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Thread: Radiused fretboard

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Stormville NY
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    131

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    I’m sure there’s a reason that classical guitars have a flat and wide fret board, but I prefer a radiused and narrower fret board on my guitars (and guilele).
    I purchased a nylon string guitar last year, and after test driving standard classical guitars and “crossover” classical guitars, I chose the Crossover because of the narrow & radiused fret board. This is probably because I’m a steel string guitar player.
    My preference for radiused fret boards extends to mandolins & ukuleles as well, although not all of my ukuleles have the radius.

    I think for most of us that it’s a personal preference thing, but there probably is a technical reason why classical guitars come with a wide flat fret board.....

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    113

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    Quote Originally Posted by uke51 View Post
    I’m sure there’s a reason that classical guitars have a flat and wide fret board, but I prefer a radiused and narrower fret board on my guitars (and guilele).
    I purchased a nylon string guitar last year, and after test driving standard classical guitars and “crossover” classical guitars, I chose the Crossover because of the narrow & radiused fret board. This is probably because I’m a steel string guitar player.
    My preference for radiused fret boards extends to mandolins & ukuleles as well, although not all of my ukuleles have the radius.

    I think for most of us that it’s a personal preference thing, but there probably is a technical reason why classical guitars come with a wide flat fret board.....
    As with most things, there’s a trade-off. Radiused and narrower fretboards lend themselves to barring, but are less accessible for fingerpicking than wide, flat fretboards. Since fingerpicking is the main style of play for classical guitar, a wide and flat fretboard is desirable. Obviously, players can fingerpick with radiused, narrower fretboards and barre with wide, flat fretboards, but the two different kinds of fretboards purposed for barring vs. fingerpicking.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,651

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    Over the years if given a choice I would select a radiused fretboard over flat.

    Now, in my hopefully last custom, the time has come to chose radius or flat freboard. And I was a bit indecisive. I play both radiused and flat fretboards all the time, more fingerstyle and strumming, rather than play barre chords. Usually I have preferred radiused fretboards, if given a choice, mostly for aesthetics and taking the advice of "more left hand comfort". But, I really don’t actively notice the difference between radiused or flat fretboards when I play. Neck profile, fretboard width, fret size and a good set up are much more important to my left-hand comfort.

    The look of a bespoke instrument, appears better with a radiused fretboard. But that is not a good reason. It's funny that a 12" radius on a 1.5" wide fretboard only reduces the FB edge thickness by -.023 inches (0.6 mm) from the center.

    But, now my luthier has spelled out differences to me. Flat fretboards are better for the right hand techniques, and the actual sound! James Hill, Jake S. and several other professional players only play flat fretboards. My luthier recommends to go with a flat fretboard, unless I have a clear preference for a radius.

    I'm going with the flat fretboard.
    Last edited by Doc_J; 01-17-2021 at 09:43 AM.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

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