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HOME > Advantages and disadvantages of scalloped fretboards


The scalloped fretboard is used by many famous guitarists like Richie Blackmore, John McLaughlin, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai and it opens up a third dimension for the neck of your guitar.

Scalloped fretboard on an Exlusive Frudua Shredder design guitar.

The immediate advantage of a scalloped fretboard over a traditional fretboard is a better grip of the strings during bending. The fingertip slides much more comfortably under the strings, giving the player more comfort in the execution of bending.

The strings are more responsive and the notes are slightly more resonant thanks to the space between the string and the fretboard.

The use of scalloped fretboards can also improve the technique and speed of execution on the fretboard (bending, pull offs, tapping), due to the need to use a lighter and more precise touch on the strings to avoid off tune sounds.

The scalloped fretboard also allows you to push the strings on their vertical axis for those who want to venture into the habit of tempered tunings, bending on several notes or entire chords.

Care should be taken not to exert too much vertical pressure on the notes to avoid unintentional out of tune sounds, especially in the first positions. The need for a more even and lighter touch can negatively affect the dynamics and expressiveness of the performance.

If the scalloped fretboard appeals to you but you don't want to approach it directly, an excellent alternative is to mount super-high-jumbo frets on your guitar neck, such as a Dunlop 6000 or 6100, which are very close in feel to the scalloped fretboard.

Scalloped guitar from the end of 1800s kept in a museum in Salzburg, Austria.

Galeazzo Frudua

Galeazzo Frudua

As a luthier and guitar making and repair teacher, since 1988 he has built making more than 350 boutique guitars and basses priced from 2,900 to 5,600 Euros and repaired and customized thousands of stringed instruments. His instruments and amplifiers are used by flagship artists, such as Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel, Ennio Morricone, Carl Verheyen. He owns two YouTube channels—where he teaches music—that count up to 40 millions views and almost 200.000 subscribers.

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