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Thread: Newbie Fret question

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Fret question

    I have a low fret (13th)
    all other frets seemed tuned it pretty well, however this one sounds a major second above where it should be! (somehow catches the 2nd fret after it, not the next one?)

    Anyway, all things being equal, how difficult a repair is this? I am NOT doing this myself, but might give me some perspective on cost.

    thanks,
    Carl - Newbie

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    Hi Carl,

    There is a good chance that the 13th fret is not low, but the 14th fret is high. A high fret is a common problem. It is not difficult to repair "IF" you can push or tap it back down. If you can tap it in, do that and it may stay (normally not). If you can tap it down but it pops back, you need to glue it down. It you can't tap it down, it will need to be leveled with a file. In this case, you will need to recrown the frets that you hit.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    But the string sounds from the 15th fret! so it bypasses 14th entirely, however the 14th sounds as normal...
    so going chromatically, the pitch goes up from 12 to 13 (by a minor 3rd), then back down at 14, then up at 15 as expected... weird.

    Thanks on the notes on fret work... beyond my league to start, but someday...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    Sorry, didn't read closely. Sight down the neck and look for a hump at the neck joint. There is sometimes the illusion of a hump created by relief in the neck and fall off toward the end of the fingerboard, so what you see may or may not actually be a hump, it depends.

    Of course it could also be an overdriven 13th fret. It is hard to identify this without testing. The way to really narrow it down is to use something straight that spans three frets. Test it near the problem area and it will rock if there is a high fret.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  5. #5
    Registered User
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    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    If it is only one fret than it is a fairly straight forward job for a tech. As was said above you can check for a high/low fret by using straight edge that spans three frets. It will rock on a high fret and there will be space between the edge and a low fret. High frets are somewhat more common than low frets, particularly up the neck.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    Thanks to all on this tread. I am enjoying the education. :-)

    One question though... what is an "overdriven fret"?

    Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    A fret that was pushed in too far (making it low). Hammered or pressed in hard enough that it indented the wood.
    Robert Fear
    http://www.folkmusician.com
    1-800-493-4922

    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
    " - Pete Seeger

  8. #8
    Registered User colorado_al's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    Sounds to me like truss rod needs to be adjusted. Common culprit for issues at the neck joint.
    I'd get that checked out first before jumping to the conclusion that it is a fret leveling issue.

  9. #9
    Registered User Greg Mirken's Avatar
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    I'm trying to wrap my head around your assertion that the 15th fret sounds when you fret at 13, but the 14th fret sounds OK. Sorry, I just can't get that.
    A good way to diagnose a loose fret is to tap on it with a metal object [I use a 6" rule]. A tight fret makes a clear "tink". Where it's loose, usually the ends, it will make a dull "tunk".
    Shade Tree Fretted Instrument Repair
    Now located in Nevada City, California
    http://www.shadetreeguitars.com

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    You can cheaply make a fret rocker by just buying a length of aluminum bar stock. Cut into varying lengths. Right now you just need to span three frets. Don't count on the aluminum edge being straight. Attach sandpaper to a known flat surface, glass is good, and sand one edge straight. I use a black marker to mark the non straight side.
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  11. #11

    Default Re: Newbie Fret question

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    You can cheaply make a fret rocker by just buying a length of aluminum bar stock. Cut into varying lengths. Right now you just need to span three frets. Don't count on the aluminum edge being straight. Attach sandpaper to a known flat surface, glass is good, and sand one edge straight. I use a black marker to mark the non straight side.
    A credit card works, too.

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