what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

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what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed May 23, 2012 10:25 am

i just picked up a guitar that has a rather badly done scallop job on the fretboard.
apparently the seller didn't notice, or didn't know it wasn't supposed to be that way, or something, i don't know.... confused

i don't want to return the guitar, because the rest of it is what i wanted, but the scallop thing doesn't do it for me.

because it was done poorly, uneven and not too deep into the fretboard, i may be able to salvage it by removing the frets and re-plane the fretboard to the correct radius. not what i was wanting to do, but i want to keep the guitar, and enjoy playing it too. (i will post some pics once i have resolved the situation with the seller).


so my question to the peanut gallery:

anybody here use a guitar with a scalloped fretboard?
what sort of advantage to your playing (or your sound) does it provide?
:?:

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by The Chad on Wed May 23, 2012 11:28 am

My Vandenberg has a slight scallop which is stock for that guitar. The idea is that your fingers dig more deeply into the strings and don't hit the fretboard underneath, thus allowing for easier bends and string control. The Vandenberg is so lightly scalloped that I can't really tell the difference. This is also the idea behind tall frets, it increases the distance between string and fretboard. I like the increased distance, makes it easier to control the strings.

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by EvilVOG on Wed May 23, 2012 2:36 pm

Yngwie Malmsteen has his guitars done like that. Saw it as a kid and always wanted to try it.


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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Westbone on Wed May 23, 2012 4:00 pm

They taste like fish clown If you play with your teeth. affraid

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by The Chad on Wed May 23, 2012 4:04 pm

Westbone wrote:They taste like fish clown If you play with your teeth. affraid


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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Barry on Wed May 23, 2012 4:25 pm

Mmm, scallops! bounce

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Wed May 23, 2012 5:21 pm

Westbone wrote:They taste like fish clown If you play with your teeth. affraid

I'd take the fish flavour over the garlic salt flavour my slinkys give off!

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by corsair on Wed May 23, 2012 5:43 pm

Eeewwwwww to all...

Nope, I don't have a scalloped board on any guitar; never been that good a player to even contemplate it!!

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by thegig10 on Wed May 23, 2012 6:48 pm

Scalloped fret boards are usually done one of two ways. Some have the complete neck done and some have from the 12th fret up. The second way some players have done to improve fingers to find the fret center a bit easier where frets are so close together and for the area that bends are more frequently used.
The style of playing with high profile frets or scalloped frets takes getting used to especially when you're so accustomed to pressing off the fret board for bends and hammer-ons. I prefer thin, flat, low profile frets and pressing strings down to the fret board to produce the desired note. When I try to play with high or scalloped frets I can't help from pressing down so much which results in stretching the strings out of tune. I guess I just don't have the patience or desire to break the habit of playing the way I always have. This is why I'm not a fan of most Jackson guitars that seem to mostly have the big high profile frets.

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed May 23, 2012 9:12 pm

thegig10 wrote:Scalloped fret boards are usually done one of two ways. Some have the complete neck done and some have from the 12th fret up.

done one of two ways eh? i can think of a 3rd way, poorly done.
scallops anyone?




it seems like a contradiction; the fretboard is lowered so you can dig into the string more, but it takes a light touch to play with scalloped fretboard? Suspect

i consider myself a string bender, i do like to bend 'em a good bit. i have never felt the fretboard itself, made bending harder or slower. over the years i have developed a lighter and more accurate touch, and even with normal frets and board i can hear how pushing the string tight on the board sharps the note. it just seems like the scallops would make it that much worse.

the one thing i have found so far that bothers me, when i slide up or down the neck on a string, the feel in my hand is rough and the note slide is more jumpy sounding rather than smooth .



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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Barry on Wed May 23, 2012 9:26 pm

I have enough trouble playing on a proper fretboard (even before the stroke). This scallop thing gives me the willies. affraid

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by beavis on Thu May 24, 2012 3:26 am

I have just finished scalloping a neck for my MIK westone body rebuild project. Just have the sanding and buffing and coating etc. to do.

The way I see things is this: if you like superduper jumbo frets, like the ones on an 1985 dimension IV for instance, you will most likely be happy to have a scalloped fretboard as it should feel pretty close, thus allowing you to do wide vibratos, easy bends and faster play.

If you grew up playing on low frets, most likely the scallop won't do it for you.

If I were you, I would improve the scallops, i.e. try to make them look ok, and keep it that way. I mean you already have like 60 guitars or something. What a Face

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by gittarasaurus on Thu May 24, 2012 12:54 pm

beavis wrote:
The way I see things is this: if you like superduper jumbo frets, like the ones on an 1985 dimension IV for instance, you will most likely be happy to have a scalloped fretboard as it should feel pretty close, thus allowing you to do wide vibratos, easy bends and faster play.

If you grew up playing on low frets, most likely the scallop won't do it for you.

If I were you, I would improve the scallops, i.e. try to make them look ok, and keep it that way. I mean you already have like 60 guitars or something. What a Face

it is really 2 things,

first, i am not, nor will i ever be, a shredder style player. just don't have the technique or the time or the reason to develop it. i'm more of a '3 chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust' kinda player

and second, i like my Westone guitars like new.
for my Westone collection i have tried to make the guitars as close to original and in as good of playing condition as i can. the only Westones i have customized have been beyond hope of returning them to original condition.

other kinds of guitars i have mangled, oops, modified pretty freely, but not my Westone guitars, they are just in a different class altogether than the rest of my collection. my guitar building skills are no match for the Matsumoku craftsmen. and so i just try to restore the fine work that was there in the first place.

at this point i don't have any active playing situation, so i collect guitars, westones and others too. if the scallops were done to different brand of guitar, i would learn to deal with it and just have that as 'the scalloped guitar',

but it is a Westone Thunder I, and i have been looking for one in this particular finish for a long time. and aside from the assault on the fretboard, the rest of the guitar is in excellent condition. this one may just end up getting a major intervention, and since the scalloping is uneven and not too deep, it may have a chance for restoration. it would be more ambitious than anything else i have done at this point. it won't begin soon tho, as i have summer projects already lined up.
these pics are what it looked like when it arrived. all i did was give it a good wipe down, no polishing or anything. i love the see-thru black finish. and check out those brass knobs and the bridge saddles, no corrosion at all. seems like he scalloped it but never played it. the frets are tarnished and not worn. everything should shine up nicely when i have some time .....





beavis wrote:I mean you already have like 60 guitars or something. What a Face

actually it is more than 2X that many, that are ready to play. i got a garage full of projects too...
yeah, i got it BAD!!!

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Barry on Thu May 24, 2012 2:15 pm

Damn shame about the fretboard, what a beautiful guitar!
Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for it.
Unless you find a replacement neck by some miracle, it's major surgery for this ole gal. Crying or Very sad

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Thu May 24, 2012 3:06 pm

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Indian-Rosewood-Fretboard-/220927186337?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item33704955a1

how hard can it be?

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by colt933 on Thu May 24, 2012 3:53 pm

I used to think that Yngwie used scalloped necks because he didn't pick a lot, and those scallops gave his hammer-ons and pull-offs more attack so it sounded like he picked every note. But watching him play, he appears to pick every or nearly every note. And his economy of motion is stunning!

So I asked my guitar instructor about it and he has used scalloped necks as a training aid to practice a light touch. As others have mentioned above, if you have tall frets, or a scalloped neck, and you have a heavy touch, everything will be sharp. He had a classical guitar instructor in college who would constantly slap his thumb off the back of the neck to promote a light touch. To this day, he can play just about anything with no thumb on the back of the neck. His touch is ridiculously light. And he is very accurate.

So with hammer-ons and pull-offs, it's more about accuracy than power.

Having said all this, I still like watching Satriani more than just about anyone else. Visually, his technique sucks. He looks like a train wreck. But it sounds great. So in one way my playing is a lot like his.

cheers

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Barry on Thu May 24, 2012 5:14 pm

Sgt. Vimes wrote:http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Indian-Rosewood-Fretboard-/220927186337?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item33704955a1
how hard can it be?
Shirley, you can't be serious? Razz

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Iceman on Thu May 24, 2012 7:53 pm

Barry wrote:
Sgt. Vimes wrote:http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Indian-Rosewood-Fretboard-/220927186337?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item33704955a1
how hard can it be?
Shirley, you can't be serious? Razz


He IS serious... and don't call him Shirley!






...there, happy??

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Barry on Thu May 24, 2012 8:08 pm

I hate being the straight man. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) Neutral

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by Iceman on Thu May 24, 2012 8:21 pm

Barry wrote:I hate being the straight man. (Not that there's anything wrong with that...) Neutral

VANDALAY INDUSTRIES..... JUST SAY VANDALAY INDUSTRIES... affraid

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

Post by beavis on Fri May 25, 2012 6:21 am

colt933 wrote:I used to think that Yngwie used scalloped necks because he didn't pick a lot, and those scallops gave his hammer-ons and pull-offs more attack so it sounded like he picked every note. But watching him play, he appears to pick every or nearly every note. And his economy of motion is stunning!

So I asked my guitar instructor about it and he has used scalloped necks as a training aid to practice a light touch. As others have mentioned above, if you have tall frets, or a scalloped neck, and you have a heavy touch, everything will be sharp. He had a classical guitar instructor in college who would constantly slap his thumb off the back of the neck to promote a light touch. To this day, he can play just about anything with no thumb on the back of the neck. His touch is ridiculously light. And he is very accurate.

So with hammer-ons and pull-offs, it's more about accuracy than power.

Having said all this, I still like watching Satriani more than just about anyone else. Visually, his technique sucks. He looks like a train wreck. But it sounds great. So in one way my playing is a lot like his.

cheers

It is! I am always impressed.

And Gittarasaurus, how many guitars have you got lying in your guest room? Plan on going away in mid-July? Laughing

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Re: what's the deal with a scalloped fretboard?

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