FRETS.COM Illustrated Glossary

It wouldn't be a fretted instrument without 'em
© Frank Ford, 9/6/98 Photos by FF

Virtually all guitars have frets:

To make the notes of the scale, you must press the string just behind the fret until it touches:

The remaining portion of the string will vibrate at the desired note.

The fret itself is made of a nickel alloy in the form of wire with a sort of mushroom shape cross section:

Frets are pressed into slots cut into the fingerboard at precise locations for proper intonation. The rounded upper edge of the frets provide a single point of contact for the string. These frets are sometimes called "t-frets" to distinguish them from the simple bars of metal used before 1900 (called
"bar frets.")

The very earliest instruments such as lutes, and some ethnic ones have frets that are simply made of cords,or "ligatures" tied around the neck at the appropriate intervals.

Back to Glossary

Back to Index Page