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Author Topic: Calling all fretted instrument players  (Read 4796 times)

Luca1369

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Calling all fretted instrument players
« on: December 14, 2011, 09:16:24 AM »
All you fretted instrument players might be interested in the True Temperment fretting systems.  Currently they're made for electric guitars, acoustic guitars and an electric bass, but who knows what the future will bring, perhaps a banjo, mandolin, or ukelele fretboard. 

Although they look funny, the frets are designed to bring out the true tonal qualities of your instrument.  Wish I could afford to put one of their necks on my guitar, but their neck costs more than my guitar.

http://www.truetemperament.com/site/index.php?go=0&sgo=0
Steve
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 09:22:57 AM »
That looks about as stupid as the Buzz Feiten clusterflock.

Tom

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 09:44:16 AM »
Having spent months working on muscle memory to put my fingers down in the "right" place, that fretboard would be a mind bender for me  :(
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GR 'Scott' Cundiff

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 10:18:42 AM »
That's really interesting.  I play bass, guitar and upright, so my instruments aren't in play (pun) here, but the concept is really interesting.  From the video the player pretty much plays as usual but no matter where you are on the neck you remain in tune.  For the average "three chords" player it wouldn't matter all that much, but for an accomplished player who gets all over the fretboard I can see where it would be a valuable addition to the guitar.
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Luca1369

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 01:12:28 PM »
You play the guitar the same way you would with normal frets, the only difference is that the minor differences in scale length reflect the true pitch of the note you choose to play.  It's really a good idea but I suspect it may take a bit of getting used to and probably is more noticeable to the accomplished player with a really good ear...I doubt it's going to help me much.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Larry N.

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 02:52:02 PM »
Weird stuff. I'm not good enough, nor are my ears good enough, for that to be useful.
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Jammer

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 03:02:09 PM »
::shakes head::  Where to start.

There was a well-temperament craze as part of the early music movement of the 1980s and 1990s that led to a bunch of performances and recordings being made with pianos, harpsichords, and organs tuned to mean-tone temperament.  Many if not most performance-grade synths and stage pianos have a setting to do it in software.  My S90es does.  I don't think I've ever used it.

The main problem with fretted instruments is that the effective vibrating length of the string is going to vary depending on the diameter of the string and whether it's wound or solid.  On an acoustic guitar, a properly cut bridge will adjust for this, for the most part, and on an electric, a properly adjusted bridge will compensate for it.  The adjustment will be exact only for one position on the fingerboard, and most technicians will cut the bridge to compromise in a way that favors the open strings and 1st through 7th frets that most people use for chords.  Maybe for a 7 stringer for a metalhead where most of the playing is done further up the neck the optimization would be done a little differently.

The temperament differences aren't as great and any system that is other than equal tone is only going be optimized for one key.  Well I can think of a few bands that play everything in the same key but usually they aren't the ones with a level of musicianship where tunnig is taken all that seriously.

Anyone who really cares about tuning that much really should take up violin, viola, or cello, and play in a string quartet, because that's the only ensemble that can, reliably, get it right.  Well, except maybe for a really good a capella vocal group.

We now return to your regularly scheduled discussion of Fourier transforms and modified sine waves.
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 03:14:12 PM »
I'm with you Jammer. Nature abhors perfection and it is especially true in music. The first synthesizers made created their sounds from electronically produced perfect sine waves, square waves and triangular waves. And it sounded horrible. It wasn't until the late 80s and early 90s that synth makers started producing instruments that sampled real instruments and then they sounded good and started to sell.

Buzz Feiten also tried to fix this problem that doesn't exist with a crazy bridge and nut thing that did basically the same thing. It was a total flop. It has been in production for 20 years. There are 40,000+ electric guitars for sale on eBay and exactly 6 of them come with the Buzz Feiten system.

Somehow violin, viola, cello, double bass, fretless bass and slide guitar players have been doing quite well without "perfect" pitch for the last few hundred years.

Luca1369

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2011, 03:40:32 PM »
Slide players as well as all players of fretless instruments won't be concerned with the true temperment fretting systems since their playing is not fret dependent.  But for the above average guitarist, with a luthier who can do a proper setup with one of these fret jobs, the fret system makes sense. 

The Buzz Feiten system was an early product that attempted to secure results similar to what the true temperment system achieves, but like Tom said, it flopped.  It was too limited and, IMHO, not enough research went into to addressing the intonation up and down the fretboard.  I think the designer stopped too early in the process of invention.

Like Jammer said, bridge work will go a long way to providing good intonation on a fretboard, but the TT system takes it to the extreme.  Here again, how many of us can tell the difference?  I've listened to several of the artists mentioned on the site, in particular Steve Vai, and I do not seem to find enough positive evidence to support my desire to install one of these pricey sytems on my own guitars.  However, I like the idea, I think it's one of the few good guitar advancements to come along in a long time.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 05:10:55 PM by Luca1369 »
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

Tom

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 04:15:42 PM »
I'm fretted reading all this stuff.

Time for me to practice for our ukulele performance tomorrow.
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Tom and Margi

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2012, 06:11:00 PM »

Tom

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 10:48:28 PM »
Thanks for the link Margi. I sure wish I'd learned to play an instrument when I was a kid.

Our small uke group continues to grow under our new music director. When I joined in June/July last year we had 12 players. We're now up to 22, and we have 17 newbies signed up for newcomers class on Monday.

A weekly event at Santa Cruz has over 100 folks playing on the beach every Saturday. They're known as Sons Of The Beach.
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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2012, 11:16:00 PM »
A weekly event at Santa Cruz has over 100 folks playing on the beach every Saturday. They're known as Sons Of The Beach.

How can you not love that name!  My folks, Santa Cruz residence in retirement before they passed, would have loved it!
 
Margi

Tom

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2012, 01:18:42 AM »
Aye Margi, like they say, what's in a name?

One of the most talented ukulele players/teachers I've seen in person is Santa Cruz resident Michelle Kiba, known as The Ukalady.

Yesterday I dusted off my ukes in preparation for our new season, with rehearsals beginning next week. Took a break after the holidays. Although I enjoyed playing/singing at several venues during the Christmas season, I must admit that Christmas tunes aren't my favorites for playing on the uke.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 01:26:45 AM by Tom »
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seilerbird

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2012, 08:30:25 AM »
I lived in Santa Cruz for 7 years. A lot of musicians live there including one of the best string players of all times, Bob Brozman.

BadjerJim

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2012, 07:04:42 PM »
Okay maybe it works, but it sure looks weird.

PancakeBill

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2012, 11:33:46 PM »
Wow, would love to have this on my dobro.  Of course we don't actually fret the string (squareneck), so it would just be decorative.  Something else to explain about my instrument.

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Gottasmilealot

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Re: Calling all fretted instrument players
« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2012, 07:42:25 AM »
It sure limits you to the builder for any future re-fretting. I play a fanned fret banjo for the same reason, but the frets are straight. Thanks for the link. Interesting.
Keith

 

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