Usually an electric bass guitar with a 6-string fingerboard is tuned in ti, mi, la, re, sol and doh. The six-strings bass is a four-strings bass with two extra strings added, one more high-pitched and one more low-pitched. Although less common than the 4 and 5 string basses, these instruments are used in genres such as Latin music or jazz, or studio musicians who need a more versatile instrument.
The fingerboard is the part of the electric bass and electric guitar that is more wear due to the constant friction of the strings and hands, which is why the woods used in this peace are usually hardwoods such as Ebony, Indian Rosewood or Santos Rosewood; woods also highly valued due of the sound they make.
Ebony has always been the most used wood in instruments building. That’s due to the density, stiffness, and the acoustic proprieties that a fingerboard needs. Without any doubt, Ebony has a great resistance to wear and frictions produced by guitarist and by string tension, so it’s very easy to understand the massive use of this wood in this part of Guitar.
Regarding to the acoustic, African Ebony adds a brilliant and dynamic touch to the sound of your instrument. What is more, Ebony is a perfect material for fingerboards due to is stability, its physical appearance, and its great attachment to frets.
For all these reasons, in Maderas Barber we have a wide range of qualities in African Ebony fingerboards for Bass. Discover all them with us!
BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros crassiflora hiern.
COMMON NAMES: African Ebony, Black Ebony.
ORIGIN: Central and Western Africa.
DESCRIPTION: Density 1030-1050 Kg/m3. Sapwood is light colour and hardwood is jet-black.
Occasionally dark brown or greyish-brown streaks may be present. Grain is usually straight but can also be interlocked. Fine even texture with very high natural luster.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Easy sawing but can be difficult to work due to its extremely high density. Has a dulling effect on cutters. Tear out may occur on pieces that have interlocked or irregular grain. Due to the high oil content found in this wood, it can occasionally cause problems with gluing. Finishes well, and polishes to a high luster. Responds well to steam bending.
DRYING: Drying process speed can vary from normal to low speed. Tendency to split.
This wood is very similar to its cousin, African Ebony, and both are very demanded by luthiers nowadays. Using this wood in Guitar fingerboards, we’ll add a brilliant and dynamic touch, without underestimate its excellent qualities to resist spots and marks.
As it happens with other types of Ebony, Madagascar Ebony is hard, stable and very impressive because of the big contrast of its grain.
In Maderas Barber we have Madagascar Ebony fingerboards for Electric bass: pieces of a high quality with an extraordinary and clean sound.
BOTANIC NAME: Diospyros perrieri
COMMON NAMES: Madagascar Ebony.
DESCRIPTION: Density 1050-1280 Kg/m3. Sapwood is light colour white or yellow and hardwood is jet-black. Sometimes has white streaks. Grain is extremely fine, almost invisible.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Has a dulling effect on cutters and tools must be sharpen frequently. It can crack easily under changes in temperature or because of humidity. Machining and gluing can be complicated due to its high density. Finishes well.
Resistant to fungi and insects.
DRYING: Drying process speed can vary from normal to low speed. Tendency to split or distort.
USES: Musical instruments fingerboards . Wind instruments.
After Ebony, Indian Rosewood is the most used wood in the construction of electric Guitar fingerboards, because both have great qualities for this part of the instrument.
This wood has tendency to make sound darker, but adding a warmer touch, something very appreciated by luthiers and guitar players. It is also dense and very stable, but it is recommended to being used with reduced thickness, and once they are built, these fingerboards have to been cleaned and oil lubricated periodically to avoid any crash.
Check the sweetness and the beauty of this Indian Rosewood fingerboards for Electric Bass in Maderas Barber that we have in different qualities and with a colorful grain.
BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia latifolia.
COMMON NAMES: Indian Rosewood, East Indian Rosewood.
DESCRIPTION: Density 870-900 kg/m3. Heartwood can vary from a golden brown to a deep purplish brown, with darker brown streaks. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown. Has a medium texture and fairly small pores. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked.
RECOMMENDATIONS: It can be difficult to work with tools because of its interlocked grain and density. The wood can sometimes contain chalky deposits that will rapidly dull cutting edges. Glues and finishes well, though colour from the wood’s natural resins can inadvertently bleed onto surrounding surfaces when applying a finish, so care must be taken on the initial seal coats. Can cause skin irritation
DRYING: Dries slowly. There is no risk of deformation but it can crack. The wood colour improves with the drying.
USES: Guitar tops , backs, fingerboards, bridges, headplates and Zanfoña pieces.
Santos Rosewood is a wood highly regarded by luthiers in the last years for fingerboards. For some luthiers, it is a perfect substitute of Bubinga or some Rosewoods in this part of the instrument, due to its hardness, stability and attractive.
To all these reasons we have to add its great value for money what make it become a great option for your classic guitar fingerboard.
Discover the stunning grain of Santos Rosewood for Electric Bass fingerboards that we have available in Maderas Barber, always with the best quality.
BOTANIC NAME: Machaerium scleroxylon.
COMMON NAMES: Pau Ferro, Morado, Bolivian Rosewood, Santos Rosewood.
DESCRIPTION: Density 940 kg/m3. Colour can be highly varied, ranging from reddish/orange to a dark violet/brown, usually with contrasting darker black streaks. Narrow sapwood is a pale yellow and is clearly demarcated from the heartwood. Grain is typically straight, though sometimes slightly irregular or interlocked. Fine, even texture and a naturally high luster.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Pau Ferro is considered overall to be of fair workability, as it can blunt the cutting edges of tools, and any irregular grain has a tendency to tear out during machining operations. Also, many of the same challenges in gluing rosewoods are common to Pau Ferro as well. Pau Ferro turns and finishes well. Can cause eye and skin irritation.
DRYING: Dries slowly. No risk of deformation but it can crack.
USES: Guitar tops, backs, fingerboards , headplates and bridges. Wind instruments
Madagascar Rosewood is very similar to Brazilian Rosewood and has become one of the Luthier’s favorite woods for building fingerboards, mostly due to its sound and its beauty.
In addition, hardness is one of the most wanted qualities in tonewood for this part of the instrument, and this is a key attribute in Madagascar Rosewood. This wood has a high quality with stunning sound attributes for electric bass fingerboards that you have to meet in Maderas Barber.
BOTANIC NAME: Dalbergia baronii.
COMMON NAMES: Madagascar Rosewood, Palisander.
DESCRIPTION: Density 920 kg/m3. Heartwood generally ranges from a light yellow-brown to a darker orange or reddish brown. Darker black streaks are common, and can produce a grain figure known as “spider-webbing” .Pale yellow sapwood is clearly demarcated from heartwood. Grain is usually straight, with a uniform medium-fine texture.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Generally easy to work with both hand and machine tools, though depending on the species, it can blunt cutting edges rapidly. Care should be taken in gluing and finishing, due to natural oils in the wood that can disrupt the drying process. Turns and polishes well.
DRYING: Dries slowly . Natural oils can interrupt the process.
USES: Guitar tops , backs, fingerboards, bridges, headplates.
Wenge is a wood largely used in the manufacture of musical instruments, and very acclaimed by guitar players. Luthiers has used wenge for fingerboards since many years in replacing more expensive woods like ebony or Indian Rosewood.
Wenge is very rigid, hard and stable: a perfect wood in the use of electric guitar fingerboards, this part of the instrument which suffers a lot of tension, spots and impacts.
Regarding to the acoustic, this wood produces a sound similar to Ebony and Rosewood, with low and mid tones very clears.
Discover the beauty and the fantastic results that you can get with Wenge fingerboards for your electric Bass
BOTANIC NAME: Milettia laurentii.
COMMON NAMES: Wengue, Panga-Panga
ORIGIN: Central Africa
DESCRIPTION: Density 830 kg/m3. Heartwood is medium brown, sometimes with a reddish or yellowish hue, with nearly black streaks. Upon application of a wood finish the wood can become nearly black. Grain is straight, with a very coarse texture. Low natural luster.
RECOMMENDATIONS Can be difficult to work with hand and machine tools. Blunts tool edges. Sands unevenly due to differences in density between light and dark areas. Very large pores can be difficult to fill if a perfectly smooth/level finish is desired.
DRYING: Slow drying speed. Low risk of deformations.
USES: Guitar fingerboards, bridges, headplates, backs and sides. Bodies for electric and bass guitars.
With any doubt, Ziricote is one of the most regarded woods due to its beauty and its acoustic attributes. Its grain and veins recreate figures like any other wood and some people even compare this wood with Brazilian Rosewood.
However, the strength of this wood is not only its appearance. The tone of Ziricote is between Indian Rosewood and Makassar Ebony, with even more clearly than the first one, and more harmonics than the second one. About its physical attributes, this wood is dense and hard, what make Ziricote a great option for fingerboards.
Find these Ziricote fingerboards for Electric Guitar with the best qualities and guarantees of Maderas Barber.
BOTANIC NAME: Cordia Dodecandra.
COMMON NAMES: Ziricote
ORIGIN: Central America.
DESCRIPTION: Density 805 kg/m3. Ziricote has colour ranges from medium to dark brown, sometimes with either a green or purple hue, with darker bands of black growth rings intermixed. Ziricote has a very unique appearance, which is sometimes referred to as “spider-webbing” grain figure. The pale yellowish sapwood is sometimes incorporated into designs for aesthetic effect, or to cut down on wastage. Grain is straight to slightly interlocked. Medium to fine texture, with good natural luster.
RECOMMENDATIONS Ziricote is fairly easy to work considering its high density. The wood tends to develop end and surface checks during drying, which can be problematic: though the wood is stable once dry. Ziricote turns and finishes well, and in most instances, it can also be glued with no problems.
DRYING: Dries slowly. Risk of deformations or cracks.
USES: Guitar backs and sides, fingerboards.