If we can hear over 500 notes in the octave, why in the world would you only want 12 frets? And why make them equally spaced? There is so much more melodic & harmonic color waiting to be explored.....Pluckers have been moving their frets for over 500 years, but it has only been in the past few centuries that they were hammered in for good, and not necessarily in the best place, either!
Hopkinson Smith using gut string fretlets on his Baroque lute
Melodies & harmonies that you've never heard before in any style, acoustic or electric
Partch: Barstow (1941) from JUST GUITARS [Bridge Records]
(1) string — $1 each
(2) strings — $2 each
(3) strings — $3 each
(4) strings — $4 each
(5) strings — $5 each
(6) strings — $6 each
Complete Neck Pack
20 x (6) — $100
* Custom lengths available upon request
Crown Height — 1.25mm (.049")
Crown Width — 2.50mm (.098")
NS 18% Hardness: HV5 200
Available in ONE SIZE ONLY, so make sure that they will be compatible with YOUR present frets.
[In other words, the existing surrounding frets should not be much higher or lower than the new Fretlet, otherwise the newcomer may shadow its neighbors, or be shadowed by them if they are higher.]
How do I order?
Decide what size, shape, and how many fretlets you need, add $10 shipping/handling [$15 outside the US], and PayPal that amount to the email address below AS A 'FRIEND', I am not a business.]
Will they work on any guitar?
Sure, they will work on any fretted instrument with nylon or steel strings. BUT - at present we only have one fret height available, so measure the height of your frets to see if the new Fretlet will work well with yours. (If yours are much lower than ours, the new higher fret may block the existing fret behind it, so you would be replacing that note rather than adding an extra note between two existing frets.)
How are they attached?
Each fretlet is backed with special 3M doublesided adhesive film.
Where do I put them?
The best way to determine the placement of each Fretlet is to use adhesive tape [standard “Scotch” brand works well] on TOP to temporarily put it in position, then using your ear or strobe tuner [I use a Turbo-Tuner], try out the position. Once that has been determined,
• mark the fingerboard with a pencil & remove the taped Fretlet
• remove the paper backing from the Fretlet, and press into place.
Can they be moved?
Of course! the adhesive will withstand at least a few moves, but each packet comes with extra adhesive in case the initial coating wears thin.
How do I know where to put them?
There are an infinite number of choices - it all depends on the style of music you want to make. There are lots of print and online sources to consult to help you decide.
How do I find out more about tuning?
A complete description can be found here: "Microtones: The Well-Tuned Guitar," Chapter 7 in THE CONTEMPORARY GUITAR, 2nd Edition, by John Schneider [Rowman & Littlefield, 2015]
Radiused or Flat?
Mak Grgic playing Weiss: L'Infidele
Lou Harrison's "Round" from his Serenade for Guitar (1978) in just intonation
Lou Harrison's "Scenes from Nek Chand" on National Tricone Guitar