Friday, October 12, 2007
Position dots: Necessity or Ornament?
Recently I posed the question on the FMM Forum about how much people rely on position dots on the fretboard of their ukuleles. Most people seem to use them as a guide but don't rely on them too much, especially the more advanced players. Someone said that it was analogous to "white lines on the road" in that you don't really look at them, but you do see them. I think that's a good analogy and is something I need to strive for. The reason I brought up the question is because I've been playing almost nothing but Jake Shimabukuro music on my ukes and find myself looking at the fretboard a lot during those songs. While I don't stare at the position dots the whole time, I definitely rely on them heavily when moving my left hand between chords that are far apart. I was at a local music store trying out some Flukes & Fleas and when I played some While My Guitar Gently Weeps on a concert sized Fluke, it came to a screeching halt when I approached a chord right around the 10th position. Why? Because concert Flukes doesn't have a dot at the 10th position! That's when I realized how much I've been relying on those position dots. Perhaps I need to get a Compass Rose ukulele, which doesn't have position dots on the fretboard, to help me develop the skills to not have to rely on those dots...How's that for a UAS excuse???