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Nov 29, 2022 - 11:56:53 AM



7 posts since 2/23/2018

I have an Enoch Tradesman, it has pips (or whatever you really call them) on the face of fretboard but not on the sides. With the way I hold the banjo I can't see those guides and it would help me get into more finger positions if I had pips on the side.

What's a good way to add them? Can I do it myself or should I ask my local luthier?

Thanks in advance

Nov 29, 2022 - 12:09:35 PM
like this

15095 posts since 6/29/2005

If I understand the question, you would like to have some kind of "bumps " not unlike braille, that you can put on the neck somewhere and  feel with your fingers while you are playing so you know where you are on the fingerboard without looking.

There are numerous self adhesive bumps out there, some in various colors:

Nov 29, 2022 - 12:19:08 PM
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531 posts since 4/14/2014

Do you mean 'position markers'? The pip is usually the term for the 5th string nut. Many banjos do not have position markers on the side of the neck, but they can be added

Nov 29, 2022 - 1:13:04 PM


New Zealand

11675 posts since 6/29/2003

The position markers (dots) usually come in either black (for a white bound fretboard) or white (for a non-bound dark [ebony] fretboard. It is not hard to do but I would suggest you get a competent luthier to do it. It involves drilling straight holes, inserting the marker material then levelling them off.

Nov 29, 2022 - 1:31:19 PM

59 posts since 2/25/2018

On Amazon you can order 1.5mm material that comes with a 1.5mm drill.
I recommend drilling the hole 1mm with a Dremel and finish with the 1.5 mm by hand using a pin vise.

Nov 29, 2022 - 2:27:06 PM

47 posts since 11/28/2017

It's not hard to add position dots to a fretboard, but to make them look good it's very important that the holes be drilled exactly perpendicular to the fretboard. If they go in on an angle they'll look oval rather than simply round. Still functional, but not so elegant. One way to do this - not the only way - is to use a drill press and some sort of jig to keep the neck/fingerboard absolutely vertical.

Also, if you place position dots in any arrangement other than the standard - 3, 5, 7, 10, 12 - you'll forever lower the value of your instrument. A friend had a banjo with a strange, confusing custom arrangement of dots, and found that others didn't want to play it. I wouldn't play it for anything that took me beyond the first five frets. He had a terrible time selling it. This is a good time to just go with the prevailing custom.

Nov 29, 2022 - 4:55:38 PM
like this

190 posts since 12/27/2019

Before hacking into your neck to add position markers, you might try a less invasive solution first.

For example, use adhesive dots, or small pieces of colored tape. Maybe even "white-out" correction fluid, which should be readily removable (haven't tried it, though.)

To get fancier, I've seen purpose-made adhesive markers for sale at online guitar supply dealers as well, all sorts of styles available.

In practice you'll only need to mark the 7th, 10th, and 12th fret positions. (You'll get to know the 3rd and 5th frets from hand position and 5th string tuner.)

Nov 30, 2022 - 2:30:57 AM
Players Union Member



16373 posts since 8/30/2006

You can make a small divot with a drill bit, then fill with the color you want. And wipe it off.
I don't use divots.
I use acrylics.

I play longneck and found it useful to have two sets of colored dots.
For the regular 22 fret scale I use white dots with a red center
For the 25 fret scale I use yellow dots with an orange center.
They don't interfere with each other, and if you capo at the jam, it actually helps.
The acrylics take a lot of wear and tear. Can be scraped off with a razor and repaired.

Frankly, I'm sorry those side dots aren't provided.

Side dots and spikes are for the singer if they need be.

I got a longneck in my shop where the singer used a different spike installation.  I don't care where the 5th peg is.

They used their noggin to fit their needs, not the shop solution. 

Edited by - Helix on 11/30/2022 02:37:32

Nov 30, 2022 - 8:29:08 AM
Players Union Member



16373 posts since 8/30/2006

I like 5 mm dots


Nov 30, 2022 - 10:50:10 AM



7 posts since 2/23/2018

Thanks for all your good advice. I'm trying some stickers for now.

Dec 3, 2022 - 5:28:43 AM

2444 posts since 2/7/2008

Somewhere a while ago, I thought I saw LED position markers! They would be handy in the dark!

Dec 3, 2022 - 7:01:53 AM

2939 posts since 2/12/2005

Originally posted by pjojo

Thanks for all your good advice. I'm trying some stickers for now.

For now, the stickers are your fastest way...

I saw (somewhere) a person drill the marker holes, glue in a plastic round stick, and carefully cut most of it off with a scary sharp chisel.  A little sanding had it looking like it came from the factory with them.

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