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View Full Version : Fret markers positions different on ukulele vs guitalele



Lapyang
05-10-2019, 02:56 AM
I have noticed ukulele has fret marker on the 10th fret but guitalele (eg, KoAloha, Kanile'a, Islander...) has it on the 9th. All the other markers positions are the same. Any reason?

zztush
05-10-2019, 03:19 AM
In (small) ukulele, our 12th is on the joint, hence we don't need 12th mark. We rather need 10th mark.

https://i.ibb.co/9YLk7Zx/2.png (https://ibb.co/88pLHYy)

ukulelekarcsi
05-10-2019, 04:38 AM
It's rather arbitrary, and I believe more a matter of tradition than of functionality. Some say a 10th fret marker has the advantage of marking more whole notes (no flats or sharps; not true!), some say a 9th fret marker looks visually better because the spacing between fret markers is more even that way.

In most fretted instruments, IF they have any position markers, the choices seem to be the 10th fret: mandolins and their family, banjos, long neck lutes and so on. The guitar is the big exception, most often putting it on the 9th fret. It has it's exceptions as well: the Larson brothers built their guitars with a 10th fret marker, all gipsy jazz guitars have them, and a good part of tenor guitars as well. The other exception using 9th fret markers are American made 4- and 5-string banjos, and most of the guitar-banjos with 6 or 12 strings.

Of, and I don't think 12 fret or 14 fret guitar necks have anything to do with the choice for a 9th or 10th position marker. They all have 9th fret single and 12th fret double markers anyhow.

Radiotone ukuleles have the markers at the 9th as well, as do most guitaleles, simply because they borrow from a guitar reference. I see no big pros or cons to any-one system, but switching between them can throw you off track!

rainbow21
05-10-2019, 07:59 AM
One recent piece of info that delighted me is that the fret markers at 3, 5, 7, and 10 correspond to the pentatonic scale for that string key (so first string is for key of A). So you have it for keys of G, C, E, and A. So maybe there is method to the madness.

Jarmo_S
05-10-2019, 08:46 AM
Interesting information about guitar being an exception rather than ukulele in markers. I was used to only guitars and ukulele was to me a surprise in 10th fret marker, but now I'm used to.
If I'd get a baritone, in it I'd like have a 9th fret one because of the E-string being same as in guitar.

Jarmo_S
05-10-2019, 08:54 AM
I don't much like the pentatonic scale. It is overused in guitar world. Good starter maybe for blues. I did know it too then when I started lol.

Can't really say if someone asked me to play a play a particular scale like just a mode or that pentatonic, that I can.

Mostly I go for a feeling of a melody. Some say that Greensleeves is in dorian mode, but to me it s just a melody :)

What I aim is be able to pick up the melody any tune. Sorry for digressing out of topic.

robinboyd
05-10-2019, 11:48 AM
Well, my guitarlele has a marker at the 10th fret and is joined to the body at the 12th....

Joe King
05-10-2019, 12:29 PM
If you practice with your eyes closed, and learn to 'burn' the muscle-memory into your brain, then where the dots are, on any given instrument matters little to actually playing.

It is when you switch instruments that this muscle-memory can betray you, like going from concert uke to a dreadnaught guitar, but after 10-15 minutes of playing, most people can adapt and use the adapted muscle memory.

Like everything else, the more you practice, the easier it is.

Also, if you do not trust yourself to peak from your eyes being closed, turn all the lights down, or just turn them off and practice in the dark.

Sure you will make mistakes, but repetition and correction will prevent you from relying on the locations of dots on the fretboard.

gochugogi
05-10-2019, 01:05 PM
Mine joins at the 14th fret and has the confusing 10th fret marker !&@TTYUWUGY!. Drove me nuts so I painted it black and now all is good!

Lapyang
05-10-2019, 03:59 PM
Interesting observation about the pentatonic scale positions.

Here are some pics about the ukulele vs guitalele from the same brands. Notice the 9th and 10th markers.

Kanile'a: 117890 117891

Pono: 117892 117893

bratsche
05-11-2019, 05:18 AM
Mine joins at the 14th fret and has the confusing 10th fret marker !&@TTYUWUGY!. Drove me nuts so I painted it black and now all is good!

And I painted over the 9th fret marker on my Baby Taylor guitar when I converted it to an octave mandolin.

So there! :D

bratsche

70sSanO
05-11-2019, 03:43 PM
One recent piece of info that delighted me is that the fret markers at 3, 5, 7, and 10 correspond to the pentatonic scale for that string key (so first string is for key of A). So you have it for keys of G, C, E, and A. So maybe there is method to the madness.

Not sure I follow your logic, especially with a baritone ukulele that generally has markers at 5, 7, 10, 12 (except Kanilea) and is tuned the same as a guitar. Standard uke tuning is technically the same as a guitar as far as scale patterns.

John

Just Russ
05-12-2019, 08:42 AM
The 9/10 fret marker is easily my most challenging part of transitioning from guitar to ukulele.

Andreas Fischer
05-12-2019, 09:16 AM
The 9/10 fret marker is easily my most challenging part of transitioning from guitar to ukulele.

Same here
since i play more than just guitar, also ukulele and dulcimer and cbg`s i am many times confused "where am i?" when i am near 9/10 frett