Category: Mandolin hard to fret

Search Forum Show New Posts. I am a very new beginner and have trouble reaching the frets with my fingers. I seem to have a different problem than most people I don't have short fingers! When my fingers are straight, I can seperate them, no problem.

However, when I bend my fingers to put them on the guitar strings, my two middle fingers close together and I cannot reach the frets. I am already using a small guitar. I haven't given up yet Is there any exercises other than just "keep trying" that I can do to train my fingers to seperate? What kind of chords are you trying to play? As you are a beginner I'm thinking you are not trying to play barre chords yet.

As with any new skill you learn, sorry, it does take time and practice. When you bend your fingers they naturally will be closer together. A lot of guitar is built on muscle memory, which basically means you have to train your fingers to go where you want them to. Also keep in mind a smaller guitar does not mean it has a smaller neck.

Perhaps the neck on the guitar is too thick? As far as exercises, just try walking your fingers up and down each string one at a time and just keep telling yourself, one finger per fret.

Repairing & Replacing Frets on Guitars

You'll get there, just keep at it and if you get frustrated, that's ok, just put it down and try again later. Even 5 mins here and there is going to help. Don't even worry about your right hand or getting the chords to ring out at this point just get your left hand sorted out and the rest will follow.

Good Luck! Keep on practicing it does sound a bit quick to toughen up that quickly and sooner you will rich the fret. I had the same problem when I first started learning to play bass in grade school. Keeping your thumb flat against the back work your fingers like they're on the guitar. You can sit there for hours watching TV working the muscle in your fingers. It may not work for you, but it sure helped me.

I'm currently using this trick again after 7 years away from the electric. Hi there, like going to the gym Make sure you do some warm up excersizes. GT has loads of warm ups, if you search for warm ups Here is one. Cheers Rob.Jescar Enterprises, Inc. West Coast USA www. Despite anything you might have heard, German silver AKA nickel silver actually contains no silver, and never did. It is an alloy of copper with a percentage of nickel added for durability, as well as the silvery color.

The "gold" wire referred to below as EVO wire is Jescar's proprietary nickel-free hypoallergenic alloy originally devised to make eyeglass frames for folks with nickel allergies. It contains no gold either, of course, and makes wonderful fretwire.

I wish it was available in more sizes. As acceptance of this wire grows among players, I'm confidant that other sizes will be added. SS indicates Jescar's stainless steel wire. SS eats normal tools fairly fast, which means you have to buy diamond stuff if you work with it very often. I was once told by a gentleman at Jescar that it's not as durable as EVO, but he's since backpedaled, now saying it outperforms nickel but not stainless.

I have done enough stainless to know what it did to my tool budget, and saw that the stainless frets still wore out pretty fast, and so I've stopped using it.

mandolin hard to fret

Your mileage may vary. I'll stick with nickel for the traditionalists, or—when I can—with EVO, which is a dream to install. It's the most durable fretwire I know of. I have posted more of my thoughts about frets and fretwire below the chart. These charts range from large to small, more or less.

Tang widths are to be double-checked, as different manufacturers have different ways of measuring them. Some include beading, some don't. For some strange reason, Stew-Mac lists tang heights, and simply says "Our tang is sized to fit a 0. I don't think tang measurement is very important, and am tempted to remove the entire column from this chart.

Crown width. Crown height. See Stew-Mac's below.The condition of your frets will determine how well your guitar plays. Every time you press your strings against the frets, the friction between them subtly changes the shape of the frets, causing them to wear out.

Over time, this metal-against-metal contact can lead to string rattle and intonation issues. The greatest fret damage is caused by capos—especially under the plain strings. Fret wear is a normal by-product of playing your instrument. The big question is, can I refurbish my frets or is it time to replace them?

What are frets made of?

mandolin hard to fret

Really good fret wire has more zinc and less copper. One of my favorite brands is Jescar, and their NS formula is 62 percent copper, 18 percent nickel, and 20 percent zinc.

How Hard Is It to Learn Mandolin? (Beginners’ Challenges and Useful Tips)

Another option is stainless steel. Stainless steel is very difficult to work with, but it lasts dramatically longer than traditional fretwire. However, stainless steel frets come with a hefty price tag. Most luthiers will charge more than double to re-fret a guitar with stainless steel because it nearly destroys their tools and the job takes much longer to do. In the long run, it could be the perfect solution for your guitar since you may never have to replace the frets again!

How are frets sized?

Understanding Frets and Fret Wear

Fretwire comes in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are the width and height of the crownthe size of the barband the depth of the tang.

The crown is the exposed part of the fret. Like a row of hooks, barbs secure the fret to the fretboard. Barb width determines the width of the fret slot and the tang determines the depth of the fret slot—i.

The size and shape of each of these four elements are specifically designed for different playing preferences and types of guitars.

The crown width can vary from ultra narrow. The fret height can be anywhere from a short. The width of the barbs and depth of the tang also vary from.

All these dimensions have a specific purpose and are important considerations when choosing fretwire. Tall frets will last longer before they need to be replaced. If you grip the neck tightly while playing or use a capo, the strings will pull sharp as you play.Following is a list, and the cost, of the most common repairs requested. Check out our Blog Posttoo. A good setup and tweak makes all difference in the world when it comes to playability and getting the most out of your instrument.

Most of the time a re-fret is the fix for a neglected truss rod, but sometimes just tired and grooved frets. A plane and re-fret brings the fingerboard back to true making it easier to attain a nice, playable action and gives you the full range of adjustability back on your trussrod.

Radiused fingerboards have really become popular and a lot of players say they play with less hand fatigue compared to flat. If the neck is true and there is enough fret material below the worn grooves in your frets, a simple dressing and polish is a much simpler and cost effective way to make your frets look and play like new. Over time nut string slots wear causing your strings to buzz when played open making it hard to get a good drone going.

Bad bandaid at best. Some players dig in with their pick enough to consistently hit the end of their fingerboard getting that clicking noise. Can sound pretty cool sometimes. You Grisman Fans have heard it before, but it can be distracting. A scallop can keep you in the sweet spot without the the click while maintaining the detail and look of your fingerboard extension. Who plays up there anyway? All the money is in the first seven.

And what a great place to add inlay! There are numerous reasons for doing a speed neck. From peeling finish due to bug spray, lotions, and hand grunge or sticky finish making it hard to move up and down the neck like a pro. Here is a link to some pics.

These days shipping can be a big expense. Then, the expense will just be tacked on your repair bill. Be sure to ask us about this service!! This is the short list. We look forward to talking with you about your needs.So you've been woodshedding for weeks, trying to cop your favorite Grisman lines, and all you have to show for it is a sore left hand. Not surprising if your mandolin is setup poorly, and most that I see are.

With double course high-tension strings, a proper mandolin setup is critical to the accuracy and enjoyment of playing. A setup is a very personal thing, but no matter how you like your action, there are several important points to consider when setting up a mando: string gauge, neck relief, bridge radius, action height, intonation and string height at the nut.

Keep in mind that this is not a step-by-step lesson in how to do your own setup, but should serve as an overview to help you learn how the different adjustments can make your mando play great. The easiest way to affect the playability of your mandolin is with your strings.

String gauge will have a huge effect on the feel and playability of your mandolin, with lighter gauge strings being easier to fret than heavier gauge strings. The measured difference between the lightest and heaviest string sets seems small, but on a double course instrument with high string tension, it makes a big difference.

Strings are cheap, so experiment until you find what you like. After you have selected your string gauge, neck relief will be the first thing to check. Relief is the amount of forward curvature in the neck along the string path.

Relief is needed to make space for the oscillation of the string, which is greatest at its mid-point. A mandolin needs very little relief. One to two thousandths. This is about the thickness of a piece of paper, so not much at all. Too much relief and the action can be high, yet buzzy, mid neck. Too little relief and there can be fret buzz in the lower positions.

Once you have your relief dialed in, you can move on to the adjustments at the bridge.

mandolin hard to fret

The bridge takes care of three main things:. Most mandolins have a flat fingerboard across the fret as opposed to most guitars, which have an arch to the fret. For even playability across the fretboard, the radius of the strings at the bridge should match the radius of the frets. With this in mind, if you rest a straight edge across the strings, just in front of the bridge, all eight strings should touch the straightedge, with no high or low strings.

This is adjusted by filing the string slots to even out the strings. All set? Now for the action height. If you were wondering what the little wheels under your bridge top do, this is it. The top of your bridge sits on those wheels, which move up or down when you turn them, raising or lowering the action. I measure action, which is the height of the strings off of the frets, at the twelfth fret, with the string fretted at the first fret.

You can use a Stew-Mac string action gauge, feeler gauges or a little ruler to measure the string height. For most of my customers, I have found that fifty thousandths 0. This height will allow a clean tone with comfortable playability. If the action feels too stiff, lower the bridge.By Marguerite Pastella Fret wire comes in a variety of sizes. While it is essential to choose wire with the appropriate fret tang width for proper fret slot compression, players can choose from a variety of fret crown widths and heights.

Partial refret — When we replace only a few of the first position frets. Usually when more than 7 frets need replacement a total refret is in order.

Complete refret — Refretting the entire fingerboard is necessary when fret height is insufficient, wear is not confined to only a few frets, we wish to change the type of fret wire we use or radius of the board. Bound Fingerboard — Binding is a decorative strip of plastic or wood which caps the edge of the fingerboard.

Refretting a bound fingerboard is more time consuming as the frets tangs must be cut to fit precisely within the binding. Fret tangs are not visible on bound fingerboards. Unbound Fingerboard — A fingerboard without binding. When looking at the side of the instruments neck the frets tang is visible.

Fret Crown — The portion of the fret which comes in contact with the string when fretted. Fret wire is available with different fret crown widths and heights. Fret Tang — The barbed portion of a fret that is compressed into the fingerboard to hold the fret in place.

Installation of the fret wire is done by pressing the fret into the fingerboard. This is the way most factories do it. Epoxy and frets — For obvious reasons, installing frets by pressing them in is greatly preferred. However, on occasion I see fingerboards that have already had their frets glued in with epoxy. This method of refretting was once more widely used but later discarded by many repair shops as it alters the original fingerboard slots.

The fret slots were cut larger so that the fret tang could drop into the fingerboard slot without a great deal of effort and epoxy was used to hold the fret in place.

Unfortunately this method can leave the fret slot so large that fret wire with a large enough tang to compress that slot often does not exist.

In cases where the instrument has already been fretted by this method it may be necessary to refret it using the same method. Unfortunately, the damage has been done and your other alternatives are to replace the fingerboard. When tension is placed on the neck it is normal to see some amount of relief or bow.

When the relief becomes excessive we normally tighten the truss rod to counteract it, but alas, we are not as fortunate on instruments without adjustable truss rods.

When performing a refret on a neck such as this it is often helpful to use frets with large fret tangs to create a wedge effect when pressing them into the fret slots. If the fret tang being installed is larger than the fret slot in the fingerboard, the compression can help to stiffen and slightly straighten the neck. In cases where the bow is excessive, fingerboard planeing will most likely be necessary as well.

mandolin hard to fret

Adversely, if one were to perform a refret on a neck such as this and use a smaller fret tang, the resulting gaps between fingerboard and fret tang would further weaken the stiffness of the neck and could result in even more relief. Necks with excessive relief forward bow are often referred to as banana necks and increase the instruments overall action distance between the strings and frets making it more difficult to play. After reading the section above you can begin to understand the role which the frets tang can play on neck straightening.

While this is extremely useful on necks with too much relief, refretting a straight, non-adjustable or very stiff neck in this manner can render the neck backbowed.Action is a term frequently used to describe the height of the strings above the frets and an instruments playability.

Over time certain elements can affect the action of a mandolin, making it harder to play or degrading the quality of sound and clarity. Strings deepen the slots in the nut and bridge with time.

As these slots deepen, string height is effected. A nut who's slots have worn considerably may cause open unfretted string buzz. Different string gauges exert different amounts of tension on an instrument and can cause a change in the neck's relief and top deflection. String tension and changes in humidity levels can affect the neck relief bow causing a change in string height and intonation.

Loose seams and sagging tops may also change the action on a mandolin. Tension should be removed to avoid further damage and possible warping of the panel. A basic set up or action adjustment would entail adjusting the truss rod, cutting the nut slots properly, adjusting the height of the bridge and intonation. Many of my clients found they were playing with an action much higher than necessary for a clean tone, as a result notes are hard to fret and moving quickly up the fretboard is also a problem.

Because mandolins are under quite a bit of tension high action often presents itself with painful playing. Site Map Privacy. Adjusting Action on Mandolins Action is a term frequently used to describe the height of the strings above the frets and an instruments playability. Bridge Position The position of the bridge and it's height directly affect the action and intonation. String Gauge Different string gauges exert different amounts of tension on an instrument and can cause a change in the neck's relief and top deflection.

Fret Wear Modest wear of the fret crown can cause difficult fretting, buzzing or intonation problems. Neck Relief String tension and changes in humidity levels can affect the neck relief bow causing a change in string height and intonation. Structural Problems Loose seams and sagging tops may also change the action on a mandolin.

Benefits of Good Action A basic set up or action adjustment would entail adjusting the truss rod, cutting the nut slots properly, adjusting the height of the bridge and intonation.

$50 vs $350 vs $4500 Mandolin

Measuring Tools.