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View Full Version : What is the benefit of having a couple more frets



evanL777
07-19-2009, 02:55 PM
I am looking at 2 different concerts, a mainland with 18 frets and a kala with 20. Does the number of frets affect anything really?

12imnew
07-19-2009, 03:07 PM
well, two more frets means that you can play one note higher...
if you don't really play up the fretboard it will make little to no difference.

evanL777
07-19-2009, 03:08 PM
having 2 less frets won't change anything about the body, will it?

UkeNinja
07-19-2009, 03:10 PM
Well, given the fact that some serious players (pLAY-ahs) yank out the top few frets because they are hardly used and even if you use them, the sound is not that much different from just pressing your nail on the string around that spot instead of fretting, so I think it you might be better off being concerned about other things than the number of frets when considering which one to buy.
That was a long first sentence, but I would say go for looks since both are fine brands for the money.

dnewton2
07-19-2009, 03:13 PM
Yep more notes. You might want to look at how many frets there are to the body. Most concerts will have 12 or 14 frets to the body. The main difference is more possible notes to play.

I prefer 14, it makes playing those higher notes more acessable, even though I rarely play those notes it is nice to have the option.

12imnew
07-19-2009, 03:14 PM
eeshh. umm, hahah. i am new to uke, but i don't think so. are they both the same sized ukes (soprano, concert...)? 'cause i think that the larger the body, the more frets you get generally, but if you are looking at say two concert sized ukes, the bodys are gonna be about the same size. i'm hoping someone more experienced can jump in here and be more helpful than me...

edit: i re-read your post and you say they are both concerts, hahah. but yeah, i think it will make not much (if any?) difference to the body, just the neck of the uke will be longer presumably...

jazzuke
07-19-2009, 03:14 PM
I am personally limited if I have less than 18 frets...though due to the body shape, I find I can't comfortably reach above that (I passed on a cutaway which would have given me the ability to get there, c'est la vie).

I have a soprano I'm going to seel as it only has 12 frets, which is way too limiting.

So, easy answer: 18 is more than sufficient, but it depends on how *you* play. If you don;t ever play up there, it probably doesn't matter, unless you may start playing up there.

evanL777
07-19-2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks for the help

itsme
07-19-2009, 03:59 PM
There's a piece for classical guitar by Barrios (forget which one) that went a fret beyond standard. Supposedly he glued a matchstick to the neck to make it possible.

experimentjon
07-19-2009, 04:06 PM
I think the frets to body count matters a bit more than total frets. Because without a cutaway, it's pretty hard to reach the last few frets. But total fret count does matter, and if I have a choice, all else equal, I'd choose a uke with more frets, just because more notes gives more options. I have more positions to play scales. And although you won't be having this problem, I remember when I was starting out, I was playing a KoAloha Soprano, which I believe only has 12 frets. And I couldn't play While My Guitar Gently Weeps, b/c I needed one of those frets down there. (Not to pick on KoAloha, because I love their stuff.) So generally, for me, more frets is better.

Not a problem though when you're choosing between 18 and 20. You should base your choices on other factors in those two ukes, like woods, reputation, misc features, etc.

Ken Middleton
07-19-2009, 08:42 PM
One uke can play 2 notes higher. Most players, including me, will probably never need to use those notes. Buy whichever uke fits your requirements best. Those 2 extra notes need not be a consideration.

If it were the difference between 12 frets and 14, that would be a big consideration.

KEN

Pippin
07-19-2009, 09:03 PM
My favorite concert is an extended neck. It has 19 frets and there are 14 to the body. It also has a cut-away and that gives access to the upper frets. Do I use them, yes, occasionally.

sukie
07-20-2009, 02:29 AM
This talk reminds me of the Jake concert I saw in March. He played some song and was playing well up the strings where there weren't any frets. It was amazing.

ukulelebadass
07-20-2009, 03:43 AM
A KALA concert with 20 frets? Must be a long neck or something, my KALA tenor has only 18 frets and it is standard sized. What is the scale length of the KALA in question? I think 15 frets is standard on a concert with 12 up to the body (one octave) it sounds like you might be looking at a couple of tenors.

Raygf
07-20-2009, 05:14 AM
A KALA concert with 20 frets? Must be a long neck or something, my KALA tenor has only 18 frets and it is standard sized. What is the scale length of the KALA in question? I think 15 frets is standard on a concert with 12 up to the body (one octave) it sounds like you might be looking at a couple of tenors.

I was curious about this and here is what I found. A luthier would have the specs on scale length, etc. that would explain these variations.

My Jenny concert - 19 frets, 14 to the body
My Kala f-hole tenor - 18 frets, 14 to the body
My Pono tenor 19 frets 14 to the body
My Tenor neck fluke - 17 frets, 12 to the body
My KoAloha long neck soprano - 17 frets, 14 to the body


Internet search
HF-2 Kamaka Concert - 16 frets, 12 to the body
Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert - 16 frets, 12 to the body
Ohana CK 10S/20S/35G-Concert 19 frets, 14 to the body
Oscar Schmidt OU250Bell - 21 frets, 14 to the body

In answer to the original post, more frets = higher notes.

I love my three, 12 fret and one, 14 fret sopranos as much as any of the longer neck/more fret ukes. :love:

Regards,
Ray

rossjr
07-20-2009, 07:08 AM
Is the 18 fret board the same length just that you have more space on each Fret?

For me that's the biggest difference between a Concert and a Tenor is that the Fret spacing is a bit wider on my Tenor, more forgiving....