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Fingerboard Radius On Bass: Necessary? Desirable?

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I'm contemplating building a 30" scale bass as my next project, kind of like the Hofner violin basses but hopefully with an original body shape.

Anyway, I played an Epiphone violin bass yesterday, and it looked to me like there was no radius on the fingerboard. I'm mostly a guitar player, and I understand that a fingerboard radius makes chords more comfortable, but I see basses on this site with radiused fingerboards and I'm not sure if that is considered a "better" way to make a bass.

Obviously my fingerboard will be narrow (less than 2"), so does a radius matter that much? Opinions, anyone?

Thanks for the help!


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It's a personal thing, mostly. I play cello and love short-scale basses. Thats why I like a radiused fretboard. It kind of helps center your finger-force or something to that effect. I chord on basses all the time but don't think the radius helps in that respect. Have you ever (you say you have, duh) played a dead-flat bass? It seems a little unnatural to me. Once again, IMHO.

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