Monday, April 26, 2010

What people don't tell you about scalloped fretboards.

There is a Japanese pharmacist out there who's the best Yngwie imitator, he plays everything note for note, you have to check him out, he's amazing.

Watching him made me want to play on a scalloped fretboard, and I started looking for one, then found a very nice Carvin guitar with a scalloped fretboard on eBay. Lucky !

You've all heard Yngwie and others say "it's harder to play fast on a scalloped fretboard but you get a better grip for the bends". I've always suspected that was bullshit and they were sayng it to show off, like "Man, I play so fucking fast, I need to handicap myself or else my fingers will burn".

Now that I have tested my guitar, I can tell you what a scalloped fretboard truly is :

- it's not harder to play fast. BULL.SHIT. Maybe if you're Rusty Cooley it makes a difference, not if you're a normal fast player.
- it IS harder to do slides.
- it makes pull-off so easy you'll just cry over all those years you've wasted on a normal fretboard.
- chords are easier to do because your fingers have more grip on the strings.
- pieces for finger picking become 10 times easier (like The Portrait, Dee, etc.).
- sweep picking feels easier too, though at first your fingers might occasionally slip under the strings.
- you WON'T press so hard as your chords will sound sharp. This is a common fear among players who haven't tested a scalloped fretboard yet, like "there is a risk to press too hard and make everything sound sharp". BULL.SHIT. It doesn't happen with chords, nor single notes, everything just play like a normal fretboard, intonation-wise.

Now you know what a scalloped fretboard is about.