Fingerboard, that thin and long piece which covers the neck of an instrument and where the strings run over, consists an essential part of most stringed instruments. Specially, playing classic and flamenco guitar.
Although it isn’t the most attractive or visible part of the electric bass, the kind of wood which it is made of and its quality have a huge influence in the final sound of the instrument.
Like everybody knows, the common recommendation is that the wood of the fingerboards has to be hard, because this part of the guitar is always being touched by the strings and the guitarist’s fingers.
For all these reasons, the most used woods in the construction of electric bass fingerboards are Ebony and Indian Rosewood, because of its hardness, stability and its obvious beauty. However, with the pass of the time, the range of wood used in fingerboards has increased, and we can find more woods with good density and hardness qualities for our electric bass. That’s why we have this huge variety of woods for fingerboards.
The fingerboard of an electric bass has four strings tuned in mi, la, re and sol, in fourth intervals. A bass with four strings and 21 frets, therefore, has a tonal range that goes from Mi1 to Mi4, that is, a three-octave register. Maderas Barber offer woods with different widths, so the client can choose between fingerboards to build electric basses of 4, 5 or 6 strings. All of them, like in the electric guitar, have a high-density wood and a good sustain.
An electric bass with a fingerboard of 5 strings generally is toned in ti, mi, la, re and sol, and provide a range extended in low pitched. The five-strings basses are used regularly in rock or heavy music. The fifth string provides a greater range with respect to the four-string bass, and allows access to a greater number of notes in the same position, which results in greater versatility.
As in the electric guitar, in our store we can find woods such as Indian Rosewood, Ebony, Wenge, Santos Rosewood or Ziricote. These woods are the most frequents in the construction of the instruments and the ones that have the best tonal response
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.
Electric guitar fingerboards are generally assembled on the neck, although the first Precision Bass models lacked it. The most frequents woods for its construction are Rosewood, Ebony, Wenge and Maple.
Fingerboard is the instrument part that suffers the most wear due to the friction of the strings and the hands of the guitarists, that is why the chosen woods must be woods with high density, also able to withstand the wear and tension produced on the neck.
There are many manufacturers who choose to use reinforcements especially on the bass necks because being longer than those of the electric guitar can have problems of rigidity and flexibility.
In Maderas Barber we offer a wide range of fingerboards, for both electric guitar and electric bass of different woods and qualities, to satisfy customer’s needs.