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Thread: tremolo and radius

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    New Hampshire

    Default tremolo and radius

    My only mandolin is Collings Mt which I like a lot. however it seems like whenever i play an instrument with a flat fingerboard it is more comfortable/effortless to play tremolo. Has anyone else experienced this? Or the opposite?
    Last edited by Carleton Page; Oct-24-2010 at 9:44am.

  2. #2
    Registered User Douglas McMullin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seal Cove, Maine

    Default Re: tremolo and radius

    I can't imagine that radius would make a noticeable difference when it comes to tremolo, but it might be something about your particular setup. I know my MT felt great for all types of playing including tremolo, and I have not found flat fretboards to be any different in this regard.

  3. #3
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    St. Augustine, Florida, USA

    Default Re: tremolo and radius

    The radius of the bridge matches the radius of the fingerboard unless the fingerboard has a compound radius. With a strong radius, the strings are in a curve of that radius at the bridge. For some players this has little effect for tremolo but for some, not having the strings even in a line is problematic for tremolo and/or picking notes with speed.

    Over the years, I have come to prefer a slight radius. Flat causes me joint pain in my first finger and it is harder for me to make bar chords but some players prefer flat. The inner pairs strings actually feel like they are lower (like they are sunken) than the outer pairs. My picking hand likes a flat to a slight radius (16 or 14). I would guess that a compound radius would be good for me also, but to my knowledge, I've never played one, and I don't know of many builders who build with a compound radius.

  4. #4

    Default Re: tremolo and radius

    Quote Originally Posted by cwtwang View Post
    but to my knowledge, I've never played one, and I don't know of many builders who build with a compound radius.
    Check out a Rigel sometime. They're built with compound radiused fingerboards; 9" to 14" radius iirc.

    Len B.
    Clearwater, FL

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