View Full Version : 19th fret.... fretting about frets. feedback to learn please

05-14-2016, 11:37 PM
on me first tenor uke i put x18 frets only correctly spaced (i hope) as 19 frets just missed the last one as figured as a novice player I ll never venture anywhere near the dusty end and I like how the shorter board looked to the eye.

Is it an outrage to leave off the 19th fret? I remember somewhere that timbuck did the same (or did I dream that) but i think by mistake however as a novice player (well terrible really) i wonder both how often that fret gets used in playing and how good the note is on a tenor uke anyway?

I have a concert pono uke and that though has x20 frets just to confuse!

So is it purity of scale, necessity for play for the more advanced or maybe tradition, or why question it most might say!

Just wondering on thoughts and if others add and take away number of frets according to there preference?


05-15-2016, 03:16 PM
Is it an outrage to leave off the 19th fret?
Nah, the harmonic matches the note there, so you can use that if you're desperate.

05-16-2016, 12:08 AM
Use any more than 5 and you're just showing off. Use any more than 3 and you're better than me.
The real answer is that I rarely build with more than 14 and 12 is more common for me.

05-16-2016, 05:30 PM
Nah, the harmonic matches the note there, so you can use that if you're desperate.

Thanks Dennis. I never actually knew that there was a natural harmonic there. Who knew? Not that I play up there much... Basically my biggest priority on the number of frets is that the fretboard has to be long enough to cover the joint on my rosettes. One of the few places on an uke that doesn't show. There are bodies buried under that fretboard extension on my ukes and I'm not saying what because no one will ever know except me! Ha!

05-16-2016, 08:14 PM
ironically I want to keep the fret board away from the rosettes! the cnc router will route a inlay in wood that slots perfectly into the groove so theres no join!911889118991190. I did take a look at some branded tenor ukes and several had x18 frets.

feel happy now that 18 is nt breaking the laws of building!

05-17-2016, 04:32 AM
the vintage Martins [at least the 12 fret to the body ones] had only 18 frets, and they play and sound pretty good. unless I miscounted.

05-17-2016, 05:33 AM
All those frets above the 12th are just decorations anyway.
If anyone asks why there's no 19th fret you need a good reply....Something like "the extra metal in the fret affected the balance of the instrument". That's just as real as someone saying they need a 19th fret