Ebony is known for its clear, crisp attack which is often even brighter than maple. It has a similar density to maple, but has oilier pores and more brittle grains.  Due to the very tight grains in the wood, ebony does not require a finish and this gives the fingerboard a very slick, fast playing quality which many players favor.

Although many variations exist, ebony is generally the darkest fretboard wood you will find on most guitars, making it very popular on guitars designed for heavier music where everything must be black! Although rosewood can also be dyed to give a darker finish it is easy to spot the difference between the two woods due to the size of the grain which is much larger on the rosewood.

Ebony fretboards are generally favoured by guitarists who prefer a very bright, razor sharp top end or a very tight, well-defined low end.

1 thought on “Which Guitar Fretboard Wood Is Right For You?

  1. I couldn’t agree more with what was previously posted. I have had an addiction that I haven’t even attempted to quit and openly admit that I have been, and still am, a hardcore bass addict for almost 40 years. I’m no pro and my best stuff (like most of us) comes from my “house amp” in my living room. However, I have fondled a few schticks in my day and out of every type of fretboard that I have ever sweat, bled, or made payments on, ebony is at the top of my woodie list!

    A couple of other things to add to the above post… Sorry to state the obvious but there are many types of FB’s that after a number of years, show their age and unless you’re going for that “I don’t care what my schticks & stuff look like dude” look then, it becomes a bit eye-catching. A lot is to be said though for routine cleaning, oiling, loving, kissing, etc… on ye woodie!

    Anyway, ebony is as durable as they come and stands the test of time, sweat, blood, unmentionable bodily fluids (yours or someone else’s), and anything else I shouldn’t mention. Of course, you need to clean it regularly and change it’s diaper like you do the other kids but a few years down the road even after lots of consistent gigs it’s not going to show all the patterns you like to use or show which string(s) you seem to rely on the most. If you like to play up high on yo ax or if you have super long fingers and like to play ye 5 streeng down in the gallows…

    All that to say that besides the punchy, yet subtle edge of sound it delivers, it also, (if taken care of), will probably last longer than you will even be able to play it!!! Sides that, It looks awesome on my Matte black on black EB MM Sting-Ray 5!! Ewweeee….. dat wite… MmmmmHmmmm…. 🙂

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