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newukersussex
10-17-2017, 06:54 AM
Possibly a silly question but one that has bugged me for a long time.

My ukuleles all have dots at frets 3,5,7,10 and 12. I always assumed this was so the dots picked out a minor pentatonic scale, e.g. on string one: A,C,D,E,G,a.

My guitars have dots at 3,5,7,9!! and 12. Why the difference?

Please can someone explain.

kypfer
10-17-2017, 07:27 AM
Tradition, mostly ... my balalaika has dots at 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12, my banjos 3, 5, 7, 10 an 12, my guitars mostly 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 ... confuses the hell out of me ;) :music:

Croaky Keith
10-17-2017, 07:54 AM
They are only there as a guide to where you are on the fretboard, the 12 being a slight exception, as that is the octave marker, & mostly double dotted. :)

newukersussex
10-17-2017, 11:52 AM
Thank you guys,

That is most helpful. I realise I might have been overthinking it and seeking a logic that probably doesn’t exist.

zztush
10-17-2017, 01:12 PM
Ukulele has 12th joint. We don't need 12th dot.

https://s1.postimg.org/31ygielr33/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

Pueo
10-17-2017, 01:37 PM
Yes, and I always laugh at them because the player, ideally when using proper technique, cannot see the fretboard!
The side marker dots are generally more helpful, if your ukulele (or guitar) has them.
And yes, they are just for reference and different on guitar vs. ukulele.

PereBourik
10-17-2017, 02:14 PM
Yes, and I always laugh at them because the player, ideally when using proper technique, cannot see the fretboard!
The side marker dots are generally more helpful, if your ukulele (or guitar) has them.
And yes, they are just for reference and different on guitar vs. ukulele.

What is this "proper technique" of which you speak? Proper technique is whatever makes the music come out.

Mivo
10-17-2017, 02:57 PM
Tradition, mostly ... my balalaika has dots at 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12, my banjos 3, 5, 7, 10 an 12, my guitars mostly 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12 ... confuses the hell out of me ;) :music:

With banjos the locations seem to have changed over time, allegedly (possibly) for tuning-related reasons: some info (https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/146860).

Mivo
10-17-2017, 03:00 PM
Ukulele has 12th joint. We don't need 12th dot.

Half of my ukuleles have 14th fret joints (I'd say this applies to 90%+ of modern tenors and a good portion of newer concerts too). My one guitar is a 12-frets-to-body instrument.

zztush
10-17-2017, 05:14 PM
Hi, Mivo!

I am just wondering historical and conventional meaning.

Mivo
10-17-2017, 06:38 PM
I think historical guitars (nearly?) always had 12 frets to the body. 14th+ joints seem to be a more modern thing for all guitar-like instruments. But I'm not sure if that is correct -- not an expert by any stretch. Some of the luthiers on here, like Michael N., know a lot about historical instruments, so hopefully they'll contribute. :)

kohanmike
10-17-2017, 07:25 PM
If my uke or bass doesn't have a 3rd or double 12th marker, I add them myself.

kypfer
10-17-2017, 09:40 PM
One aspect of the fretboard dots which may have been overlooked (and may be slightly off topic in this thread) is that they can help enormously when you're trying to copy what someone else is playing, either on video or face-to-face :)

YMMV :music:

buddhuu
10-17-2017, 10:32 PM
If you have to disagree with someone, try to do it without coming across as rude, arrogant and a jerk. We get less conflict that way.

PS: Please don't PM me asking "Do you mean me?". If you have to ask, well...

Tootler
10-17-2017, 10:58 PM
FYI, the conventional markers at frets 3, 5, 7, 10, 12 give you intervals of a minor 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and octave above the open string.

If there are no side markers, I create my own with a felt marker. Quick and easy to do and easily refreshed when they fade.

zztush
10-18-2017, 02:02 AM
We can see these relationships.

https://s1.postimg.org/27k7i67l1b/image.png (https://postimages.org/)

Tootler
10-18-2017, 08:32 PM
To clarify, the 10th corresponds to the minor 7th above the open string pitch.

Yes, you're correct. I really ought to have said that.

JackLuis
10-19-2017, 08:17 AM
FYI, the conventional markers at frets 3, 5, 7, 10, 12 give you intervals of a minor 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th and octave above the open string.

If there are no side markers, I create my own with a felt marker. Quick and easy to do and easily refreshed when they fade.

Wow, never knew or realized that. I've been a first position player and didn't realize the significance. I just started to try barr chords (Db7) and this helps a good deal. It's hints like this that make me appreciate UU. (Maybe I should read a music book?)