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Thread: Radiused fretboard

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    Default Radiused fretboard

    I notice some ukues offer standard or an up charge for a radiused fretboard. I assume the ukes I have been playing have flat fretboards. Is this a worthwhile option to include? I always thought that a ukulele fretboard is small to begin with and the strings are soft so you wouldn’t need a radiused fretboard?

  2. #2
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    It very much depends on the player, playing style, hand size etc. I like them, but don’t find them essential. Like them when I play them, but don’t feel I’m missing one when I don’t...

    Some very well regarded builders use them so they must have their fans.
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  3. #3
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    A radiused fretboard makes it a little easier for me to make barre chords without muffled notes. It is not a deal breaker, but I have and will continue to pay the upgrade if it is an option.

  4. #4
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    I'm getting a little arthritis in my hands. A radiused fretboard, as rainbow21 said, makes it a little easier to barre clean chords. But I still play flat ones as well.

    I find that setup and action have far more effect on the ease of playing barred chords. But every little bit helps.
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  5. #5
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    Dec 2010
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    My favorite ukulele has one, and I love it. I just learned that there are different degrees of radius.
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  6. #6

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    Regarding radius fretboards...

    I still insist on the ideology that a radius fretboard on a 4-string nylon string instrument serves no apparent advantage.
    In fact, for my personal tastes I consider it a detriment.

    If radius fretboards for nylon strung instruments is clearly superior, then Classical guitar should incorporate the design too as standard.
    But Classical guitars are flat fretboards on purpose, as it is suitable for the playing characteristic of classical guitar.
    Ukulele is more closely related, both structurally and playing-style wise to classical guitar than steel string guitar.
    Thus why radius fretboard is a "feature" in an ukulele beats me.

    Yeah sure, it's supposed to make barred chords a little easier.
    Makes sense when you have higher tension steel strings across a 6 strings.
    On a low tension nylon 4 string?.. seems a bit unnecessary.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    It comes standard on some custom ukes.

    If you have to pay for it, check out the other things you could get for the same money.
    I had the chance to try two ukes of the same model (Clara) and found that I liked the radiused fretboard. Barre chords were definitely easier. When I pick up my ukes without the radiused FB, I have more difficulty forming a good sounding chord. There might be good reasons not to get it radiused, especially if you are a very accomplished player, but it is worth the cost to me as somewhat an "intermediate" player.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Western North Carolina
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    I like radiused fretboards as well. Both of my ukes' fretboards are radiused.

    I have three nylon string guitars (all 'crossover' guitars) and they all have radiused fretboards. I don't have a non-radiused uke to compare with, but I agree that the radiused fretboards on my nylon string guitars are much easier to play.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Steveston, B.C. Canada
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    I find that on my three ukes with radiused fretboards it is easier to play barre chords up the neck than when I play the same chords on my ukes that have regular fretboards.
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  10. #10
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    Jul 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretie View Post
    I find that on my three ukes with radiused fretboards it is easier to play barre chords up the neck than when I play the same chords on my ukes that have regular fretboards.
    Which three of yours have the radiused fretboard?

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