Modern Gretsch Guitars

What are your favorite Gretsch fret markers?


No Western? What if I said that hump blocks remind me of the Alamo?

Especially the 3rd fret marker...

– Tartan Phantom

Is the 3rd fret marker a peyote button? Lol, just kiddin'.

3, Thumbnail/neo-classical/half moon

I can't afford ($) to be picky, I like what I have!


I have to declare for team thumbnail. Markers that are asymmetrically weighted to the bass side make more sense to me. Way easier to see. I’m a big fan of the Rickenbacker shark fin markers too.


No votes for the Super Axe dice?


No votes for the Super Axe dice?

– Jams

I'll go along with that as an extra vote....I have one. My least favorite are large square block markers, even though I have two guitars with them!


Like them all.

Thumbnails = elegant simplicity

Western = cowboy chic

Humpblocks = da bomb


I like all of them, providing they suit the guitar. Even plain old dots are OK with me.

Tell you what I don't like -- PRS birds, or ivy climbing up the fingerboard. Not too keen on Rickenbacker's sharkfin (or whatever it is) either, although it wouldn't put me off owning one of their guitars.


I honestly don't seem to have a preference on my other guitars, as long as some kind of marker is there. I've only got one Gretsch guitar, and it has hump blocks. I don't find them objectionable, though I think I'd probably like the thumbnails better, as they allow more wood to be played on.


Thumbnail. Same here, don’t dig the birds.


Yeah, thumbnails aren't just functionally effective and attractive, as someone whose first instrument was violin, I really prefer wood under my fingers.


Like them all.

Thumbnails = elegant simplicity

Western = cowboy chic

Humpblocks = da bomb

– redrocker

It depends on which Gretsch they are on but I'm with redrocker on this.


1) blocks. Especially on a jet


Not too keen on Rickenbacker's sharkfin (or whatever it is) either, although it wouldn't put me off owning one of their guitars.

I kinda like the sharkfin - but I'm not crazy about the clear-coated boards. However, I'm not not-crazy enough that it's ever put me off owning one.

While we're talking about others' markers...I completely love TVJ's SpectraSonic Supreme, a perfectly evolved instrument in every possible way. I just really don't honestly care much for the "spaghetti" markers. Not that it matters.

I agree with not being a fan of vines and birds and DRAGONS and other overwrought writhings. I don't think I'd ever inlay my name either - and certainly not in the BIG BLOCK LETTERS frequently used for that. Maybe a classy enough font would do for some cryptic message, though. "There's no money above the 5th fret" - with an arrow pointing to it.

If I was wealthy enough to inlay practical jokes that belong on T-shirts into rosewood, which I'm not.

Seems like I associate the classic dot with Fender, and the plain-ol block with Gibson - and we've seen those so much that we almost don't see them. A neck which uses either kinda passes beneath comment: it has fret markers, and I accept it.

So when anyone varies from those standards, they're taking on more visual responsibility. As in pickups, color schemes, bridges, and other features, Gretsch has come up with several equally successful and iconic fret markers, and we always notice them - appreciating their harmony and appropriateness on each guitar design. As Harley Earl said about tailfins on a Cadillac - it gives us another receipt for buying something special.

Many alternate marker designs on other guitars are visual fails for me - usually because they try too hard, either with too much elaboration or something too cute. But every once in awhile someone surprising knocks one out of the park - and I'd post pics of a couple examples if I remembered what they were!


I dunno Proteus, if you can pull off a Nudie suit on stage, having your name up the fretboard in BIG BLOCK LETTERS almost seems like an afterthought!


JQM, if is the operative word there. I couldn't pull it I wouldn't.

Works for Merle, though.


Big blocks for sure, at least on jets, probably thumbnails on hollowbodies


i'm a hump blocker, too, i suppose. split, as i have a g400. but i generally prefer the dyna look to the filter look, though the opposite holds true for the sound.

really, it depends on the guitar. most just look better with the humps, but the thumbs just work for several models. and being someone who uses giant strings, i don't think i've ever felt the wood or the inlays on the fretboard

ps- i also think the cream versions are pretty sweet, and generally preferred, except in cases where the white ones work better

Register Sign in to join the conversation