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How to Choose Guitar Frets

 

Guitar Fret Sizes, Fret Wire, and Repair Resources

 



 

How to Choose Guitar Frets | Fret Sizes

Page Update 3/7/2016

 

When buying frets, making repairs, or even working on project guitars you may want to research a variety of guitar fret options.  Guitar frets are the raised thin metal pieces on the neck of the guitar.  They allow the guitarist to form notes and chords in different places along the guitar neck.  They can be made of different materials.  Some manufactures offer frets made with nickel silver alloy, brass, stainless steel, copper alloy (looks gold in color) and more.  Many guitars use nickel silver alloy fret wire, but many guitar manufacturers choose different options for different styles of guitars

  • How To choose guitar frets
  • Maintenance of guitar frets
  • Fret size options

Frets – Small, Medium, and Jumbo Fret Choices

Smaller frets are closer to the fret board (the board that holds guitar frets).  Typically the smaller the fret the easier it may be for a guitarist to finger chords and play notes.  Beginner guitarists may prefer guitars with small frets so that they can learn chording and single note playing without having to apply a lot of pressure to the strings.  Small frets offer some benefits in this respect, but the string may hit the fretboard more than you may like when playing certain songs or solos.  Some more advanced guitarists may prefer medium, medium-jumbo, or jumbo frets. 

These frets make the guitar a bit more challenging for chording due to the fact that it’s easier to apply to much pressure and make certain notes sharp.  As a guitarist becomes more experienced he or she will get a good feel for how much pressure to apply and this does not become an issue.  Also, In some instances it may be easier to bend notes for solos and solo passages.  You may also get better sustain with jumbo frets.  The options of different fret sizes are out there to give guitarists a choice.  The choice is subjective to the guitarist and each player should use whatever size fret that they prefer.  Listed below we will give you some info on different fret sizes.  If you may be interested in a guitar refret visit our Refret page.

We always advise that you seek the help of a professional guitar technician for fret adjustments and repair as this type of work can get complicated. 

Fret Sizes (Typical Dunlop Sizes)

  • 6230 – Small Frets – (Ex: Older Fender guitars and some reissue Fender guitars)
  • 6180 – Medium Brass
  • 6130 – Medium Jumbo Frets – (Ex: Some Gibson Guitars)
  • 6150 – Jumbo – Wide Vintage Jumbo (Some of today’s Fenders)
  • 6105 – Jumbo – Narrow and Taller
  • 6110 – Tall & Wide
  • 6100 - Jumbo – Very large
  • 6000 – Tall & Wide – Easy Bending

Fret Wire Resources And Manufacturers

 

Always consult a guitar professional.