View Full Version : Fretboard Markers

08-14-2008, 12:38 PM
Why are some markers placed on the 9th fret and some markers placed on the 10th fret?

I just don't understand the reasons for choosing one over the other.

08-14-2008, 01:26 PM
I''m sure it's just an evil plot to keep us confused...

08-14-2008, 01:41 PM
could be for how the instrument is tuned (4ths 5ths) my bass and 2 guitars are all on the 9th and uke on the 10th

08-14-2008, 03:30 PM
I'm not sure why, but as a general rule, acoustic and electric steel string guitars have position markers on the 9th fret.

Nylon strung "folk" guitars, on the other hand, usually have the position maker at the 10th fret (classical guitars don't have position markers unless they are "student" guitars).

Does anyone know why this idfference?

08-15-2008, 06:45 AM
this is how i see it...

first four courses on a guitar: DGBE

ukulele is played like the first four courses on a guitar, but capo'd at the fifth fret. thus tuned GCEA (usually).

the 7th fret on the uke is is going to play DGBE just like the 12th fret on a guitar. there is usually a marker there. then you will notice that there are usually two more markers 3 and 5 frets from there. like starting over on the guitar... since the 12th fret would be the start of an octave up. the uke is just basically marking those same positions while being tuned GCEA.

probably confusing the way i explained it. but thats just how i see it and it has helped me figure out the uke better... and become a slightly better guitar player at the same time. hehe

only thing is... if you tune your uke any other way than the standard GCEA, then all this goes out the window and youre just gonna have to figure it out for yourself hahah.

just noticed... my baritone has the same pattern of position markers as the tenors and the concertos. but its tuned DGBE. now im confused too. hahaha. :rock:

08-15-2008, 07:08 AM
Okie doke, I checked out what Mark Hanson had to say about fret markers - he's a mondo fingerstyle guitar teacher dude.

I don't knoiw if what he says is true, but here's basically what he says, along with some speculations of my own:

Steel string guitars have position markers on odd numbered frets - 3,5,7, and 9, until you reach a full octave, which is the 12th fret. It's just the way the steel stringers do it... just to let you know easily where you are on the fretboard.

On nylon strung jazz guitars though, the fret markers are there to replicate the white keys of a piano when you're playing on the first string. He says to imagine a fret marker on the first fret too. So if you're playing on the E string of a guitar, the white keys on a piano would be the following frets:

0 - 1 - 3 - 5 - 7 - 8 - 10 - 12 - 13 - 15.
E - F - G - A - B - C - D - E - F - G

And these jazz guitars have fret makers at 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, and often 15.

So maybe it's for aesthetic reasons why there isn't a fret marker on the 8th and 13th frets, so you don't have 2 fret makers right next to each other. Otherwise you got all the white keys on the piano marked!

So I guess the ukes follow in the steps of nylon strung jazz guitars.


08-15-2008, 07:45 AM
I''m sure it's just an evil plot to keep us confused...

My baritone has a marker on the 9th fret, my tenor and concert on the 10th..
Still misplacing my fingers sometimes on my baritone:o

08-15-2008, 02:31 PM
What the... I got negative rep for asking a reasonable question. Someone hates me. :(

08-15-2008, 02:35 PM
I''m sure it's just an evil plot to keep us confused...

i think this is the simplest and most reasonable explanation. it drives me batty too.:confused:

08-15-2008, 02:57 PM
never knew the reason, now i do.
some even have 2 other than 1.. crazy :love: