I go into the Guitar Center as I often do. I like to go in and play the different guitars. It was after playing two different guitars that I realized that the tone of the guitars were much different due to the length of the neck. That’s when I got to looking at How Many Frets on a Guitar.
How Many Frets on a Guitar? How Many Frets on a Guitar depends on the length of the guitar neck. In this blog post I am going to site how many frets are on different styles of guitars. What is the purpose of the fret. What is often called the fret. This is the article with facts about the frets on a guitar.
If your interested in learning the Fret facts. Starting with how many frets on a guitar. Then come with me on this fact finding fret filled page.
How Many Frets on a Acoustic Guitar
Here is a detailed Info-graphic of what a fret is. As you can see the fret is a metal wire going down the neck of the guitar. The fret is is fitted into the finger board. Fret’s can get wear and indentations in them from the strings. When this occurs then the frets can be replaced.
The space in between the metal wires we call frets. These spaces are where your fingers go. When you are fretting a string. There are specific fretting hand techniques that allow the string to ring out properly.
In the picture and on the neck of the guitar. The first fret is the space directly behind the nut. Then the frets are in numeric order from there. 1 2 3 4 all the way up the guitar neck. On the guitar there are two dots. This signafies the 12th fret. The frets go past the 12th fret. But at the 12th fret is where the tone goes up an octave.
The Metal wire going down the neck is the fret. When the string is pushed against that fret wire. There is a tone that comes from the string. On an acoustic guitar this tone is resonated through the wood of the guitar and out the Sound hole. And on an electric guitar the sound comes out the amplifier through the pickups. Click for more information on Guitar Pickups.
Tone And Pitch
When you are fretting the string at different frets on the neck. The tone changes. This tone refers to as pitch. Pitch is the frequency of a note. When you are at the second fret of the guitar. And you fret the 6th string. There is a Tone that is heard.
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This note has a pitch. This frequency is in the pitch of F#. If you move down the neck. Which is actually towards the Nut of the guitar. You are now playing at a lower pitch. Meaning lower in tone or frequency. (Bass vs Treble).
If you were to try this on your guitar, you would now be at the first fret. Fretting the 6th string again, and playing that string. Now the tone is at a pitch of F. Which is a half step lower than F#. So the tonal quality or pitch is lower.
This same is true if you go from the second fret up the neck. Towards the Bridge of the guitar. But now the pitch is higher. So if you move up a half step or one fret from the F#. Which is on the second fret of the 6th string. You are now playing at a higher frequency or pitch. Which is called a G. So when you fret the 6th string at the third fret. The tone you are getting is a G note. Find out more about the notes in the guitar bootcamp.
Now that we know what a fret is. And by fretting it at different areas on the neck, the pitch changes Lets see why there are so many different guitars with different numbers of frets.
Electric Guitars Have How many Frets?
Guitars have different numbers of frets. Depending on what style of guitar. Whether it is acoustic or electric, and the Manufacture of the guitar. For example an electric guitar although technically all work the same off of pickups to produce the sound. Doesn’t mean that they all have the same amount of frets.
For instance a Fender Stratocater has 22 frets, scale length of 25.5. The Gibson Les Paul another well known guitar, has 22 frets and a scale of 24.75 inches. PRS Custom 24 guitar has 24 frets. With a scale length of 25 inches. Source Reverb.
Electric Guitar Fret Table
|Guitar Style||# of Frets||Scale Length||Finger Board|
|Fender Stratocaster American Professional||22||25.5||Rosewood|
|Fender Stratocaster American Professional||22||25.5||Maple|
|Gibson Les Paul Standard 50’s||22||24.75||Rosewood|
|Epiphone ES 335 Limited Edition||22||24.75||Rosewood|
|Fender Telecaster American Professional||22||25.5||Rosewood|
|PRS S2 Custom 24||24||25||Rosewood|
|PRS S2 Single Cutaway||22||25||Rosewood|
Related Article: Do Locking Tuners Keep Guitar Tune.
What Does Scale Length Mean?
The strings are attached to the bridge of the guitar at one end and the strings go through the nut at the headstock. And attach to the headstock via Tuning pegs. The scale length is the length between the bridge and the nut of the guitar. The scale length affects the tone. Due to the fact that the strings are more taught on a smaller scale length.
18 Fret Guitars
A lot of the Smaller guitars like the Washburn Parlor Guitar has only 18 frets. The shorter the scale of the instrument. The pitch tends to change. It becomes a higher pitch. Like that of a ukulele. Here is a list of some of the guitars that have 18 frets.
Which Guitar is Best for Beginners 18 Fret or 24 Fret?
This is a good question! But really the fret doesn’t have as much to do with it. As it does the size of the guitar. This is why; When you are choosing your first guitar to play. It depends on your body size, and the body size of the guitar. Granted a 18 fret guitar is going to be a smaller guitar.
So if you were buying a guitar for a smaller person. A kid or someone with shorter arms. You would be better off to go with the smaller bodied guitar. See this article on how to choose the best beginner guitar, for best practices. After all how many guitars should a beginner have?
List of 18 Fret Guitars
- Washburn P11S 6 string Parlor Guitar One of My Favorites.
- P55 KOA Washburn Parlor
- Ortega Family series 3/4 size Classical guitar
After hours of research I found that some parlor and 3/4 size guitars do not allways have 18 frets. Some of these guitars have 19 and even 20 inch frets. Depending on the model and manufacture.
Some of the 3/4 size guitars have 19 frets on them like the BT2 Taylor Guitar As apposed to the bigger fuller body of the Taylor guitar (Big Baby) has 20 frets. But the BT2 still has a robust sound for a 3/4 size guitar. And another 3/4 size guitar is the Signature Taylor Swift that can be seen here.
Apprentice D5 Acoustic Guitar is a 20 Fret Guitar
Washburn for years has made guitars that strike a perfect balance between looks and Tone. Nothing has changed with this 20 fret guitar. See the current price on Amazon.
Why Don’t Acoustic Guitars Have as Many Playable Frets as Electric?
A lot of the acoustic guitars do not have a cutaway. Which means the frets go past the body of the guitar. The electric guitar has double cutaways. Single cutaways, all referring to where the body is notched out. So that one can play the higher frets. On an electric guitar that’s where a lot of solos. are performed.
What Guitars Have 24 Frets?
Line 6 Variax Guitars have 24 frets. These guitars are special in that there are computers inside the guitar that transforms this guitar into 29 Classic guitars. Click to find out more about the Variax JTV Guitar.
Line 6 Variax is a 27 Fret Guitar
Line 6 makes a lot of effects pedals, amps and guitars. James Taylor is a well known Luthier. When you put the two mega stars together you wind up with the JTV Variax Guitar. This guitar is not like any guitar you will ever see. The technology in this guitar allows you to dial in 29 different classic guitars. And the ability to change the tuning on the fly. Without spending all the time turning the pegs. If you want to see everything this guitar is capable of. Link to the JTV Review
What is a Jumbo Fret?
A lot of manufactures like Fender. Use Jumbo frets on electric guitars. The fret wire is bigger making it easier to play. That is if you prefer Jumbo frets. It is all an preference individual preference. The fret is taller. This takes less movement of the string against the fret to get the desired tone. source
Related Article: Top 5 Budget Electric Guitars.
What is the Difference in the number of Frets on Electric Guitars
A lot of guitars, especially acoustic guitars. Have frets that go to the body and beyond. Like the Cordoba protege. C1. Another 3/4 size guitar that has 12 frets up to the body. Totaling 19 frets in all. On this style of guitar there is no cutaway. So when you are playing you can not get to the higher frets.
At the 12th fret is usually where the body meets the neck of the guitar.
Best Beginner Guitar With 20 Frets
For the price Sound and Quality Jasmine S35 is hard to beat. This guitar has 20 frets, a truss rod. Which most guitars at this price don’t have a truss rod. This guitar has a nice rich Big sound when strumming. You can feel the bass. I purchased this guitar to do a review. And was truly shocked at the way it played. This is an economical starter guitar. See the Jasmine review here.
Thanks, for sticking around to read this post. Maybe you would like this post also Why are guitars so popular.