elevated finger board

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 pm

elevated finger board

Post by McGee » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:23 pm

Hello-I've played steel string guitar for awhile but I'm somewhat new to nylon/classical.
Until I can purchase my own guitar, my teacher has loaned me a Hauser style, very early
Steve Connor build. My teacher plays a Humphrey with a raised finger board which he loves
and wants me to consider the raised finger board as an option. I have tried his guitar but
I'm too early into this to appreciate the perceived nuances of the raised finger board. For
those of you who have played for awhile, do you find the raised finger board to be a practical
necessity? I'm taking my time but in the future I expect to spend 2000+, maybe more, maybe
less on a guitar. I notice for this money, the raised finger board is being offered as an option-
example Kenny Hill.

User avatar
Posts: 568
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:07 pm

Re: elevated finger board

Post by prawnheed » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:19 pm

Personally, I find it a nuisance rather than a necessity. If you want better upper fret access then a cutaway is much more practical.

Posts: 197
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:50 pm

Re: elevated finger board

Post by johnd » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:45 pm

I have watched many videos of accomplished classical guitar players and seldom do any of them play above the 12th fret and if they do it is for a very short time. Unless you plan to become a concert guitarist (and if you are not older than 12 years old) I would not turn down a guitar I really liked based on having or not having a raised finger board.

The experts can correct me but did Segovia play with a raised finger board????

User avatar
Posts: 703
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:02 pm
Location: London, Ontario CANADA

Re: elevated finger board

Post by Beowulf » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:02 pm

Segovia did not (AFAIK) and I never have felt any need for an elevated finger board. A lot depends upon your left hand technique and how much you are comfortable dropping your shoulder and curling around to reach the higher registers. If it is not a technical issue, I would say any advantage is also limited by the number of pieces you play that use the upper registers. I don't have many in the hundreds of pieces that I play.
1971 Yamaha GC-10 (Hideyuki Ezaki)
2017 Yamaha GC82S (Akio Naniki/Naohiro Kawashima)

User avatar
Rick Beauregard
Student of the online lessons
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 5:23 am
Location: Blaine, WA

Re: elevated finger board

Post by Rick Beauregard » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:37 pm

I don’t disagree with the gist of these arguments. Practical necessity: no. But not because playing above the 12th fret is rare. It’s not, even for an intermediate student. Even if only 1% of the time, it is often the penultimate 1%. I have a slightly raised fretboard. It came as a feature on the guitar that I bought for other reasons not because it had a raised fretboard. I like the leverage it allows on those rare high scale passages. As I have mentioned before, the view is different which causes some visual misinformation finding the 12fret, but you get used to that, like guitars without dots. I think having a cutaway has the same issue plus you lose the physical sense of the 12 fret position against the body of the guitar. I say I think because I’ve never played one. Except when shredding the tele. Get input from others who’ve actually played one. Your teacher likes it. Play one yourself for a while. Everything has its ads and disads. Having said that, I would spend the extra portion of your $2000 on a better top or tuners or a good case rather than on the elevated fredboard.
All this time I thought I was making music; it was making me.
2015 Steve Ganz "Solidarity"
1980 Dauphin D30
1962 Fender pre-CBS P-Bass
National Triolian Uke ca.1930
Almost as many fly rods as guitars
_/) _/)

Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:30 pm

Re: elevated finger board

Post by McGee » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:38 am

Thanks everybody for their response. Like a lot of people on this board, I don't have access
to many classical guitars to try and compare. Fortunately for me I have something nice to
play until I find what I want.

Posts: 1004
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:40 am
Location: Niagara, Ontario, Canada

Re: elevated finger board

Post by Philosopherguy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:47 am

Unless you have money to burn or are a very advanced player, there isn't too much need for a raised fingerboard. I personally didn't like it too much. But, everyone has their own preferences. As was mentioned earlier, you would be better off putting more money into a better sounding/quality guitar than just the fingerboard.

2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

Dave Stott
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:24 am
Location: Connecticut

Re: elevated finger board

Post by Dave Stott » Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:45 pm

My musical playing across a wide variety of musical genres, Jazz, Pop, etc... So having easy access to the 14th & 15th frets is important to me.

I'd buy a nylon string guitar with a cutaway before I'd consider an elevated fretboard.
2015 Cordoba GK Pro Negra
2017 Cordoba Orchestra 12 Cedar
2003 Froggy Bottom H-12 Deluxe
2015 Simon & Patrick Showcase CH HG

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”