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View Full Version : Radiused or Non-Radiused Fretboard?



mandodiddle
11-19-2008, 01:20 PM
I need some help from the more experienced Uke players out there. I am currently building four Tenor Ukes for personal and family use. Right now I can't make up my mind whether to radius the fretboards or not. I have played a Dreadnought Guitar my whole life, but never a Uke. Could you please give me your thoughts as to whether I should radius the fretboard or not?
Thanks,
Bill Higgs

Ukuleleblues
11-19-2008, 04:31 PM
That's funny you mention that. I don't think I have played a uke with a radiused fretboard and I've played a bunch of Soprano, Concert, 3 baritones and 1 tenor. None had radiused FBs. All my Gits have them though.

SuperSecretBETA
11-20-2008, 06:09 AM
I know James Hill's signature ukulele has a radiused fretboard. They're not too common in ukulele, but they do have their place.

For those unfamiliar with radiused fretboards, they make barre chords easier; although, the larger radiused fretboards typically make soloing easier.

Personally, I would love a radiused fretboard ukulele. Every now and then, I get a muted string on various chords.

My recommendation: If you want to build four tenors, build the first one flat and the second one radiused (or vise versa). Get used to playing each and build the other two based on your family's opinion and yours.

Most ukulele players want to buy one of every size, every wood, and an infinite number of combinations of varying features... They just don't have the money for a giant uke garage. :p

freedive135
11-20-2008, 07:18 AM
For us beginners out there....

What does radiused fretboard refer to ?
Does it mean the fretboard concave/convexed ? Center lower/higher than the edges?

Being new to the string thing means alot of guitar terms go over my head!!!!

Kaneohe til the end
11-20-2008, 07:43 AM
For us beginners out there....

What does radiused fretboard refer to ?
Does it mean the fretboard concave/convexed ? Center lower/higher than the edges?

Being new to the string thing means alot of guitar terms go over my head!!!!

from what i gather, the back of the fretboard i either a half circle(radiused), or rectangley, if that makes sense.

Lawn Jockey
11-20-2008, 07:44 AM
http://www.matheasguitars.com.au/diagrams/fretboardRadiusClassical.jpg


The above diagram shows what would be somewhat typical of a radiused fingerboard on an electric guitar.

Some have compound radius........meaning that they flatten out slightly as you go up the fingerboard.

Little River Ukuleles is now offering a radiused fingerboard on his ukes.

You obviously wouldn't want a 24" radius on a uke......it would probably be more in the 12" to 16" range (the upper end of that is used for mandolins).

Hope this helps.

freedive135
11-20-2008, 07:46 AM
Usefull info...

Thanks!!!!

LoMa
11-20-2008, 07:51 AM
Radiused fretboards give you slightly more room for fretting than a flat fretboard with the same nut width. That slight dome can make a discernable difference. People with larger hands often like radiused fretboards, as do folks who come from the steel string guitar world.

I prefer flat fretboards - for some reason fret more cleanly on them. But that's just me...

KoAloha's have radiused fretboards.

Ukulele Dude
11-20-2008, 09:37 AM
I have owned and played both, and I prefer the flat fretboard. I think this is just one of those personal preference issues though because I know that many people love radiused fretboards and don't want to play anything else.

Like LoMa said, I just seem to be able to fret more cleanly on a flat one. And I probably have larger than average hands, in case that helps you decide.

GX9901
11-20-2008, 12:05 PM
The only radiused fingerboard I've played is on my custom William King long scale tenor. It's an 18" radius so it's a fairly mild radius. To be honest I cannot really tell much of a difference between it and the flat fingerboards. However, I think it's still nice to have and would still order it if I had to do it over again.

Craig
11-20-2008, 02:20 PM
I need some help from the more experienced Uke players out there. I am currently building four Tenor Ukes for personal and family use. Right now I can't make up my mind whether to radius the fretboards or not. I have played a Dreadnought Guitar my whole life, but never a Uke. Could you please give me your thoughts as to whether I should radius the fretboard or not?
Thanks,
Bill Higgs
All of my Ko'olaus have radiused fretboards. They're slight, however: 16 degrees.