Poll: Fret wires VS Fret marks.
Poll Options
View poll results: Fret wires VS Fret marks.
Remove frets. Better to get rid of technicalities.
6 27%
Stick with the fret wires. The maintenance stuff is worth it.
16 73%
Voters: 22.
#1
Hey guys, it's me again.

Later on, probably months from now, when I get more money to get a luthier to set up a guitar for me, I'm planning to remove the frets on my guitar to get rid of the stress of having to redress/refret frets on my Fender Jaguar HH. Also, if possible, I am planning to have my guitar customized with custom inlays (please go to my profile for pictures.)
A few key notes:
I mostly play heavy metal with a little bit of blues rock and punk rock.
I do use lots of harmonics (pinch, natural, tapped, etc.)
When removing fret wires, I am thinking of putting fret marks as a replacement for the fret wires.
My guitar has the original vintage rosewood fretboard.

What do you guys think? Do you think that removing the fret wires is worth the risk?
If not, please explain why.
Thanks very much in advance!

Regards,
parhelia_0000
#3
Having the grooves in the fingerboard is going to be a problem. Usually, fretless guitars are made with a smooth neck, but just removing the frets you will create a rough surface.
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This is terrible advice. Even worse than the useless dry, sarcastic comment I made.

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I'm too old for the Jim Morrison look now. When I was gigging I had a fine arse.
#4
Quote by stonyman65
Having the grooves in the fingerboard is going to be a problem. Usually, fretless guitars are made with a smooth neck, but just removing the frets you will create a rough surface.

Is there a way to make it smoother? Probably the luthiers will know more about this, but would a satin finish on the guitar solve that problem?
#5
Quote by parhelia_0000
Is there a way to make it smoother? Probably the luthiers will know more about this, but would a satin finish on the guitar solve that problem?


You could coat the neck in wood filler and sand down untill the filled slots were flush with the neck, that would mean re-finishing the fretboard though.

You do realize that removing the frets from your guitar would make it extremely difficult to play in tune and you'd have to develop a whole new playing style to accommodate for the precision you require to play fretless?

Its not just like having a smooth neck and hitting the fret in the middle. Also your guitar would have to be perfectly intonated or it would sound out of tune what ever you do

Unless you've had experience with fretless and are willing to take time to learn to use it properly i would STRONGLY recommend against it.
#6
Though I think fretless is not a good thing, you can glue popsickle sticks into the grooves and then sand them down.
#7
Quote by mr7string
You could coat the neck in wood filler and sand down untill the filled slots were flush with the neck, that would mean re-finishing the fretboard though.

You do realize that removing the frets from your guitar would make it extremely difficult to play in tune and you'd have to develop a whole new playing style to accommodate for the precision you require to play fretless?

Its not just like having a smooth neck and hitting the fret in the middle. Also your guitar would have to be perfectly intonated or it would sound out of tune what ever you do

Unless you've had experience with fretless and are willing to take time to learn to use it properly i would STRONGLY recommend against it.

I've done intonation practices so that's not an issue.
If the neck has to be flush with the body, then fret marks are still possible to be made, right?
I can learn fretless guitars pretty fast, assuming that the technicalities don't give me too much setbacks.
Also, the reason that I'm doing this in a few months is because I don't want my guitar's frets to wear off and give me too much budget stress to re-fret the entire guitar.
#8
Quote by parhelia_0000
I've done intonation practices so that's not an issue.
If the neck has to be flush with the body, then fret marks are still possible to be made, right?
I can learn fretless guitars pretty fast, assuming that the technicalities don't give me too much setbacks.
Also, the reason that I'm doing this in a few months is because I don't want my guitar's frets to wear off and give me too much budget stress to re-fret the entire guitar.

Just ask yourself, "Who plays fretless, and who doesn't".
Who do you want to be like?
If it is driven buy budget, than go to justadollarguitarshop.com and see what feedback they give you.
#9
Quote by Rowdy Sluggins
Just ask yourself, "Who plays fretless, and who doesn't".
Who do you want to be like?
If it is driven buy budget, than go to justadollarguitarshop.com and see what feedback they give you.

Steve Vai, one of my favorite guitarists, play a 3-neck guitar that has a fretless fretboard on one of the necks.
Also, your link isn't working. Please give me a more accurate link please? Thank you very much!
#10
You know what is way more expensive and invasive than a refret every five years? Replaning and resurfacing the entire fretboard because the strings chew up the wood. You could buy another guitar for the amount it would cost to properly epoxy the board.
On top of that, fretless guitars play very differently and are not suited well for tapping or pinch harmonics. They also sound completely different and make things like barre chords extremely difficult if not completely impossible. They are cool, and a rewarding challenge to play, but in your case it sounds like a very bad idea.
#11
If they remove the frets they can fill the slots with epoxy and you'll be alright. Plus the epoxy will look a little different than the fretboard and you'll be able to see the "fret lines", but from a distance it'll look invisible.

Fretless guitars sound different than regular ones, the notes don't ring the same and they sound quite a bit warmer. Also, playing chords is practically impossible on a fretless. If your finger isn't DEAD ON where the fret would be it's going to be outta tune. Think of a trombone player and his slide, he literally has a tuner in his hands. A slight movement one way or the other and he's outta tune. On a fretless guitar, you're literally playing up to 6 trombones at once if you play a chord.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#12
Quote by Roc8995
You know what is way more expensive and invasive than a refret every five years? Replaning and resurfacing the entire fretboard because the strings chew up the wood. You could buy another guitar for the amount it would cost to properly epoxy the board.
On top of that, fretless guitars play very differently and are not suited well for tapping or pinch harmonics. They also sound completely different and make things like barre chords extremely difficult. They are cool, and a rewarding challenge to play, but in your case it sounds like a very bad idea.

How long would a guitar fret wire last at maximum without re-dressing? Because if that is the case, I might have second thoughts on fretless guitars, then.
#13
Quote by Flux'D
If they remove the frets they can fill the slots with epoxy and you'll be alright. Plus the epoxy will look a little different than the fretboard and you'll be able to see the "fret lines", but from a distance it'll look invisible.

Fretless guitars sound different than regular ones, the notes don't ring the same and they sound quite a bit warmer. Also, playing chords is practically impossible on a fretless. If your finger isn't DEAD ON where the fret would be it's going to be outta tune. Think of a trombone player and his slide, he literally has a tuner in his hands. A slight movement one way or the other and he's outta tune. On a fretless guitar, you're literally playing up to 6 trombones at once if you play a chord.

6 Trombones? That really made me laugh. Although it's funny, it's a great advice to get from a professional. Thanks very much! I'm currently trying to get more answers, then I'll make my final decision.
#14
There's a reason you see 10 fretless basses for every 1 fretless guitar , in a world where fretless instruments are very scarce.

Fretwire can last a long long time, don't worry about it. That's like saying you don't want hardwood floors in your house because you'll have to refinish them at some point. I've never had to refret or dress any of my guitars, including a 1984 ML and an archtop acoustic from pre1900. I rarely play the archtop (its a Rex Rivoli, if you can magically find info on it) but still, the frets don't require any attention. That's an extreme case, but you get the idea.

If you play it 10 hours a day for the next 5 years you might wanna get a recrown/dressing on the lower frets. it's a silly thing to worry about.
Endorsed by Dean Guitars 07-10
2003 Gibson Flying V w/ Moon Inlay
2006 Fender All-American Partscaster
SVK ELP-C500 Custom

1964 Fender Vibro Champ
1989 Peavey VTM60

[thread="1166208"]Gibsons Historic Designs[/thread]
#15
Quote by Flux'D
There's a reason you see 10 fretless basses for every 1 fretless guitar , in a world where fretless instruments are very scarce.

Fretwire can last a long long time, don't worry about it. That's like saying you don't want hardwood floors in your house because you'll have to refinish them at some point. I've never had to refret or dress any of my guitars, including a 1984 ML and an archtop acoustic from pre1900. I rarely play the archtop (its a Rex Rivoli, if you can magically find info on it) but still, the frets don't require any attention. That's an extreme case, but you get the idea.

If you play it 10 hours a day for the next 5 years you might wanna get a recrown/dressing on the lower frets. it's a silly thing to worry about.

I play my Jaguar at least an avg. 1 hour per day, excluding guitar setup/maintenance sessions and live performances.
Can a guitar fret buzz when they have gone through extremities that require re-fretting? That's probably the last info I'll need to get.
Thanks very much in advance!
#16
Quote by parhelia_0000
I play my Jaguar at least an avg. 1 hour per day, excluding guitar setup/maintenance sessions and live performances.
Can a guitar fret buzz when they have gone through extremities that require re-fretting? That's probably the last info I'll need to get.
Thanks very much in advance!

In fact, probably I can research the info for that myself. Thanks very much, guys! I'll probably stick to the usual frets, then. Feels like playing a fretless guitar is much worse than playing a fully scalloped fretboard, then.
Special thanks to Flux'D and Roc8995 for their detailed contributions to the forum post!
#17
Quote by parhelia_0000
Steve Vai, one of my favorite guitarists, play a 3-neck guitar that has a fretless fretboard on one of the necks.
Also, your link isn't working. Please give me a more accurate link please? Thank you very much!

Nothing wrong with that! He's one of my favs too. Maybe you need a 3 (or at least a two) neck guitar. BTW, my link was a sorry attempt at a joke. I'm sorry.
#18
Playing only 1 hour a day isnt going to do major damage to your frets. Unless you're absolutely STRANGLING the neck as hard as you can, you're not going to have an issue. Kinda like what someone else said, its like buying a pair of shoes, but not wanting to wear them and mess them up.

Plus, as already said, you'll have to completely change your playing technique. Say goodbye to playing chords
NOPE
#19
No thank you. It takes a little while to learn how to properly use/play the fretless guitar. Ask Adrian Belew.
#20
Quote by parhelia_0000
Hey guys, it's me again.

Later on, probably months from now, when I get more money to get a luthier to set up a guitar for me, I'm planning to remove the frets on my guitar to get rid of the stress of having to redress/refret frets on my Fender Jaguar HH. Also, if possible, I am planning to have my guitar customized with custom inlays (please go to my profile for pictures.)
A few key notes:
I mostly play heavy metal with a little bit of blues rock and punk rock.
I do use lots of harmonics (pinch, natural, tapped, etc.)
When removing fret wires, I am thinking of putting fret marks as a replacement for the fret wires.
My guitar has the original vintage rosewood fretboard.

What do you guys think? Do you think that removing the fret wires is worth the risk?
If not, please explain why.
Thanks very much in advance!

Regards,
parhelia_0000


How long/how old is your guitar?
I have a 77 les paul that has seen years of recording, touring, shows, and the like, and it just needed a good fret cleaning/minor dress when I got it...refretting isn't a 1st step proceedure. I would keep the frets tho8ugh, and spend 600-800 bucks ona decent fretless if you want one...
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Quote by jrcsgtpeppers
But theres no reason why i cant be free like a raspberry stuck to the back of a horny elephants ass.

This is maybe the worst comparison in the history of comparisons.
#21
Quote by Controlpanel
How long/how old is your guitar?
I have a 77 les paul that has seen years of recording, touring, shows, and the like, and it just needed a good fret cleaning/minor dress when I got it...refretting isn't a 1st step proceedure. I would keep the frets tho8ugh, and spend 600-800 bucks ona decent fretless if you want one...

My guitar's about 6-7 months old, but the quality makes it look like it's been around for several years. It's because my guitar neck is made of vintage material.
#22
Quote by stonyman65
Having the grooves in the fingerboard is going to be a problem. Usually, fretless guitars are made with a smooth neck, but just removing the frets you will create a rough surface.

a) grab some rock maple
b) cut it to shape
c) glue it in
d) sand it down
e) have the contrasting colors from rw and maple show up where the frets WOULD be,
f) profit....