The contact point for your fingers to allow their creative juices to flow and be converted into a crazy face melting solo, or catchy riff to nod your head to... The fretboard!
But, to me, these things are far more than just a functional piece of wood. They are an extension of the guitar, quite literally, and so in my mind they deserve some attention. First of all the wood needs to be a nice looking piece with character and some attractive figuring. Then the inlays and markers should encompass the body of the guitar, and the musician if it's a custom guitar, and reflect the styling of it. I'll include a little video of how I go about this on my Tao model range. For these guitars I have settled on a particular shape that fits in the curved shape (which I'd like to give a name, so feel free to put suggestions in the comments).
In my latest Thundabolt builds I've experimented with some lightning bolt inlays, again keeping with the theme of the guitars. For my Raptors I decided on some very thin fret markers running diagonally across the frets, and an inlay on the 12th fret to tie in with the theme of the build.
I'm not particularly good with words, so hopefully the photos help show what I'm talking about.
Of course your bespoke instrument could include something that means something to you, or a symbol you like etc. Experimenting with different materials and styles is a huge part of the fun of building handmade guitars, for me at least! And it's a good chance to express a creative side and make a feature.
So these next photos show a little experiment with some glow in the dark powder, the kind you add to nail polish and paint your nails when you go out raving. It works really well, and mixes great with superglue to from a nice hard resin like inlay. Simply cut the shape out, fill with powder and add glue! Sand it down when finished for a perfectly smooth transition. And best of all the powder comes in a set of multiple colours, one to suit every guitar!
Enough blabbing on from me, I know you've been patiently waiting to see the video I promised, so without further ado I bid you farewell.
Thanks again for reading, and see you in the next installment.