Why I marked my CBG's fret positions like a banjo instead of a conventional six string guitar.

It seems pretty much standard for conventional guitars to have fret position dots at fret numbers 3,5,7,9,12,15,17,19,21. Five string bluegrass banjos are marked almost the same, but a banjo differs in that its fingerboard usually marks the 10th and 22nd fret instead of the 9th and 21st. The advantage of marking a fingerboard like a banjo instead of a guitar is that the pentatonic blues scale will fall right in line with all the dots on the root note string. Every dot will represent a pentatonic note, not the case on a conventional guitar.

With a cigar box tuned to GDG, you have two outer root note strings and a middle string tuned to a 5th. This means that the whole neck will be marked for the pentatonic blues scale if you use banjo markings instead of conventional guitar markings. Remember that the open notes are pentatonic, and you will know right where all the good soloing notes are at a glance. The only exception will be on the middle string at the 7th and 19th frets. But, not to worry, these are still strong soloing notes since they will be the 5 note of the 5 chord(the power chord side of the triad). Plus, it's easy enough to force these notes pentatonic by giving them a good  half step bend.

Anyway, that is why I marked my first build like a banjo. What do you think?

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Comment by Ron "Oily" Sprague on March 18, 2015 at 3:24pm
Eric's always been a little bent...
Comment by Bruce on March 14, 2015 at 11:43am

The twisted headstock is cool-very artistic. It's like something Picasso would have painted. Actually, if Picasso were to paint one of your guitars he would probably make the headstock straight, since it's already bent. LOL.

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on March 14, 2015 at 11:03am

Yeah, that's me.  I was playing that guitar and my 1931 license plate guitar.  The twisted headstock is sorta my signature thing.  :)

Comment by Bruce on March 13, 2015 at 4:50pm

Yes, I see what you mean from the picture. That's nice.  Were you in a video I saw on the Pennsylvania Cigar Box Festival?  I recognize that headstock from somewhere.

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on March 13, 2015 at 11:30am

It has been how I've done my guitars since the second or third one and for the same reasons.

In fact, above the 12th fret, I have only fretted the minor pentatonic notes since my fingers are big and not as precise as needed for playing in the 2nd octave of the fretboard.

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