Smaro Gregoriadou

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Classical guitar - baroque model - scalloped frets

Image Guitar with movable back pedal, scalloped fingerboard (baroque model).

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Learn more on the purpose and function of the scalloped frets!

The very unusual function and purpose of the scalloped fingerboard probably deserve an explanation here. In the case of a conventional guitar neck, when the left-hand finger presses a string in any of the frets, it also touches the wood of the neck; it thus transmits its heat to the wood and acts as a dampener for the inactive rear part of the string. This adds warmth, roundness, softness and mellowness to the sound, which are absolutely desirable, particularly for Spanish and romantic music. A scalloped fret, on the contrary, does not permit to the finger to touch the wood, similar to the strings of a harpsichord, which – following the monochord principle – are fastened between only two fixed points, the bridge and nut. This allows them to vibrate freely, without touching any other part of the soundboard -- yielding an extra-clear, brilliant, dry and distinct coloration and articulation, which are particularly relevant to the baroque timbre. 

 

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