View Full Version : Fretboard shape-profile

tenor madness
02-21-2016, 02:52 PM
I am no musician and started playing the ukulele late in life and have limited flexibility in my fingers making it difficult to fully clear adjacent strings when I try to fret more than one string with a finger. I have ukes with both flat and radiuses fretboards and they seem to be much the same in this regard. My question is if anyone one has experimented with moving the crown of a radiused fretboard to the g string side (gcea) or a slanted flat fretboard? If so what was the result?

02-21-2016, 06:01 PM
That is an interesting idea, but I'm not familiar with anyone doing that. In other words, a sort of hemidemispherical fretboard. The reasons are probably that this would be difficult to pull off and the radius would be eccentric and difficult to play. Still an interesting idea... Easier would probably be just keep practicing and eventually you will get better at fretting the stings. Practice might be easier than changing the fretboard. In other words: adapt to the fingerboard and not the other way around. It ain't that hard. Good luck!

02-22-2016, 07:12 AM
I've never heard of an asymmetric radius in guitar or uke. I think you would need a pretty extreme radius to clear your finger. Maybe a wider neck would be a better idea if you have trouble with stiff fingers.

02-22-2016, 09:02 AM
I've had a think of this overnight after first reading your post. I would think that the only really viable method of producing one with a radius would be with a CNC router. I've never heard of anyone building a fret board like this. Lots of examples of asymmetrical neck shapes, but again perhaps not to the extreme that you are talking about the the fret board.

However moving that radius to the G side of the fret board I don't think is going to be very effective in achieving what you are trying to remedy. The shape of the radius is going to need to have a fall off that would be quite steep, and where is that going to start? Is it at the C string, or closer to the G string. In that case then the shape may actually exacerbate the problem that you are trying to fix.

What may work is a wedge shape fret board where the G side is thicker than the A side. Thereby giving you more relief under the fretting fingers.