View Full Version : Fingerboard length on a Ukulele

02-03-2012, 05:37 AM
I was just wondering why the fingerboard length on most soprano size ukes seems to be shorter than the length on concerts or tenors. By that, I mean on a concert or tenor size, the fingerboard comes all the down to the sound hole but that's not the case on most soprano size ukes. From a design perspective, it looks much better with the shorter length, to me anyway. I assume there is a good technical reason for this, but I'm just curious about it.

I know nothing about stringed instruments, as you can probably tell by this question.

02-03-2012, 06:06 AM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe many soprano fretboards stop at the 12th fret because many or most soprano players don't play above the 12th fret much. Also, above the 12th fret it gets really cramped on a soprano scale, so their usefulness is limited. Still, I personally prefer extended fretboards, even on sopranos.

02-03-2012, 07:07 AM
I think the frets above the twelfth on a soprano are to some extent for decoration. You can play up there, and some can surely do it very well, but it gets tough. When I felt I needed those notes, I bought my first concert.

02-03-2012, 07:46 AM
Traditionally, the early ukuleles, which were basically all sopranos, did not have fretboards, the frets were installed directly into the neck and had to stop at the 12th fret. As the sizes grew larger and fretboards were added, the total number of frets grew.