A little while ago I was watching Alexi Laiho do a demo of his signature guitar and he said the last 3 frets were scalloped. I know what scalloped frets are, but I really don't know what the purpose of them are. Would someone mind informing me? Thanks!
From a Seymour Duncan article:
DrawbackOn a traditional guitar, you press the string down right behind the fret, and you feel the wood underneath your finger. The sounding length of the string is between the top of the fret and the bridge. On a scalloped fingerboard, you do press until the string contacts the top of the fret and no more. You donít feel wood under your finger, and if you pressed any more, the note would go sharp. As a result, it requires a light touch. With less effort on the fretting hand, your arm can be more relaxed, and it causes less pain. Traditional bends are especially easy, as the strings glide along the tops of the frets easier, and your fingers donít drag along the fingerboard. You can position your finger so you can get a little under the string as well. Vibrato is enhanced the same way- the string glides along the tops of the frets and your finger doesnít drag along the wood. Bends can happen straight down too, although that is a little more difficult as the tension of the strings causes them to dig into the fingers. It is easy to add vibrato to entire chords this way, which is a neat effect.
Some guitars are offered with just the last few frets scalloped, for ease of bending- especially if the guitar has 24 frets.
Playing-wise, there is a lot to consider as well. You must either must have or develop a very light touch with the fretting hand, otherwise it can easily sound like every note is out of tune. Chords are especially problematic, and if it is difficult to keep one note in tune, simple open chords can become a nightmare as the fretted notes can easily pushed too hard, sounding sharp against the open strings. A scalloped fingerboard feels completely different, as differences in neck radius have less of an impact, and a part of the neck is simply gone.