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Scalloped necks...Is this true?

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Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 312

I have persoanlly played the yngwie malmsteen strat, and I can virtaully say I have never touched anything better. Playing chords is absolutley beautiful. Anyone who tells you "push to hard and the note will sharp" obviously hasnt spent much time on a scalloped neck. Technically speaking its TRUE, but ANY ACTUAL person wont "sharp" the notes. Unless your INSANELY heavy handed, and LOVE to RAM the string down, its provides more control, more awareness of notes, and more comfort playing ANYTHING guitar related. I have no idea about "slide" on it, but everything else possible is fantastic. A scalloped neck is by far the smartest decision anyone could ever make on a guitar. When you play a fully scalloped neck, you truely question yourself, "why isnt every single guitar this way?" It is the honest truth. Youll question how your 1,000$ USA Reg. Guitar at home was the best youve ever felt "action wise" when you touch a scalloped. Ever since I played that scalloped yngwie strat, I put it on layaway instantly, and I am throwing every DIME I can find at it.

Currently at 1,340$.

I cant WAIT.

Sing Me A Song Your a Singer, Do me a wrong, your a bringer of evil. - Dio

Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1167

I've played a scallopped neck and I'm not fond of it. it seems so impractical unless you're going to shred with lightning speed. it's really easy to make the note go sharp...if you press too hard, you literally stretch the string too far and the note goes out of pitch. you need such a light touch...your callouses will disappear. However, I can see how the scalloping on the highest few frets, a la that project website, can be a good thing. gets a little crowded down there and it could be a benefit.

As for the slides and the tendinitis and whatnot...yeah, you can do anything you want to on a scallopped board...but it will take a good bit of adjustment. I imagine it's the same as going from a guitar to a bass like I recently did. When I played my bass for the first time a few weeks ago, I had some serious hand cramps and muscle burning in my hand...but i've adjusted and now it's all good. if you get a scalloped guitar, you'll get used to it.

Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677
Topic starter  

Ok lets set the record straight here guys...

I just tried out a Malmsteen Strat in Denmark Street today. I can categorically say there are NO disadvantages whatsoever. Zero. Only advantages. It really just boils down to a subjective judgment of whether you like the feel or not.
Slides are impossible or harder - myth.
Chords are harder - myth
you can do better vibrato - true.
About tapping n legato being easier - I didn't get that long on it, but I can image that being slightly the case.
As for the complaint that you have to push really REALLY light or you'll go sharp - Well, I think you have to have the touch of a coked up elephant. Granted, my main guitar has extra-jumbo frets, so someone whose used to an old 50s60s strat with pretty small frets might have a much heavier touch and so find the notes go out of tune. But I mean you have to have a REALLY heavy touch - to point where you would knock a guitar with jumbo frets outta tune - in which case I think you most certainly need a scalloped fretboard to make you press lighter! And I do dig in hard with the vibrato and stuff when I play SRV etc. so its not like my playing style is simply not "hard enough"

Basically - If you like the feel there no excuse for not getting done to your guitar! It seems a lot of crap has spread around by people who have heard it from some guy, who heard from grandma, who heard it from an ex-lover in the 60s who heard it from William Shatner etc etc...

Prominent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 677
Topic starter  

Technically speaking its TRUE, but ANY ACTUAL person wont "sharp" the notes. Unless your INSANELY heavy handed. When you play a fully scalloped neck, you truely question yourself, "why isnt every single guitar this way?". Ever since I played that scalloped yngwie strat, I put it on layaway instantly, and I am throwing every DIME I can find at it.

Currently at 1,340$.

I cant WAIT.

Exactly right.
But just a little idea to save you money - Why don't you just scallop the fretboard on your existing guitar yourself? Or buy a less expensive guitar than Malmsteen's and scalloped that?

- He's a bit anoying and rambles, but its a clear demonstration in the end. Taken from here:

And you'll have like $100,000,000,000,000,026 left over for say, some pickups of YOUR choice, not Yngwie's

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 132

Ok... scalloped necks..

I have been playing professionaly for in the neighborhood of 40 years..

I wanted to have a scalloped neck for fun so I MADE ONE MYSELF for less than 20 bucks this week.. (I was a bit leary as I am no woodworker)...

I took the neck off and taped the fret board.. all the 'pros' use masking tape, put it over the fret and trim it with an exacto knife.. I rationalized I could use fret wide strips of duct tape (it tears perfectly) and skip the trimming part.. it worked perfectly...

Once I taped off the frets I taped off the sides as a visual aid so I would not go too deep..

And then I went to Home depot and got some 60 grit aluminum oxide sandpaper and some 120 and some 320 (I think that was the grit numbers) and some 00 steel wool (which you don't really need, but it does polish the frets nicely).. it cost me less than 15 bucks..

Then I went home and wrapped the paper around a ball point pen (for the smaller frets) and started sanding.. (with the 60 grit)..

As I worked my way up I started using sockets from my socket set.. they were perfect.. I could choose the right size and graduate up.. sandpaper wrapped around each ...

I watched news for a few hours while I was doing it, then when it was mostly done I used the 160 sandpaper to even her up, and then the 360 to fine polish adjust.. then the steel wool..

Again, from taping, taking pictures, then sanding and resanding, sanding once more and polishing... and then reassembly and stringing, it took me less than 5 hours collectivly.. I did it over the period of a week.. ANYONE could.. patience and a bit of comon sense, anyone can do this.. it wont hurt your guitar (inless you are worried about re-sell value.. thats another subject)..

Most people scallop the whole thing or from the 12 frets up.. sometimes just the last few.. I scalloped her from the 5th fret up.. for no particular reason.. but now it makes perfect sense to me..

The results


The scallops don't have to be perfect, you will never touch the wood.. so if your desire is a scalloped neck, even crappy looking scallops (as long as you don't go too deep) will work fine.


How does a scalloped guitar play??

Perfectly.. *L* I can't imagine the kind of grip some must have if they throw them out of tune (sharp) and think the thing is microtonal like a sitar..

it plays JUST like a regular guitar.. EXCPET for agressive bends there is no wood to get in the way.. and on slides they ring beautifuly as your finger pads dont hit any wood to slow them down..

You CAN play faster and more articulate..

There is no Tendinitis I can see.. it's just like playing a guitar, but it sounds a bit better and feels a bit more slinky.. who doesn't want a more slinky guitar.. thats kind of the point..


It's over rated how difficult it is to play from a normal guitar.. and over rated on how different it is.. it is a nuanced difference yet I really dig it..


Just wanted to share, you can do it at home with sandpaper, tape a ball point pen and a socket set..


Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 138

With regards to the original question about "less stress to the fretting hand" the answer would be yes, it does help reduce strain. But it is a very small reduction.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome comes from computer keyboards mainly because a computer key provides minimal resistance until the point it bottoms out. It then provides 100% resistance. Your fingers hammering against that bottomed out key is what provides the strain. For this reason, Piano Keyboard players use weighted keys. They provide resistance before they bottom out, reducing the strain to the fingers. You hit the bottomed out key with less force as the weight of the key slows you down a bit.

A scalloped fretboard would allow you to play without bottoming out your fingers on the fretboard. This would, in theory, reduce strain on the fingers. The counter to this argument is that fretting strings in a source of resistance itself. So strain from pushing too hard just to fret a note is probably more dangerous then "bottoming out" on the fretboard.

My 2 cents

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