Flat Fret Board or Radius

I'll speak in favor of a radius'd fretboard with properly shaped nut & saddle (don't ask!)
Added to that, - if the goal is to improve barre cord shaping - lean toward taller frets. I have two with relatively low frets and, surprisingly, those are more difficult to barre cord than ukes with taller frets and no radius. Can't say why (with clarity), but it lends to encouraging you to add fret size to your thinking. Yes, it would be hard to find a way to compare. But, knowing what height you like may allow you to specify your preference.
 
On such a small instrument, what advantage is there in having a radiused fretboard?
 
the hardware store, a video rental store that sold me my first Peter Moon and HAPA cassette tapes and a grocery store that I can not remember the name of.
When I was there the hardware store and the grocery store were the same store! Hardware store on one side and grocery store on the other.
 
I'll speak in favor of a radius'd fretboard with properly shaped nut & saddle (don't ask!)
Added to that, - if the goal is to improve barre cord shaping - lean toward taller frets. I have two with relatively low frets and, surprisingly, those are more difficult to barre cord than ukes with taller frets and no radius. Can't say why (with clarity), but it lends to encouraging you to add fret size to your thinking. Yes, it would be hard to find a way to compare. But, knowing what height you like may allow you to specify your preference.
My Vineyard uke's frets are a touch high (flat fingerboard). I have to remember to play it with a light touch or notes are sharp.

Big issue with a radius neck, it's more difficult to do it correctly. The fingerboard, nut, and saddle have to be curved the same, and all three radii have to be centered. There's also the option of the underside of the fingerboard being flat on a flat neck surface, or making the top of the neck and both sides of the fingerboard all radiused. Compared to all that, a flat fingerboard is so easy, a caveman could do it. .. ;)
 
It never made much difference to me. Some radiused boards were easy to play, some not as easy. Some flat boards were easy, some not so much. Even with the same string heights, but with different neck profiles.

In general, as I turn 73 on Friday, I find my hand gets tired quicker when I play a tenor flat fingerboard, than when I play a radiused one. Especially when the music requires barred chords. I think they make some four-finger chords a little easier to reach and play than with a flat. But that may be confirmation bias.

Even my expensive luthier-made tenors are split between radius and flat.

From what I understand, MyaMoe was the first to really promote and market that their ukes have radiused boards. It became a "thing" very quickly. 12" radius seems to be pretty common. Pono PC & Masters tenors, Cocobolo & MyaMoe tenors have them.

Overall, I like a radius, but it's not a deal breaker. That may change as the hand arthritis progresses. 🤙
 
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for me, it doesn't matter one way or the other as it doesn't make a difference. When I order a uke I don't care about radius fretboards or nut width, or bracing configuration or padded arm rests. They are just gimmicks to make me spend more. And I am game. I usually tell the luthier don't bother me and just do what the muse dictates, and we'll both be happy.
 
for me, it doesn't matter one way or the other as it doesn't make a difference. When I order a uke I don't care about radius fretboards or nut width, or bracing configuration or padded arm rests. They are just gimmicks to make me spend more. And I am game. I usually tell the luthier don't bother me and just do what the muse dictates, and we'll both be happy.
Cool deal...a man that knows what He wants! Shaka
 
It never made much difference to me. Some radiused boards were easy to play, some not as easy. Some flat boards were easy, some not so much. Even with the same string heights, but with different neck profiles.

In general, as I turn 73 on Friday, I find my hand gets tired quicker when I play a tenor flat fingerboard, than when I play a radiused one. Especially when the music requires barred chords. I think they make some four-finger chords a little easier to reach and play than with a flat. But that may be confirmation bias.

Even my expensive luthier-made tenors are split between radius and flat.

From what I understand, MyaMoe was the first to really promote and market that their ukes have radiused boards. It became a "thing" very quickly. 12" radius seems to be pretty common. Pono PC & Masters tenors, Cocobolo & MyaMoe tenors have them.

Overall, I like a radius, but it's not a deal breaker. That may change as the hand arthritis progresses. 🤙
Very enlightening and at almost 61 something I have thought about. Also a big reason I am coming over to this awesome world of 1 pound AXES as opposed to my 8-10 pound ones. I truly hope there will never be a day when I can not pick up my Jazzmaster or '58 Les Paul but hey, reality is reality. Ergonomics are much more into play when getting older, oooorrrrr having to play for 6 hours which on the 6 string teaches us to combine light, very light and heavier where needed. That reference of manufacturers that offer them is helpful. Thank you for this input.
 
My Vineyard uke's frets are a touch high (flat fingerboard). I have to remember to play it with a light touch or notes are sharp.

Big issue with a radius neck, it's more difficult to do it correctly. The fingerboard, nut, and saddle have to be curved the same, and all three radii have to be centered. There's also the option of the underside of the fingerboard being flat on a flat neck surface, or making the top of the neck and both sides of the fingerboard all radiused. Compared to all that, a flat fingerboard is so easy, a caveman could do it. .. ;)
Bulls eye and on target about the "too high" with frets. Often can come down to proper set up as well. Good point. I am sending my "Flat" one out to my Luthier for a little off the Bridge today. I gauge checked my frets and was somewhat impressed on the Ohana workmanship.
 
I played guitar before ukulele so just used to a radius fretboard.
You hit it my friend. 30 plus years here with the 6 string Axe and Violin. My MIA Gits are all slightly curved. I do have a good sized hand and the flat Uke neck actually had a string get "plunky" on me with a Barre Chord while playing with friends. I know it comes greatly down to set up but radius def helps on the guitars.
 
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When I was there the hardware store and the grocery store were the same store! Hardware store on one side and grocery store on the other.
Oh wow...lol I remember only one Christmas banner across the street in Downtown KK and they were not sure which way to turn it because from the front it said "NOEL" of course on the back it read "LEON" Hahha As you know it is hard for anyone to "move" there and there is soooo little work. Also very costly to live there obviously. Back in 90's a cold cut sandwich lunch out for 4 $50.
 
I don't know anything about the technical data of a radiused fretboard. All I know is that it's a lot easier to barre a radiused fretboard as opposed to a flat one. My two Pono's and my Ko'olau all tenors, all with radiused fretboards are easier to play than my flat fretboard ukuleles.
All I know is what I was told by a luthier. If you take a section out of a 12" radius circle, that is a 12" radiused fretboard shape.
 
When I was there the hardware store and the grocery store were the same store! Hardware store on one side and grocery store on the other.
In those days, I had credit at the music store and the grocery store, paid those bill every month.
 
It never made much difference to me. Some radiused boards were easy to play, some not as easy. Some flat boards were easy, some not so much. Even with the same string heights, but with different neck profiles.

In general, as I turn 73 on Friday, I find my hand gets tired quicker when I play a tenor flat fingerboard, than when I play a radiused one. Especially when the music requires barred chords. I think they make some four-finger chords a little easier to reach and play than with a flat. But that may be confirmation bias.

Even my expensive luthier-made tenors are split between radius and flat.

From what I understand, MyaMoe was the first to really promote and market that their ukes have radiused boards. It became a "thing" very quickly. 12" radius seems to be pretty common. Pono PC & Masters tenors, Cocobolo & MyaMoe tenors have them.

Overall, I like a radius, but it's not a deal breaker. That may change as the hand arthritis progresses. 🤙
I can play my Cocobolo for over an hour before my hand gets tired. My flat fretboard ones? About two songs. Ouch.
 
My Vineyard uke's frets are a touch high (flat fingerboard). I have to remember to play it with a light touch or notes are sharp.

Big issue with a radius neck, it's more difficult to do it correctly. The fingerboard, nut, and saddle have to be curved the same, and all three radii have to be centered. There's also the option of the underside of the fingerboard being flat on a flat neck surface, or making the top of the neck and both sides of the fingerboard all radiused. Compared to all that, a flat fingerboard is so easy, a caveman could do it. .. ;)
It used to be a challenge for me to shape my fiddle bridges to the same shape as the fingerboard.
 
It used to be a challenge for me to shape my fiddle bridges to the same shape as the fingerboard.
I thought fiddle bridges were basically lifetime, like banjos.

Don't they make some sort of stencil for marking the radius on the bridge? I think you have to fit the feet as well.
 
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