All About the Frets: What They Are and Why They’re Important

The average person who has never played the guitar before might not know the importance of frets, but any fan of high-performance guitars worth their salt is well-aware of it. Frets have a direct impact on how smoothly a guitar can be played and how good it sounds.

At Rock Guitars, we put a lot of time and effort into our axes, but we devote the most attention to getting their frets just right.

Check out our comprehensive guide on frets below, and take a closer look at our process:

An Introduction to Frets

The T-shaped fret—also called a T-fret—that’s the standard for all guitars today traces its origins back to the 1920s. Before the T-frets became popular, ‘bar frets,’ which were essentially just flat metal bars placed in the fret slots, were the only option at the time.

Interestingly enough, many guitar players today prefer the vintage style and highly retro appeal of bar frets, choosing them over T-frets.

Further improvements to the T-fret’s design led to the mushroom-like shape it holds today.

The Parts of a Fret

A guitar fret consists of three parts:

  • The crown, which is the rounded upper part of a fret.
  • The tang, which forms the fret’s body and is inserted into the guitar’s fret slot.
  • The barbs, which help to hold the fret in place once it’s been inserted into the fret slot.

While this design is common to all T-frets, where they differ in is the height and width. Ultimately, the dimensions of a fret have the biggest impact on how a guitar will sounds when it’s played.

Why are Frets So Important?

Frets are to a fretboard what mile markers are to a highway. They create semitone intervals, which let you know which notes are located on which part of the guitar, and how far away they are from your fingers at any given time.

You can’t really learn to play the guitar without having a solid grip on your notes and chords. Unfortunately, playing the guitar also means you’re damaging its frets at the same time.

Whenever you press your strings to the frets, the resulting metal-on-metal friction changes the shape of the frets ever so slightly. Over time, this friction will cause your frets to be damaged and needing repair or replacement.

Simply put, fret wear and tear is an unavoidable by-product of playing the guitar. But a good guitar player knows to keep it in check and intervene with repairs and refretting when needed.

At Rock Guitars, each of our works of art undergoes a stringent, 8-part process known as the EddieA Fret Work. When you buy high-quality guitars online from us, you can rest easy knowing that each of their jumbo frets has been tuned to perfection.

Check our inventory to shop high-performance guitars, get in touch with us for more information, and subscribe to our YouTube channel to see and hear our custom guitars in action.