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Maple Neck


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#1 adoganalog

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 04:48 PM

Hello,

I'm new to the forum, and anxious to start the journey into fretless guitar.

I would like to get my hands on an inexpensive version to verify that I will

be in it for the long haul. 

 

To that end I have a Squire Tele gathering dust, and I am considering removing the frets.

Is there any reason a maple neck would be a bad choice for a fretless conversion ?

 

The guitar has no value as is, to me personally. 

 

Thanks for the input !



#2 jahloon

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 05:22 PM

I've got a few maple necks, they are fine, the key thing is the material that your fingerboard is made of which on a Squire Tele is most likely rosewood.

 

This is not as hard as ebony so may be damaged if you use round wound strings.

 

So the key thing would be to use flat wounds strings and you won't have any problems.

 

Even if you used round wounds, it would take quite some time to show signs of wear. 

 

The key thing to remember is not to bend the strings like you would on a fretted guitar, but to slide up the string to get the shift in pitch.

 

BTW - Welcome!


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#3 adoganalog

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:15 PM

Thank you !

 

I was not clear, the guitar has a maple neck / fingerboard, not a rosewood fingerboard

I. 



#4 jahloon

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:17 PM

I would not worry too much, just go with the flat wounds, if you really like it you can always put another fingerboard on quite easily.


Play the blues guitar with your soul, but play the fretless guitar with your spirit.
Author of the book "Fretless Guitar The Definitive Guide" fretlessguitar.co.uk

#5 Tom Shad

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Posted 21 June 2016 - 09:13 PM

where do you buy a complete set of flats ?



#6 Liquids

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 02:17 PM

I would say maple is a bad choice, long term, for a fretless fingerboard.  Unfinished maple is highly susceptible to rot and decay--that's why it's finished even as a neck/fretboard wood, unlike rosewood, ebony, etc.

 

Any fretboard wood is going to wear down a bit from extended playing, but with maple you will be wearing down the existing finish on the maple fingerboard (which may happen rather quickly), and then exposing the raw maple to the elements of your hands, strings, and nature...it's not the ideal situation in my opinion.  Likewise, the strings will wear away the existing finish and it will wear unevenly in time, which will affect the playability, potentially causing some areas to buzz etc.

 

Also, if the frets are simply pulled out, you will have some degree of unevenness in the fretboard, but those slots are unlikely to have any finishing beneath where the frets were, so you are exposing additional area of unfinished maple that rot and decay will happen.  If you play it a lot, the fingerboard may need a major overhaul or replacement in time.

 

However, you said this guitar is gathering dust.  If you don't care for the instrument, it may be a decent instrument to try out fretless, knowing that it will likely not be a well-tuned instrument (as is ideally especially with fretless in regard to the fingerboard and setup), and not a long term solution for playing, but a very rough place for testing.  This can be okay, but without a good setup, fretboard, etc, it will be a lot like learning to playing guitar on an instrument that has the strings 1cm away from the frets--hard to learn on and play on due to the instrument making things harder than they already are.

 

You will definitely want a nut that is setup for playing fretless, whether you do it yourself to precision or have it done for you.  You'd also want to have all the saddles adjusted for the fretless setup as well, which many do themselves but some are not comfortable doing.


Sometimes it's sad being a lefty...




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