too. It's really just a level of comfort. I'd go for a vine, though.
Of the two choices? I'd probably go for the blocks. Simply because, it's more traditional, and I'm not a fan of any 'decorations' on guitars like special inlays or logos.

That said, I prefer not having any inlays or side dot markers at all. It completely goes against logical thinking I know, but having any kind of marker actually throws me off. So, the vine inlays not showing you which is the 3rd, 5th, 7th, etc fret, wouldn't be a problem anyway.
if you mean block inlay, so something thats only in the 5th 7th etc. id get the one from santana's guitar. that damn sexy eagle inlay.

EDIT: And to the rest of your post, i get lost without nice markers too. i was playing a jackson or an ibanez or something with the sharktooth inlay, and i got lost in that too. :S
Last edited by fretsonfire74 at Jan 31, 2008,
Do the vines, but have like a little flower or leaf growing out on the 3 5 7 9 12 15 17 19 21 frets.

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What about a vine inlay with a particularly noticeable trait that repeats on 5, 7, 12, 15, 17, etc.?
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Vine. In case you didn't notice there are the usual fret markers. Look at the leaves on the inlay. Where the leaves are is where your 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, etc frets are... see what i mean???
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Normally I'd rather have no inlays on a guitar but the vines look sick so I'll go with vines
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Vine. In case you didn't notice there are the usual fret markers. Look at the leaves on the inlay. Where the leaves are is where your 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, etc frets are... see what i mean???

That thing looks sexy
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If you play a hell of a lot of guitar, you don't really need to look @ which fret you're pressing because you'd know it off by heart.

I'd go with the vine inlay because it looks better and the markers are still there

Gives it that nice artistic touch
Having anything besides dots taught to look at the tiny ones on the side of the neck pretty fast. It was normal for me after just a few hours.
If you're any kind of decent guitarist, a lack of fret markers shouldn't be a problem at all.
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If you're any kind of decent guitarist, a lack of fret markers shouldn't be a problem at all.

thats a little harsh. I think if you're playing music you already know, you may not need the fret markers. for learning new material, i find it quite helpful. how many great guitarists don't have any fret markers?
I only look at the dots on the side of the guitar. You would have to tilt the guitar back or lean your head pretty far forward to see what was on the fret board.
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The only marker I look at is 12...

I'd say vine too. If I'm going to have inlays, they might as well be flamboyant.
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I like the flag style or block but the vine does look nice. It would be funny if they made a guitar with numbered inlays...
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If the vine was set like a proper 1 like on regular intervals then id defo have to go with the vine, iv always wanted a vine inlay. but if there is only 1 interval on the vine then id have to say neither, id rather have no inlays than blocks if they are the rectangular blocks, but if they were trapezoids id have them lol
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Wow, thanks for all the input! This is the first chance I've had to check back on this thread. I had, actually still have, a diesel fuel leak on my truck. I went out to my truck earlier to be greeted by a nice puddle of diesel fuel. It's been heck locating fuel line that's diesel compliant.

Anyways, I got to figure out how to post a picture of my guitar. From what I've read, I think those fans of vine inlays will like the inlay I did. It's different then the ones posted so far. Any how-to's on how to post a pic?
I don't mind, as long as the octave is clearly marked somewhere where I can take notice.
i like my fretboard

although my dream guitar would have a jet-black scalloped neck, no inlays at all

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i love the way a neck looks if it only has a dot on the 12th
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I like the tribal inlay on my ESP ltd F-400, but if not for that I'd say no markers at all except maybe something on the 12th fret.
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how many great guitarists don't have any fret markers?
Well, how many great guitarists don't even look at the guitar when they're playing? Almost all.

Fret markers are just completely obsolute to good guitarists. Most of the time you see someone like Slash, Perry, Clapton, Hendrix, Santana, Sambora, Young, Vai, and so on, playing, they're not looking at the fretboard at all. So what purpose then do the fret markers serve? A lot of the time they're just there because that's just how the guitar brand always makes it's fretboards. I'm quite sure if you handed Clapton a guitar with no inlays, it wouldn't effect his playing whatsoever.
i only look at the side dots. so i just get black dots. haha.
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