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Thread: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

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    Default Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    This Q is a still a bit academic for me, but:

    How do you fret cleanly and reliably towards the dusty end of the fingerboard, where your fingers are wider than the gap between frets? Do you use fingernails, or jam your fingers behind the fret hard, or what? I'm not talking about the end of a 28 fret board, just anywhere from maybe 12th fret up?

    Thanks, Max

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Fret precisely, short fingernails. Practice slowly, it is harder to get a cleaner tone with the small frets. No magic there, for me anyway.
    Play it like you mean it

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    It doesn't matter if your finger slops over the fret behind it. The front of your finger (the part closest to the bridge) is all that matters.

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    What David L said. You may have to adjust the finger behind it to slop back a bit, but the main finger fretting the note is the important one.
    Take it slow and you'll see progress.
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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Dave Apollon was known to remove the 23rd and sometimes the 21st fret on some of his mandolins so he could get a clear high E and sometimes a high D.

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    It doesn't matter if your finger slops over the fret behind it. The front of your finger (the part closest to the bridge) is all that matters.
    This.

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    This Q is a still a bit academic for me, but:

    How do you fret cleanly and reliably towards the dusty end of the fingerboard, where your fingers are wider than the gap between frets? Do you use fingernails, or jam your fingers behind the fret hard, or what? I'm not talking about the end of a 28 fret board, just anywhere from maybe 12th fret up?

    Thanks, Max
    Short answer... with lots of practice

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Quote Originally Posted by rcc56 View Post
    Dave Apollon was known to remove the 23rd and sometimes the 21st fret on some of his mandolins so he could get a clear high E and sometimes a high D.
    I would need to start removing about the 11th fret!
    Bren

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    IMO Most mandolins "crap out" tonally past the octave "A" on the E string. But yeah .... pinky placement with enough down pressure to overcome hitting the fret behind the tone you want and where you are picking the string. Otherwise practice practice practice........ and a quality instrument.
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Quote Originally Posted by UsuallyPickin View Post
    IMO Most mandolins "crap out" tonally past the octave "A" on the E string. But yeah .... pinky placement with enough down pressure to overcome hitting the fret behind the tone you want and where you are picking the string. Otherwise practice practice practice........ and a quality instrument.
    Do you think, Usually, that's down to the mandolin not being capable of it, or not being used to it? My boy's violin teacher reckoned that many fiddles can sound OK high up the board but don't because they're rarely exposed to those frequencies.

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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    maxr ...... Indeed technique has to be achieved / "mastered" before an instruments capabilities can be truly gauged .... pick or bow placement , left hand accuracy, setup, even strings all work together ( or against) getting the "best " out of an instrument. A quality instrument with a well carved top and setup bridge and picky fret work gives a boost up when playing in the stratosphere. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean fretting where there's more finger than board?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxr View Post
    Do you think, Usually, that's down to the mandolin not being capable of it, or not being used to it? My boy's violin teacher reckoned that many fiddles can sound OK high up the board but don't because they're rarely exposed to those frequencies.
    That may be true, both in terms of one's ear getting used to those very high pitches, and for the instrument itself to "open up" its sound in the highest range.

    It depends on your concept of what is a good mandolin tone, and musical style.

    If you like the warm tone of a Gibson-style instrument and tend to pick somewhat over the end of the neck (the so-called sweet spot?), you will likely find the higher register to lack that warmth.

    Next, if you like sustain on non-tremoloed tones, the highest register will decay faster than the rest of the instrument. I tend to use tremolo on any sustained notes in the upper range.

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    It doesn't matter if your finger slops over the fret behind it. The front of your finger (the part closest to the bridge) is all that matters.
    Good point! One only needs to place the fingertip behind the fret of the note you want to play - it doesn't have to clear the frets lower than the one you are fretting.

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