Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

617
Banjo Lovers Online


 All Forums
 Other Banjo-Related Topics
 Banjo Building, Setup, and Repair
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Side dots for Visually Impaired


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/131873

Helix - Posted - 11/20/2008:  05:16:04


Here is an example of a simple enamel fix for making the fretboard dots more friendly.



(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''

jamie_t123 - Posted - 11/20/2008:  05:52:57


Boy, I'm getting close to the point of needing to do that...great idea!

Never get between a Woman and her Banjo!





Woolpersteve - Posted - 11/20/2008:  06:42:01


Are they drilled out and replaced with enamel dots ?
Steve

"The Dude abides"

1four5 - Posted - 11/20/2008:  08:26:52


Helix... you an me think alike! I have been using my wifes acrylic paints, and have seriously thought about drilling and installing larger perminant dots. Maybe not as big as your though... but the factory dots are like pin heads...

Dean

strokestyle - Posted - 11/20/2008:  08:34:32


Strangely enough I never have paid any attn to the dots - My super powers have waned - so I can't see them - so I have never relied on using them - I also do not play up the neck very much so I am not as advanced as you.


Edited by - strokestyle on 11/20/2008 08:35:26

mralston - Posted - 11/20/2008:  08:35:03


Here's an early 1900's English fretless banjo w/ small MOP dots inlaid in the 5th string side of the fingerboard @ fret positions:



Mark Ralston

A man comes to this world naked and bare; He goes through life with troubles and care; He departs this life and goes we don’t know where; But he’ll be all right there if he lives all right here ............................................... Uncle Dave Macon

www.yellowstone-jewelry.com

mike gregory - Posted - 11/20/2008:  08:36:49


LOOKS like thumb tacks.
If so, a great idea for a quick and inexpensive upgrade.
Seems there are a lot of small nails that might do the job.
Good idea, any way you get 'er done!









=):{ )
Mike Gregory, Banjo Maker Infraordinaire
When I say my instruments are as good as anything Gibson or Martin ever made,
I mean MEL Gibson and DEAN Martin!


My banjos can be seen on my own website
http://littlebanjos.lunare.net

guitdawg - Posted - 11/20/2008:  09:00:27


I seem to remember the Danny Gatton (Tele-wizard!!!) had a custom shop guitar with Cubic Zirconia side dots. Having played in dark and smoky clubs myself, I can see how that could be a vast improvement. The enamel thing looks like a fairly easy way to achieve 'near bouts the same thing though....

Paul Hostetter - Posted - 11/20/2008:  09:18:55


Even white pearl (real pearl) dots help a lot. 2mm is normal, but you could go well up from that diameter to get something like the photo in the first post. Cubic zirconia would do the job quite well, if you could agree with the aesthetic.

I made an electric guitar for a guy once that had glowing LEDs up and down the board itself plus in side dot positions. And I used tacks like Mike G shows on a banjo I made for a blind guy - the tack heads make a very effective "Braille" dot.

Paul Hostetter, luthier
Santa Cruz, California
www.lutherie.net

banjonz - Posted - 11/20/2008:  10:23:54


This appears to be quite common. I purchased an S.S.Stewart form an old chap years ago. It had been inlayed with those big dots. It looked ugly. I think they were installed because of sight impairment issues but who knows. I personally think it partially ruined the looks of a lovely old instrument.

Wayne
New Zealand


Having smoking sections in restaurants makes about as much sense as having peeing sections in swimming pools!

silvioferretti - Posted - 11/20/2008:  11:27:44


Great idea Larry, and inexpensive too. I also like the idea of dots at the frets positions, but having one at each fret doesn't make much of a reference... I once installed side dots for a blind electric guitar player, following his suggestion I just drilled out the existing dots and glued in new ones leaving them sticking out, then with his help I took them down a little at a time until he said they were OK for him to find them but not to uncomfortable on his thumb.

"Conversation like television set on wedding night: not necessary!" (Peter Sellers on "Murder by Death")

Silvio Ferretti http://www.scorpionmusic.com

don wiseman - Posted - 11/20/2008:  12:04:47


I wonder if Doc Watson ever used any kind of tactile aid?

DW

silvioferretti - Posted - 11/20/2008:  13:36:10


I don't think so, and I never heard of any violin, viola, or cello player who needed them, visually impaired or not. Ditto for people like Blind Alfred Reed (fiddle), Blind Boy Fuller (guitar), and Rev. Gary Davis (guitar). About 20 years ago I had an accident (involving a rusty lamp, and a lot of stupidity) which almost left me blind. I had bandages on my eyes for a couple or three days and couldn't see a damn thing for about a week. In my totally blind days I decided to see (pun intended) what would have been like to be really blind (at the time I wasn't so sure I could recover my sight, so why not try?). That included fixing my meals and coffees, cleaning the house, and of course playing the guitar and the banjo. By the end of the week I was able to make as few mistakes as when I had my sight, which was not so exciting but it was all my skills could give me... However, some really visually impaired players feel they need some help, so why not try and give it to them?

"Conversation like television set on wedding night: not necessary!" (Peter Sellers on "Murder by Death")

Silvio Ferretti http://www.scorpionmusic.com

Brian T - Posted - 11/20/2008:  14:45:52


I've seen a surprisingly large number of fiddles tricked up with bits of automotive pin striping tape placed so nobody out front sees much of them, like black on black.

We do not know where we are going.
Nor do most of us care.
For us, it is enough that we are on our way.
Le Matelot

jgwoods - Posted - 11/20/2008:  18:25:25


I had a banjo with brass brads driven into the neck where side dots would be but a little lower so your thumb would run across them. They worked great. I would favor that - or carving indents into the side of the neck to indicate position.
I almost never look at the neck while I play although on occasions I look for the 10th or octave markers if I am making a big jump, the rest of it is flying by muscle memory, know how far to jump by repetition.

Agreed that your bigger dots make for easy viewing- I am not sold on the look of it on first impression though I might get used to it.

Be yourself- everyone else is taken

Helix - Posted - 11/20/2008:  23:01:13


I so appreciate everyone's responses, I had gotten busy today and came back after so many had posted.

No I don't think Mr. Watson uses tactile cues other than the whole dang fretboard.

How did I do these? I thought you'd never ask. No inlays, just enamel on top. too simple, but very durable and kept it in budget for the whole project.

I dipped a 1/4" dowel in paint, and dotted the neck. I actually am getting to where I play without my glasses on stage so I can see. someday I'll do me own dots.






(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''

silvioferretti - Posted - 11/21/2008:  00:21:07


I didn't ask because your large dots looked a lot like the Tipp-Ex blobs that my former bass player (upright) used to put on the side of her fingerboard...

"Conversation like television set on wedding night: not necessary!" (Peter Sellers on "Murder by Death")

Silvio Ferretti http://www.scorpionmusic.com

don wiseman - Posted - 11/21/2008:  09:40:46


It's common on fretless instruments-fiddle, bass- to use narrow pieces of tape as a learning aid till your left hand gets used to the positions, but that only works if you can see!

DW

mike gregory - Posted - 11/21/2008:  14:28:16


quote:
Originally posted by don wiseman

It's common on fretless instruments-fiddle, bass- to use narrow pieces of tape as a learning aid till your left hand gets used to the positions, but that only works if you can see!

DW



Which brings up an intresting question:

Do any BHO members have severe visual impairment AND a computer that converts these posts into sound for them?

Of course, you needn't answer if you prefer not to.

Helix - Posted - 11/23/2008:  12:29:25


It's a great question, I think the closest thing is called a navigator which punches up little pins to read what's on the screen with their fingers on the keyboard, then they can interact by typing.

The audial signal like Mr. Hawkings has is probably adaptable, backwards.

(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''

Mike Casey - Posted - 11/23/2008:  17:11:32


I bought an old Strat in East Texas some years ago from a guy who purchased it from its original owner who was blind. He had simply cut small notches in the place of the side dots for his reference points. It worked for him. As regards the sighted players I'm surprised some enterprising person hasn't come up with LED markers for playing in the darker venues. I don't believe it would take very much to install the very small variety. One could probably go a step further and install programmable position markers in the fretboard that would change when you used a capo. Gibson has installed the autotuners on their guitars so why not moveable, programmable position markers that light up? Seems logical given present mini-electronic capabilities, but most players would probably resist.

Mike Casey
and Irrational Exuberance

mrbook - Posted - 11/23/2008:  17:18:41


I have an old Stew-Mac video somewhere where they installed LED lights in an electric guitar fret board. Might be an idea for side dots, but then you would have to worry about it being electric.

Bill

pstroud1 - Posted - 11/23/2008:  17:25:22


My thought would be why not make the whole length between the frets black and corrugated. So one could see or feel where it was?

Paul
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Did anyone see my $10,000 tool bag?

mike gregory - Posted - 11/23/2008:  18:51:46


In one of my Very Early posts, I suggested that LEDs be installed in such a manner that, when a capo is applied, the appropriate spots light up AS THOUGH the capo were the top nut.
Just an idea.

Pstroud: As it streaked through the atmosphere, your toolbag lit up Edmonton, Canada.
http://www.wikio.com/video/624846

Helix - Posted - 11/23/2008:  19:22:04


I like glow in the dark stuff.

Bob Ross in Portland, Oregon was the first drummer to put LED's in the drumstick tips, the batteries were in the drumstick, great 4 foot tracers.



(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''

mike gregory - Posted - 11/23/2008:  20:16:19


quote:
Originally posted by Helix

I like glow in the dark stuff.

Bob Ross in Portland, Oregon was the first drummer to put LED's in the drumstick tips, the batteries were in the drumstick, great 4 foot tracers.



(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''



Look what's going on now!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_ka...ture=related

strokestyle - Posted - 11/24/2008:  07:46:10


OK so maybe I have not been around long enough - I looked at the banjo's I play everyday and they do not have markers at all not even small ones - so now I have more confidence that I am not as blind as I think, but now I wonder am I very observant?

Helix - Posted - 11/24/2008:  14:14:58


That is funny, I don't NEED the dots, I like them. Then when you go looking for them, they were'nt there all along. My wife's banjo has no dots. budget thing.

(_)====''===::} Takes a lickin'' and keeps on pickin''

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories

0.046875