Side marker dots

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Jack Douglas
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:07 pm

7th fret dot. I had a small piece of gold wire and got my Luthier friend to heat it so he could make a gold dot. I watched him tap, tap, tap and still don’t know how he got it so perfect, but it is and while I don’t look at the dot often I’m glad it’s there when I need it.
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Jack Douglas
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Jack Douglas » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:12 pm

I meant to say that Douglas Ching made the gold dot from the wire and installed it. Beautiful!
Hauser III 2014!

simonm
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by simonm » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:35 pm

Curious … I have never before come across the 5 & 7 denomination. Learned something new today.

Kevin L Benbow
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Kevin L Benbow » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:47 pm

My own pilgrimage into and back out of dirtiness is thus:

Years ago my first guitar was dotless. I made many errors. So, I added Klingon dots. My accuracy improved.

When I upgraded, I bought a model with dots on 5, 7 &9. This was where I had placed them on my first.

I played like this until I bought my PURNELL from HIS. It was dotless. I considered getting Klingons, but discovered that after all of those years, I could now play very well without them.

I have come full circle: no dots became three; and three became none.
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powderedtoastman
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by powderedtoastman » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:11 pm

I don't feel like I need markers on the 12th or above. Since the 12th fret is very close to where the neck meets the body, I don't find it too difficult to learn where to put my hand for the 9th fret and up.

Just one on the 7th works very well for me!
Last time I had a guitar with no markers I put a little piece of tape on the 5th for a reference. 7th makes a little more sense though!

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Gorn
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Gorn » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:53 pm

My Hanika is dotted at 5 & 7 and I'm used to it. When playing a gig on a friend's guitar without dots, I sometimes missed the correct fret when quickly changing from 1 to 6 or whatever. I think I could get used to a dotless fretboard after a few weeks as well, but - hey - I'm a heretic anyhow, playing Bossa & Swing on a classical guitar, so why shouldn't I have those devilish side dots? And after all, how could I get them off?
AND what about my other guitars (Manuel Rodríguez FF: 3+5+7+9+12). Some of my guitars even have markers on the wide side of the board (Framus Mayfield Custom: 1+3+5+7+9+12+15+17+19+21; Warwick Thumb Bass [26 frets]: 3+5+7+9+12+15+17+19+21+24) :D :D :D
In my opinion: it's better to build guitars with side dots as long as you don't know the customer. I think 5+7 is a good compromise. Maybe 9+12 as well. Dots can look very precious. My Warwick bass has got dots made of abalone in different shades of colour.
Nobody can earnestly say "This guitar is unplayable for me, because it has side dots". But there will be guitar players that are used to side dots and need them, especially those, who also play other types of guitar (electric, archtop etc.).

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pogmoor
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by pogmoor » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:32 pm

simonm wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:35 pm
Curious … I have never before come across the 5 & 7 denomination. Learned something new today.
My Yamaha silent guitar is 5,7,12 - what do you make of that?
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Paul Fischer (1995) and Lester Backshall (2008)
Yamaha SLG 130NW silent classical guitar (2014), Ramirez Guitarra del Tiempo (2017)

Alan Carruth
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Alan Carruth » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:43 pm

There is a product called 'Luminlay': side dot material that is luminescent. It seems to contain optical fibers that help direct the glow to the flat surfaces on the ends of the dot stock. You can charge it up with a light before a performance, and it will glow visibly (either blue or green) for quite some time on the shadowed side of the neck. When I got some they gave me a little keychain light to charge it up with, but it required hard-to-find batteries that were expensive. You can get small UV-LED lights cheaply that would work well.

I tend to build Classicals without dots, since it's harder to take them out than put them in.

Paul Micheletti
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Paul Micheletti » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:29 pm

This is a picture of my second guitar. I used a bound fingerboard, and cut the fingerboard binding to inset some bits of the bloodwood binding from the guitar body. This is pretty much overkill on the markers, and I typically now inlay a single small MOP side dot on the 7th. I just tried this because it was challenging and I wanted to see how it would look.

That neck was a total log in this old picture. I've since reworked the neck down to sane proportions. The original profile as shown was like grabbing a 2x4.
Image

Alan Carruth
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Alan Carruth » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:37 pm

The problem I've always had with shell dots is that they tend to reflect light in a single direction. Usually on stage it seems that's not toward the player; rather in the way that campfire smoke works but opposite. I use plain bone dots, and white plastic is pretty common too. It's not as pretty, but you can see it from all angles.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Adrian Allan » Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:47 pm

I have a dot on the 7th fret,

I wonder if the top notch professionals have or had dots, eg. Bream, Williams, Russell, Barrueco etc?
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Dave Stott
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Dave Stott » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:54 pm

I'm not a Luthier. I play a wide variety of musical genres on my nylon string guitars. Having side markers on 5, 7 & 9 is greatly appreciated. The addition of a marker at the 12th fret on my cutaway guitars is also welcome. I frequently play natural harmonics in songs capo'd at the 3rd or 4th fret. The marker at the 12th fret make finding harmonics at the upper register easier.
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brian
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by brian » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:40 pm

I can't remember where i saw it,
but the guitar had normal silver frets
except for the 5th and maybe the 7th
which were those gold colored frets.
a variation on a theme.
if at first you don't succeed try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
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bacsidoan
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by bacsidoan » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:51 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:47 pm
I have a dot on the 7th fret,

I wonder if the top notch professionals have or had dots, eg. Bream, Williams, Russell, Barrueco etc?
Some of them do. My guitar was built for Pepe Romero which he later discarded in favor of others. It has a 7th and a 9th fret markers

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Steve O
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Re: Side marker dots

Post by Steve O » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:59 pm

I like 5, 7, 9 and 12 because I started on a steel string then switched to classical and was used to those dots. Now that I'm more experienced I could get away with just a dot on the 7th fret.

I built my own guitar and added dots at 15 and 17. I find those really useful for the odd time I have to jump from the 5th fret to the 17th fret.

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