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Thread: 12 fret vs 14 fret.. which one do you prefer? Why?

  1. #11


    I see no inherent advantages of a 12-fret over a 14-fret.

    More frets the better, with no negative impact.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    McDonough, GA


    Neither. 13 frets to the body seems to be optimal. Thatís what Bill Collings used. Iíve got a couple ukes with 13 fret necks.
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    I like long necks - 14 to the body.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by ubulele View Post
    For me, body joint at the 14th fret always—and I really appreciate a cutaway as well. Just cosmetic? Hardly.
    I would have to agree. To call 14 frets to the body a salesman’s gimmick, you’d have to say the same about cutaways, and neither are true. They are both useful to those that like to travel way up the neck. I play mostly fingerstyle, and frequently hit the 15th fret. Can I get there on a 12 fret to body instrument? Yes. Is it comfortable? Not remotely, especially if I’m chording something. There are trad-offs for sure, and to each there own. The good thing is we have choices.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    When getting a uke the motto was: the simpler the better. So my uke has 12 frets, one octave will do, the frets don't even continue on the body.

    Nice though to see your replies with the motivations for more frets, understand it better now.
    Last edited by player; 12-08-2019 at 09:00 AM.
    Have a good soprano

    My whistling channel

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Saratoga, CA


    I like playing a few classical pieces on the uke and invariably they go beyond 12the fret specially if one wants to keep the original scale.
    Having a boat paddle shape, or cutaway or higher fret join one gets on super size scales has been quite nice. I have ukes that only go to 12 frets and some that go way higher and I don’t see any difference in the quality of sound. The quality of sound is more often a function of the builder than the choice of which fret. The uke can built differently to accommodate a higher fret join. My recent cripple creek soprano, is a boat paddle shape with the join at 14th fret and it rings up the neck such that I do not regret going high up the neck.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Texas, USA


    Man....I wish I knew. My baritone uke has 14. The newly created Washburn Rover "tenor guitar", 15. And my old classical Yamaha has 12.
    Probably doesn't make much difference to a total nube like myself. More of a concern is having a wide string spacing.
    The crew...Giannini Baritone Uke, Washburn Rover "4-string tenor guitar", Yamaha G-85A classical guitar.

    In the works....LP style long scale wide neck solid body electric tenor guitar.

    Wall hanger...The Loar Honey Creek type-A Mandolin.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Mission Viejo, CA


    For playing fingerstyle, there is another qualifier... high or low G. There are some pieces that require enough range that going to and past the 12th fret might be necessary while playing tuned to high G.

    There are 2 octaves from open 3rd string C to 15th fret 1st string C. While adding a low G doesn’t ensure that you will never go above the 12th fret, there were times when having those few extra low notes would have helped.


  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Seattle, WA


    as a singer/strummer, I prefer the 12 or 13 (Koaloha Concert) to the body rendition.
    I even have a short-neck Concert with 10 frets to the body.

    I just don't play many songs beyond the 7th fret so fewer frets are OK for me
    Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV) of course.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents

    keep uke'in', however many frets your instrument(s) have!
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( )

    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More:
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    All my ukes have, by design and intention, 19 frets. I do this because I mostly play in the key of E and the 19th fret, A string, is an E so that my highest note is a root note. I also do it to organize my fretboard by the side-dots on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, and 19th frets. Why are those frets important? They are the notes of the pentatonic scale, the cornerstone of the American musical experience. I am not a singer whatsoever, so I definitely use all my fretboard. For example, I have recently been obsessed with the Phrygian dominant scale. So I begin my playing at the 11th fret and noodle my way up to the 19th for improvisation. However in the matter of chords and the extended neck, I find that although the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak. As a general rule, I wouldn't even think of chords beyond the 15th fret. It just doesn't work for me. There are exceptions. For instance the m7b5 chord with the root on the A string is playable all the way to the end with my skills. And straight barres like the major and minor triads as well as the minor 7 barre work everywhere.

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