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-   -   Why no fret markers on a classical (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=179994)

GanAinm 03-22-2010 03:49 PM

I'm with Todd on this, or at least that's what I aspire to.
But I see Larry's point quite easily too.

I prefer not to have markers on the top of my fretboards.
But I do use and love my side markers!

(Click) - AAAaaaaaaaaaaaa!! (Sound of Todd pressing button and trap door opening) :)

tennjed 03-22-2010 04:12 PM

In my case, the answer is: there is no need for fret markers when you learn on a classical guitar with a good classical guitar teacher.

After 2.5 years of attempting to learn to play the guitar through books and various other guitar teachers, I have taken up with a well qualified classical guitar teacher. Finally, I make progress in learning the fretboard. I do what the instructor says and it works. I don't even notice that the fret markers are not there. If you are out there struggling with learning to play the guitar, give classical lessons a try. It is slow and methodical but the structure has made a big difference for me. BTW, I find that my abilities transfer well to my practice on the steel string guitars. And........amazingly enough, my progress as a player seems to quell the GAS.

Best regards,

Wayne

aragorn 03-22-2010 04:29 PM

I had small pearloid dots placed at the 5th and 7th fret on the side of the fretboard on my main guitar. I make do with temporary stick-on dots on my secondary one. Anymore I don't rely on them much. I agree that they're useful when watching my instructor. Presumably they would be useful for him too, going the other way.

Not looking at my own hands has become the gold standard for me, and I'll second the above remarks concerning the importance of this - until I can play a piece with my eyes elsewhere, I haven't mastered it. I seem to play best with my ear cocked slightly toward the strings and my concentration fully focused on the tone, where I'm not actually looking at anything, once I've established the necessary muscle memory for a given piece. Getting into the zone and staying there is still a hard thing for me to achieve, but I am managing more and more often.

That said, the left-hand gymnastics get pretty involved in spots, and a quick glance on the fretboard is permissible in my opinion.

As to aesthetics, I personally like a more discrete look. Call it simple elegance. I've seen absolutely beautiful work done with inlays on some fretboards that really works, as well as the other extreme, which doesn't, at least not for me. At some point you cross over into gaudy, which just isn't my thing I guess.

-brian

jennconducts 03-22-2010 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Todd Rose (Post 2168469)
I think that fret markers on the FACE of the fretboard are a monstrously bad idea - I mean, if you have to look at all, for crying out loud don't be bending forward and looking at the face of the FB - that's adding injury to insult, literally.

I totally agree. Using fret markers on the face also encourages the bad habit of playing with the instrument less than perpendicular to the floor.

Jenn Martin

divado 03-22-2010 06:16 PM

Classical fret markers are optional...

http://i39.tinypic.com/2drc96x.jpg

I learned on a guitar with a marker at the third fret my my new guitar doesn't have the third fret marked. I only miss it when trying to copy other's fingerwork from videos.

I do wonder why markers are on the 15th fret, at least on guitars that join the body at the 14th fret. It's not hard to figure out!

ljguitar 03-22-2010 07:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by guto (Post 2168623)
...I think that if you look at this subject by the strictly classical player point of view, some of those points will be lost.

Hi Gustavo…
Yes, of course you are right. I momentarily put aside the memory that the original post was about fret markers (or lack of them on a classical guitar), and for that I apologize to the original poster, and respond that for whatever reason there are either no markers on classical guitars (tradition, design), it is a widespread phenomenon.

I was probably reacting to the comments and inferences about fret markers, which certainly took on some appearance of judgmental rhetoric seemingly aimed at establishing the posture that superior skills are only available once a person frees him/herself from the need to stare endlessly at tasteless and disfiguring fretboard emblems...I could be wrong and should be less reactive.




Kabalan 03-22-2010 09:14 PM

yes classicals we use marks, we prefer small ones in the upper part of the
fretboard, we dont like it in the fretboard, to keep the design clean, that is the
reason, for us a simple guitar with out inlays, french polish and a nice simple
rosset and of course good woods and sound it´s beatiful.
even my kronbauer steel strings, has just this little marks in the upper part
of the fretboard, in some of my classicals i put a small masking tape mark.
Eblen

Todd Rose 03-23-2010 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 2169492)
judgmental rhetoric

I don't know if you're referring to my post, Larry, but there was nothing judgmental intended in what I wrote. I apologize if it came across that way. I only meant to encourage Steve to consider the possibility that he could learn to not need fret markers, or even to not look at the guitar at all when playing, and that if he were to explore this possibility, that it could be a doorway into exciting, liberating musical growth. I've found that to be true for myself, and I know many other musicians who have discovered the same thing - and then there are the many great blind musicians and countless others who were classically trained or otherwise learned to play their instruments without dependence on the visual part of the brain (ever see Jimi Hendrix play? ...up and down all over the neck with complete freedom and amazingly fluid, purely musical expressiveness, without a glance down at the guitar, often with eyes closed throughout an entire extended solo) who also demonstrate that it is not only possible but that the musical rewards are great. None of these people have supernatural powers that you and I don't have.

I don't mean to presume that Steve hadn't already considered that possibility, but I wanted put it out there in case he hadn't, or for anyone else reading this who might have always assumed that it is necessary or advantageous to use one's eyes and visual thinking to learn and play the guitar, without having ever questioned that.

ResoN 03-23-2010 10:16 AM

It's pretty easy to get used to no fret markers on a classical guitar. I don't believe they would be a distraction though. They would be IMHO, on a Flamenco guitar. Playing Flamenco one uses a capo frequently and markers would be a distraction. I played Flamenco for years and on the rare occasion that I use a capo while playing a steel string guitar I find the fret markers make it more difficult to tell where I am depending on where the capo is placed especially if a fret marker ends up on the first or second fret from the capo.

stevestarr 03-23-2010 10:38 AM

Hi Guys
thanks for all the replies. Looks like I started a really heathy discussion here
Steve

ljguitar 03-23-2010 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kabalan (Post 2169577)
...in some of my classicals i put a small masking tape mark.
Eblen

Hi Eblen…
How are you? We have not heard from you in a while...

What, masking tape! Are you being a rule breaker of a trend setter (kidding on both counts). It is refreshing to hear a dedicated classical player like yourself (though you really straddle the fence since you play both acoustic 6 string and classical) who has fun, and displays a practical side.

Glad you dropped in and commented...


gitardude 03-23-2010 11:36 AM

Bah, training wheels.

Kabalan 03-23-2010 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 2170045)
Hi Eblen…
How are you? We have not heard from you in a while...

What, masking tape! Are you being a rule breaker of a trend setter (kidding on both counts). It is refreshing to hear a dedicated classical player like yourself (though you really straddle the fence since you play both acoustic 6 string and classical) who has fun, and displays a practical side.

Glad you dropped in and commented...


thank you larry!!
here performing in concerts, coming back from india, getting ready for a tour in brasil
best regards
Eblen

guto 03-24-2010 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kabalan (Post 2170345)
thank you larry!!
here performing in concerts, coming back from india, getting ready for a tour in brasil
best regards
Eblen

If you are going to play in São Paulo, I'll be pleased to watch your performance.
Would you PM me the details, please?

Regards,
Gustavo.

fngrpck 03-24-2010 07:04 AM

I believe fret markers actually slow your playing down. It's analogous to looking at the keys while typing


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