Instruments- discuss specific features, luthiers, instrument problems & questions
Briefly... (maybe). The 6 1/2 fret is not necessary for chording or playing more modern music. Check out the playing of Robert Force, Dan Evans and the late Roger Nicholson, none of whom use/used a 6 1/2 fret. Is the 6 1/2 convenient? You betcha. I have more instruments without the 6 1/2 than I do with (I think) and tune to 1-5-8 as much as 1-5-5. BTW, If you're in 1-5-5 an interesting tuning is to raise the bass string a whole step giving you a 5-1-1 tuning in the Mixolydian mode. Now, after saying I would be brief, I must go practice and try to figure out what I'll play on Sunday.