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Jonathan Hodgson
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05/05/2021 12:02 pm  

@boo there are several reasons for fanned frets (also known as multiscale or compound scale).

They vary between tonal and ergonomic.

Tonally, scale length makes a difference, given the same gauges of strings longer scale lengths tend to favour the bass, making the bass strings sound a bit tighter and clearer, whereas shorter scale lengths tend to warm up the treble strings. 

Multiscale lets you take advantage of that.

Ergonomically, they fit your hand better. Move your hand up and down the neck like you're trying to polish it rather than play it (so the movement is not constrained by trying to match the frets). If you're like most people your elbow will stay fairly stationary and the angle of your first finger on the neck will change as you go up the neck.

Multiscale is particularly useful when you start adding strings because they problems with normal frets get magnified which is why multiscale is particularly popular on 7 and 8 string guitars. If you don't want those low strings to be either really thick or really flappy then you really need to make the neck longer. But if you do the same thing to the top strings then they need to be either really light or as tight as cheesewire.


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Jonathan Hodgson
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05/05/2021 2:04 pm  

Then you have the Distortocaster, where they're used for a completely

distortocaster

 different reason, with a few extra visual cues they make the neck look like it's drooping.

Apparently, this is a very comfortable guitar to play. As well as the ergonomics of the frets it seems that crazy body actually fits you well sitting or standing.


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Boo
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05/05/2021 2:55 pm  

They vary between tonal and ergonomic.

@jonhodgson Wow! It’s a whole different mindset really. I can now see the advantages but I couldn’t imagine trying to play an 8 string multi scale instrument. I’m sure I could learn and get used to it but I wouldn’t see it as a guitar, it’s a different instrument in my opinion. Absolutely nothing wrong with the idea and I respect the people who have the ability to play the things but I don’t think it’s for me. I would love to have a go at making one sometime as well, it would be fun. 

Thanks for the info. 👍

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Jonathan Hodgson
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05/05/2021 3:10 pm  

@boo

The multiscale side of things you wouldn't even notice after a few minutes of playing, they really feel that natural.

As for the extra strings, that's a bit more involved (I've not done it myself) but it's still a guitar. If you can handle different tunings, you can handle extra strings.
 
Though saying that, when I see some of those 8+ string monstrosities the djent types like, often with no fretmarkers, I wonder how the hell they find their way around, I'd need GPS!


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Boo
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05/05/2021 4:30 pm  

I wonder how the hell they find their way around, I'd need GPS!

@jonhodgson Yeah, my thoughts exactly. 😆🤘😁🤘🎸

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mattbeels
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06/05/2021 12:04 am  

when I see some of those 8+ string monstrosities the djent types like, often with no fretmarkers, I wonder how the hell they find their way around, I'd need GPS!

@jonhodgson

I’m not a big djent fan (usually the music is pretty cool but a lot of the vocals suuuuck) but those guys are some seriously sick players, their technique is off the charts! Just watching them jump all over the fretboard with those crazy chords and all the squeaks and squaks, it’s insane! They play so clean as well, you hear all the notes and they make jazz players look completely tame.

Pratice on scrap...


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Jonathan Hodgson
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06/05/2021 1:45 am  

@mattbeels for the most part (and I'll admit to limited exposure to it), it doesn't do it for me. But there's no denying that there are some monster players and some monster guitars associated with the genre (though I've never seen anyone actually make use of all the strings, it always looks to me like they'd be better served with fewer strings covering the range they're actually going to play).


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Boo
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06/05/2021 10:35 am  

Tosin Abasi is incredible in his ability to play these 8 string monsters instruments. In this video he must play nearly every fret on the fretboard. Check out his picking thumb, it’s insane. I’m sure he is going to get physical problems with it as he gets older. I seem to remember Paul Gilbert having a similar problem when he was much younger and he had to change his thumb position to the technique we see him using today. 
Never the less, Tosin can really play this thing. 

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Jonathan Hodgson
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06/05/2021 11:47 am  

@boo his thumb is a dead giveaway that he's really an alien, here to take over the world and snack on our brains


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