Does it matter what wood your fretboard is made from?

Apart from making a big difference to how the guitar looks, different types of wood can feel quite different when you’re actually playing on them. Your chosen fretboard wood will have an impact on the way the strings sound through the pickups, it’ll have a subtle impact on the way you play, and some require more care than others.


Maple fretboards produce a bright, snappy tone, feel a bit more solid in the hand than Rosewood or Ebony, and on guitars such as Stratocasters or Telecasters, they are traditionally 1 piece of high-quality Maple. Maple fretboards also require a lot less aftercare than the others, so feel free to be as disgusting as you want (not recommended..).

Rosewood/Pau Ferro

With CITES coming into law last year, the import and export of guitars constructed with Rosewood is now a much more expensive option, which has resulted in many manufacturers moving to alternatives such as Pau Ferro, Micarta and Indian Laurel.

The result is an overall more mellow, warm tone to that of Maple, but as these are usually paired with a Maple neck, the result is a stronger neck overall. Rosewood necks require a bit more aftercare than Maple, such as fairly regular conditioning. Or you can always just leave it if you want (also not recommended!!).


Ebony wood is typically featured on more premium guitars due to it’s rarity and cost, but it’s still a very popular tonewood option! An Ebony board combines Maple’s bright tone with Rosewood’s dark look (and conditioning requirement), and is generally considered an extremely attractive looking feature on any guitar!

Which one of these types of wood you prefer is entirely down to you, and we recommend trying a couple of different guitars out to see what works for you personally. Give your nearest Kenny’s Music a visit and one of our friendly sales staff will set you up!