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View Full Version : do you use the fret dot markers



tangimango
10-22-2014, 01:29 AM
You prefer or use the fret dot markers or non just like jake shimabukuro? I prefer the side dots on the neck.

dsummers
10-22-2014, 01:42 AM
I like the clean look and I prefer the side fretboard markers only when possible, and I use them.

Phuufme
10-22-2014, 01:59 AM
I actually don't care whether the fretboard has them as long as they are on the side so I can use them to play. I will say I have had a guitar that had fret markers on the side of the fretboard that were so light that when I was playing outside at a late night gig, I could not see them. So, consequently, they need to be, for me, big enough to actually use.

Doc_J
10-22-2014, 02:21 AM
+ 1 on only side markers needed.

brimmer
10-22-2014, 02:59 AM
Side markers are great when a uke has them. But it depends on the uke. On my Kiwaya concert the front dots are small and don't catch my eye. I added a single side dot at 7 on this uke. On my King soprano, the front dots are visible from above so side dots are unnecessary. My flea needs side dots because the black frets blend into to fretboard - my only complaint about stock fleas and flukes. Its a minor issue so I help off on a wood fretboard upgrade.

kegmcnabb
10-22-2014, 03:32 AM
Depends. On an ebony fingerboard I really like the clean look of no dots - just deep, rich "blackness". However, on rosewood or others, I like the dots. The abalone inlays on my Koalohas are gorgeous and really set off the wood.

Mostly a cosmetic issue as I strive to play by feel and not looking but sometimes it is nice to have the "reference point" when making big leaps up and down the neck. To that end, I do what many others do with my Flea and put dots on the side with a silver Sharpie.

Ukejenny
10-22-2014, 04:07 AM
I never see the fret markers on the top, but I do use the ones on the side.

Rllink
10-22-2014, 04:10 AM
I never thought that I used the markers on the fretboard, but then someone loaned me a uke that didn't have them, and I realized that I missed them. I'm not quite sure how I look at them while I am playing, but evidently I do.

Flaky
10-22-2014, 05:55 AM
They sure do help when you are trying to figure out how to play something you're watching on youtube. :)

Xtradust
10-22-2014, 06:17 AM
I use both side and top markers and I miss them when they're not there. My Martin doesn't have any side or top markers. I like the look, but miss the reference points. My Daughter's Luna Pineapple has triangle shaped markers on top that are easy to see behind the strings.

strumsilly
10-22-2014, 06:25 AM
I never see the fret markers on the top, but I do use the ones on the side.
me too. but I like the ones top ones in abalone on my Koaloha for the looks.

kypfer
10-22-2014, 06:40 AM
I find it difficult to play anything other than a few basic first-position chords without fret markers ... and if they're good enough for an $8500 Gibson http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/Gibson-Super+400CN-1969/2061 :drool: they're good enough for me :cool:

BuddhaFuzz
10-22-2014, 08:36 AM
I have a couple fretless instruments I had made... I prefer the clean look of the neck not being cluttered with dots. The side markers I like, unfortunately, my eyeballs have a hard time seeing such small markers. When I had the instruments made, I had side markers made that were a 'bar' shape and were the width of the fret... easy to see, even in low light.

actadh
10-22-2014, 08:44 AM
I also like side fret markers - the front ones are for the audience, not me.

I would like them at the 3rd fret, too, but all my ukuleles that have them start at the 5th fret.

janeray1940
10-22-2014, 08:56 AM
Side dot markers? Heck, I couldn't even tell you if all of my ukes have them or not, I find them completely useless :) I don't really even notice the fretboard ones except on some sort of subconscious level - I do know that if I pay attention to them, I get mixed up when switching between my ukes with 12-fret and 14-fret joins. So I try to pay attention only to the ones at the 5th and 7th.

ETA some hours later: I think I just realized why I have never paid attention to side dot markers: Kamakas only have one side dot, at the 7th fret, even though they have fretboard dots at the 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th.

hammer40
10-22-2014, 09:05 AM
yes, I do use them. Preferably the side dot markers, since those are more easily visible to the player.

ubulele
10-22-2014, 11:04 AM
I also like side fret markers - the front ones are for the audience, not me.

I would like them at the 3rd fret, too, but all my ukuleles that have them start at the 5th fret.

I have a uke with a 3rd fret marker, and I just find it to be needless, disorienting visual clutter. It's more helpful to have visual clarity, which the 5-7-10-12 arrangement provides nicely: not too little, not too much. I also have a uke with a marker at the 9th fret instead of the 10th, and as a result, I sometimes get that area of the neck confused with the area two frets down.

I would prefer that the highest marker on tenors and baris be placed at the 17th rather than 15th fret, echoing the 5th fret marker, which it matches in terms of note names. I don't get lost close to the 12th fret, I get lost higher up. It's also common for the body to join the neck around the 15th fret on these sizes, so putting a marker there is a bit redundant.

I definitely use the side markers. I have a uke with only one side marker (at the 7th fret), forcing me to peer over the fretboard to stay oriented higher on the neck.

Nickie
10-22-2014, 12:30 PM
My ukes don't have side markers, so I get a sore neck peering aroudn to see the fretboard markers, which are a waste, if I had side markers....

Peterjens
10-22-2014, 12:54 PM
Yup. I can't even park my car in the garage without using my tennis ball on a string thingie that hits my windshield. Those dots sure come in handy as I learn 2nd and 3rd position chords.

CeeJay
10-22-2014, 01:56 PM
Yes. Front ...side ...and I'd have them round the back as well, as I tend to move my ukes around a bit as I play them.....Not flashy just for comfort and reach....

Ukejenny
10-22-2014, 02:04 PM
My soprano came without side markers, so I use painters' tape to make my own. I cut out little triangles and stuck them on. So far, so good. I need to order some cute little abalone-look stickers off ebay and put them on. For now, my blue tape is really easy to see.

Another option, if you want to make side markers, is to use violin tape - what students use to mark the fingerboard of a violin so they stay in tune. Great tape, comes in different colors, and won't mar the fingerboard/fretboard, and I don't think it would harm the finish of the neck.

cantsing
10-23-2014, 05:49 AM
My ukes don't have side markers, so I get a sore neck peering aroudn to see the fretboard markers, which are a waste, if I had side markers....
You might enjoy side markers. My Mainland didn't have them, so I bought tiny pearl-colored star-shaped stickers at a craft store and stuck them on.

janeray1940
10-23-2014, 06:06 AM
All of this discussion of being unable to see the fretboard markers has me wondering how that can be... I have no trouble seeing mine at all. I wonder if it's because I have straps on my ukes? The uke is positioned at a slight angle as a result, and I'm able to see both sets of markers.

(And I'm sure someone's going to tell me this means I'm doing it wrong, but... whatever, I'm a rebel that way :))

IamNoMan
10-23-2014, 06:17 AM
When I'm performing my visual attention is focused on the audience. When it is necessary to make a large move down the neck I am happy for both sets of markers to make sure my hand is in the right place. This seems particularly important to me for ukulele since there are so many scale lengths to choose from with the different sizes of uke.

stevepetergal
10-23-2014, 08:27 AM
This question addresses the one regret I have in my last custom ukulele purchase. I wanted it to look like as much like a classical guitar as possible. But, I didn't think I could play it without the markers on the fretboard, so I had it made with black pearl markers, for low contrast. I have since played an ukulele with just the side markers and it's no problem at all. Argh! I wish I had known.

Fleapluckin_Flapper
10-23-2014, 12:03 PM
OMG yeah. Always rely on them whether it's on uke,guitar,banjo or mandolin. I never use them on autoharp tho. :p

IamNoMan
10-23-2014, 12:56 PM
OMG yeah. Always rely on them whether it's on uke,guitar,banjo or mandolin. I never use them on autoharp tho. :p
I use them on my harmonicas but not my accordion.