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View Full Version : Radius fretboard on soprano? Any Mya Moe soprano owners out there?



mariegan7
10-16-2014, 07:58 PM
All this talk about radius fretboards has piqued my curiosity. I am a beginning player who is having difficulty with barre chords. I often get a dead C or E string. I am getting a custom soprano made and was wondering if a radius fretboard on a soprano would help with the barre chords or is the neck so narrow that it wouldn't make much of a difference? I see them most often on tenors but rarely sopranos. I know Mya Moe sopranos have radius fretboards. Can any Mya Moe soprano owners chime in? Any input is welcomed!

g'est
10-16-2014, 08:01 PM
Good question!

I was wondering the same thing about concerts..

coolkayaker1
10-16-2014, 08:16 PM
I own a Mya Moe soprano and a baritone, both radiused, and feel no difference in ease of playability on either compared to my non-radiused sopranos and baritones.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-16-2014, 09:17 PM
I am a beginning player who is having difficulty with barre chords. I often get a dead C or E string.

Sorry, but you need to practice more and improve your technique. Your strength will develop in time. A radiused fret board is not a magical solution to poor technique.

Pippin
10-16-2014, 09:40 PM
What Chuck is talking about is often as simple as hand position or gripping too tight. If you try different hand positions, you might find something very comfortable that facilitates easy barre chords.

katysax
10-17-2014, 03:39 AM
There is no benefit to a radius neck on a soprano. (How's that for a flat opinionated pronouncement?). In all seriousness, to the extent that a radius helps, it is with a larger neck.

RAB11
10-17-2014, 03:46 AM
Barre chords used to be impossible for me too. The trick is to get the barring finger as close to the fret as possible, and to try out different angles so that your finger is as comfortable as possible. Don't try and grip too tight, as Pippin suggests, especially on a soprano you shouldn't need to much pressure to fret properly.

Once it clicks it's very very satisfying because it opens up so many chords up the neck.

Just keep at it until it's natural.

BlueLatitude
10-17-2014, 04:00 AM
But isn't the width of the neck generally the same whether it's soprano, concert or tenor? It seems that the value of a radius (or not) would be the same for a soprano as for a tenor. Unless making a bigger stretch to reach the frets is the thing that is making it difficult to barre on a bigger uke.

On the other hand, you probably will get more comfortable barring as you go on.

What does your luthier say?

Wicked
10-17-2014, 04:03 AM
Sorry, but you need to practice more and improve your technique. Your strength will develop in time. A radiused fret board is not a magical solution to poor technique.

I believe that Chuck has struck at the heart of the recent fretboard radius hullabaloo. A smaller radius should not be viewed as a panacea for poor technique.

In the OP's particular case, it is highly doubtful that you would feel much difference on a soprano neck - unless the radius was drastically small. I would, however, be sure that your instrument is properly set up. I find many beginner instruments to have obscenely high action at the nut, and since you probably spend the majority of your time in first position, this could make barre chords akin to the eighth labor of Hercules.

Once you get some mileage on the fretboard, you may very well decide that you prefer a different scale length, nut width, fretboard radius, etc - which is your prerogative.

stevepetergal
10-17-2014, 04:48 AM
Take the above advise to heart. A radiused fretboard is different, but not really better for any purpose. Barring chords is a challenge when you first start playing. Whichever fretboard you get, you've got to put in the time too learn. If you don't, there's no instrument, no option, and no string-set that will help.

coolkayaker1
10-17-2014, 05:19 AM
Whichever fretboard you get, you've got to put in the time too learn. If you don't, there's no instrument, no option, and no string-set that will help.

Correct. And once you have learned to effectively barre chord, the debate about radiused and nonradiused fretboards will interest you about as much as the debate over replacing the eroded beach sand in Argentina (unless you live on the beach in Argentina, that is).

mariegan7
10-17-2014, 08:25 AM
Thank you for all of your responses. I guess I'll stick to a flat fretboard soprano. I should really start practicing more and stop trying to "buy" my way to better playing!

katysax
10-17-2014, 08:57 AM
Hey its fun to get new ukes. You can't buy yourself into being a better player, but you can have fun.

rustysmith3
10-17-2014, 04:24 PM
Thank you for all of your responses. I guess I'll stick to a flat fretboard soprano. I should really start practicing more and stop trying to "buy" my way to better playing!

Buying instruments is part of the fun and learning experience. You can google 'ukulele bar chords' for lots of ideas and then find what works best for you. Here are a couple of areas to look at. 1. thumb position 2. closeness to fret 3. pressure needed (less can be more) 4. finger position (tip of finger extends out over fingerboard not just long enough to cover fretboard is one option). Before you know it you'll be moving on to other challenges.

coolkayaker1
10-17-2014, 05:11 PM
Try Drop, Baby. Drop...tutorials on YouTube. Outstanding tune to start simple barre-ing.

Inksplosive AL
10-17-2014, 10:05 PM
On my player a Kala KA-EM which I bought with a decent setup still I had to refile my nut a tad to lower my strings. I was having a hell of an issue with barre chords in the first two frets. I noticed it most in the G, C and E string but I had to lower them all.

A custom build should be set up nicely I would think.

The Big Kahuna
10-17-2014, 10:37 PM
Try this:

Barre all the strings, then rotate your wrist counter-clockwise (ie. move the back of your hand towards the headstock). This will increase the pressure on the strings without having to increase the pressure of your grip.

DownUpDave
10-17-2014, 11:51 PM
Hey its fun to get new ukes. You can't buy yourself into being a better player, but you can have fun.

Agreed. But I also like the line "with a high quality uke even my mistakes sound better". Just one more reason to get a new uke, as if we actually need a reason :p