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Thread: 9th or 10th fret position marker?

  1. #1
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    Default 9th or 10th fret position marker?

    I've been working on developing my own fingering charts (for baritone ukulele) and I noticed that most guitars and basses have a position marker on the 9th fret, but after looking at a number of online images, baritone ukuleles have it on the 10th fret. Are there different standards for each or can it be either/or? Just wondering why it would be different from one instrument to the other?

  2. #2
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    No logical reason why, it just is. I don't think there is an international standards committee for fret markers! So, sadly, 'ukuleles and mandolins tend to use a 10th fret marker and guitar and bass, the 9th. Luckily I normally can't see any of them so they don't throw me off unless I accidentally tilt the instrument. I prefer no position markersówell maybe a single side dot at the 7th fretóand would pay extra for an equally good instrument sans markers.

  3. #3
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    The good thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from. -- Andrew S. Tanenbaum.

    A key phrase @
    gochugogi used is "tend to". There are ukes with dots on the 9th instead of the 10th (the maker of the one that comes first to mind is better known for guitars).

    There are oodles of explanations around for why the dots are where they are (they mark harmonics! they show the pentatonic scale! they used to be holes for capos!). I suspect anything other than aesthetics is a back formation, and different instruments tend to use different markers because some historical influential guitar luthier used a different spacing than some historical influential mandolin luthier.

    Looking at my instrument wall, out of two guitars, a mandolin, two acoustic ukes and an electric uke, only the mandolin and the electric uke have the same spots. In addition to the 9/10 split, some have a dot on three and some don't, one stops at 12, three continue to 15, the acoustic guitar goes to 17, and the strat continues to 21.

    My tastes are aligning with @gochugogi's these days as far as preferring a plain fretboard. Or fingerboard. Aesthetically speaking, lose the frets as well My ear isn't up to that standard yet.

  4. #4
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    OK, thanks for the responses.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by emkc View Post
    Just wondering why it would be different from one instrument to the other?
    Because ukulele are not little guitars.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    Because ukulele are not little guitars.
    But guitars are just big honkin' 'ukuleles!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    But guitars are just big honkin' 'ukuleles!
    Most guitars don't have that kind of 🎺horn📯

    🤘🤙

  8. #8
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    When I bought my first guitar, a classical guitar, it had no markings. A bottle of silver fingernail polish solved that little problem fast for the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 12th frets. Only takes a very small dot to work great. So far all of my ukuleles have good marking. However, it they did not I would add the mark. After all people paint and decorate their ukuleles so a little dot or two should not hurt anything.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnysmash View Post
    When I bought my first guitar, a classical guitar, it had no markings. A bottle of silver fingernail polish solved that little problem fast for the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 12th frets. Only takes a very small dot to work great. So far all of my ukuleles have good marking. However, it they did not I would add the mark. After all people paint and decorate their ukuleles so a little dot or two should not hurt anything.
    Yeah, I was looking at one classical guitar I liked with no side dots. I could have painted them on, I suppose. I did see one with just the 7 dot. I could live with just a 7 dot on a soprano ukulele, so maybe guitar too. I don't need a 12 if it's at the body and I've never had a 3 dot so don't see the need. Maybe I'd like the 3 dot if I had one on my guitar. Don't see much point of fret markers on the top unless you're teaching.
    Last edited by glennerd; 01-29-2020 at 06:37 PM.
    Glenn

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