dog_style
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#1
seems like 2 extra short (shorter than the rest) frets wouldn't be a problem on some basses. especially when there's extra fretboard for it.
Tostitos
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#2
Because that's just the way they're made. Some basses have 22 frets. Some have 19, or 20, or 21, or 24, or 26, or 36. Just depends on the bass and what players want/need.
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#3
what he said^

I've owned a 20 fret Fender and currently own a 24 fret Warwick.

I like having the two full octaves accessible per string, but that's jus me.
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#4
I own a 22 fret Sterling!
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Zaqq
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#5
I own a 24 fret Yamaha, because all Yamaha basses seem to have 24 frets. The same with Warwicks (if I'm not mistaken), because they both have pretty modern designs. Fender basses are more conservative and usually have 20 frets. But I don't see a reason for basses to have less than 24 frets. Yeah, you're really play past 20th fret, but 24 fret necks usually are more comfortable to play at frets 15-20.
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#6
Quote by Zaqq
I own a 24 fret Yamaha, because all Yamaha basses seem to have 24 frets. The same with Warwicks (if I'm not mistaken), because they both have pretty modern designs. Fender basses are more conservative and usually have 20 frets. But I don't see a reason for basses to have less than 24 frets. Yeah, you're really play past 20th fret, but 24 fret necks usually are more comfortable to play at frets 15-20.

bolt-on design stability
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#8
Quote by dog_style
seems like 2 extra short (shorter than the rest) frets wouldn't be a problem on some basses. especially when there's extra fretboard for it.


A lot of it has to do with the fact that Leo Fender nailed the electric bass design on his first try. The Fender Precision bass, and its sibling the Jazz bass, remain the industry standards for electric bass design. The Precision had 20 frets, and most bassists seem to think that 20 is plenty on an electric bass. As a result, the many companies that produce mainly knock-offs and "modern" versions of Fender's designs do not stray far from the original specifications. Fender basses - and their imitators - account for the lion's share of the electric basses ever produced. Making a neck with additional frets means lengthening the neck pocket (or neck area within the body of the bass), whether bolt-on, set-neck or neck-through. Otherwise, the longer neck means a longer scale length, and Fender set the standard at 34" with the Precision and the Jazz basses. Fender threw an extra fret or two on the modern versions of the old classics only because they knew that a lot of guitarists were used to having at least 21 frets (Fender) or 22 frets (Gibson). It had some appeal to guitarists who switched to bass.

Other companies who sought to do something entirely different - Alembic was the first - took an entirely new look at the electric bass. They made basses with more frets because they were not constrained by having to remain true to the Fender design specifications. Some of them threw extra frets onto their basses simply because Fender did not offer them. When you are designing a bass from scratch, you don't have to adhere to established specifications. The result is that a lot of "non-Fender looking" basses have 22, 24 or even 26 frets (i.e., the Warwick Vampyre NT).

Most people don't clamor for more frets on a bass because the overwhelming majority of bass playing does not reach into that range on the neck. Once you pass the 12th fret, you're in the guitar's territory. Virtuoso soloists make great use of those higher frets, but that's about it.

Leo Fender got it right the first time. Why don't more basses have 24 frets? Because if it ain't broke; don't fix it!

That's essentially why.
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MaggaraMarine
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#10
I don't think so many bassists need 24 frets. My Thunderbird has 20 frets and it's enough for me. And when you play on the higher frets, it doesn't really sound like bass any more. There's pretty much no use for them if you are not soloing.

But really why not 30 frets? Or 40 frets?

Also my guitar has 22 frets and I don't need 24 frets on my guitar either. I have found out that I can't play guitars that have 24 frets. I get lost on the fretboard, there are too many frets. Yeah, I'm just used to having 22 frets and I don't need any higher frets.
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#11
Quote by MaggaraMarine
But really why not 30 frets? Or 40 frets?


Try the Zon Hyperbass. Three-octave length neck; completely fretless! Bring on the microtonal madness!
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dog_style
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#12
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I don't think so many bassists need 24 frets. My Thunderbird has 20 frets and it's enough for me. And when you play on the higher frets, it doesn't really sound like bass any more. There's pretty much no use for them if you are not soloing.

But really why not 30 frets? Or 40 frets?

Also my guitar has 22 frets and I don't need 24 frets on my guitar either. I have found out that I can't play guitars that have 24 frets. I get lost on the fretboard, there are too many frets. Yeah, I'm just used to having 22 frets and I don't need any higher frets.

i say 24 to complete two full octaves on one string since it's so close anyway.

i made not need them 2 extra frets, but i would play them because so many other people don't or won't.
dog_style
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#13
there could be just 12 frets, or maybe even 6.

but who would be into such a change? especially with 6 frets.
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#14
Quote by dog_style
there could be just 12 frets, or maybe even 6.

but who would be into such a change? especially with 6 frets.


not really, unless you intend on a) having a lot of dead space on the fretboard or b) having multiple tones between each fretspace so it's a fretted/fretless hybrid

string tension is everything with bass.
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dog_style
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#15
Quote by Hail
not really, unless you intend on a) having a lot of dead space on the fretboard or b) having multiple tones between each fretspace so it's a fretted/fretless hybrid

string tension is everything with bass.


6 frets would be a much shorter neck.

interesting observation you made though.
thanks.
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#16
Quote by dog_style
6 frets would be a much shorter neck.

interesting observation you made though.
thanks.


would it just be the 18th-24th fret? think really hard about this now
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#17
Quote by FatalGear41
Making a neck with additional frets means lengthening the neck pocket (or neck area within the body of the bass), whether bolt-on, set-neck or neck-through.

Fingerboard extensions allow for necks with more frets without a larger neck pocket.
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#18
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Fingerboard extensions allow for necks with more frets without a larger neck pocket.


Those things are dodgy enough on a guitar, so I imagine they would be even more fragile and prone to cracking on a bass (bigger strings, greater neck tension, stronger vibrations, larger frets, etc.). They also negate the possibility of a "slab-style" fretboard. I would not trust one on a bass. I've seen too many of them break on "Strat-style" replacement necks.
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#19
Quote by Hail
would it just be the 18th-24th fret? think really hard about this now

Not necessarily if you had some extra thick strings.
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#20
Quote by FatalGear41
Those things are dodgy enough on a guitar, so I imagine they would be even more fragile and prone to cracking on a bass (bigger strings, greater neck tension, stronger vibrations, larger frets, etc.). They also negate the possibility of a "slab-style" fretboard. I would not trust one on a bass. I've seen too many of them break on "Strat-style" replacement necks.

I don't see why. The fingerboard extension is not under load past the point of the neck block as the neck block is where the load is taken.
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dog_style
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#21
Quote by Hail
would it just be the 18th-24th fret? think really hard about this now

i think enough as it is, but i assume a 6 fret would be all that anyone really needs, but who want's to be seen with a neck that short?
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#22
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I don't see why. The fingerboard extension is not under load past the point of the neck block as the neck block is where the load is taken.


True, but the fretboard is glued to the neck, so whatever happens to the neck happens to the fretboard. For instance, if the neck twists, the fretboard twists with it. The entire neck is under tension from the truss rod and the strings. Then there's the fact that when you fret a note on an "extension," you are pressing down on a thin, completely unsupported piece of wood that has already been stressed by having fret slots cut into it and frets pounded into it. Fretting a single note might not be a big deal - though a lot of guitarists tend to press down harder the farther up the neck they get - but when it comes time to use three or four fingers to execute a huge bend, that's usually when those things give way. And a bass has much heavier strings and much bigger frets, and it takes more pressure to fret a bass string than it does to fret a guitar string.

Fretboard extensions are a gimmick designed to allow someone with a Telecaster or a Stratocatser to install a replacement neck with 24 frets onto a guitar without any major remodeling of the guitar itself. The longer they are, the weaker they are. You might get away with a one fret extension, but turning a 20-fret instrument into a 24-fret instrument requires you to have a lot of faith in an unsupported plank of wood that is about 3mm thick at best; particularly when you consider that fretboard woods are chosen specifically because they are hard woods (and thus prone to cracking).
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Last edited by FatalGear41 at May 13, 2013,
MaggaraMarine
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#23
Quote by dog_style
i think enough as it is, but i assume a 6 fret would be all that anyone really needs, but who want's to be seen with a neck that short?

Not really. I think most of the time I play on frets 5-10. It's more comfortable to play there and also sometimes you need the high notes. Sometimes I even use my 19th fret but that's for some more solo-ish stuff. But playing on frets 12-15 is pretty usual too. But I think it becomes pretty unpractical if you spend a lot of time higher than your 15th fret. Still, more frets don't hurt. But I don't need any more frets than 20. It's enough for me.
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dog_style
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#24
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Not really. I think most of the time I play on frets 5-10. It's more comfortable to play there and also sometimes you need the high notes. Sometimes I even use my 19th fret but that's for some more solo-ish stuff. But playing on frets 12-15 is pretty usual too. But I think it becomes pretty unpractical if you spend a lot of time higher than your 15th fret. Still, more frets don't hurt. But I don't need any more frets than 20. It's enough for me.

but you could still be happy with 6 frets if you had to, right?
MaggaraMarine
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#25
Quote by dog_style
but you could still be happy with 6 frets if you had to, right?

Maybe. If that was the only option, I could cope with it. But why limit yourself to just 6 frets? I see no point. I still use higher frets a lot.
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Hail
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#26
Quote by dog_style
but you could still be happy with 6 frets if you had to, right?


those 6 frets won't be frets 1-6, so on the low E, you would be playing A#/Bb through E rather than low E to Bb. do you not physics?

and for the record, i use all 24 frets on all 4 strings to great length.
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slap-a-bass
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#27
the more frets there are the more likely the intonation will screw with you, trick is to not pay attention to it, and also to not change anything that doesnt need to be changed. Want a 24 fret bass? buy one thats suitable for such things
dog_style
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#28
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Maybe. If that was the only option, I could cope with it. But why limit yourself to just 6 frets? I see no point. I still use higher frets a lot.


sounds good to me. i just wanted 2 extra frets so i don't lose my balance and fall off stage is all.

what would be cool is 48 frets on a 24 string bass. of course it would be more like a table then.
dog_style
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#29
Quote by slap-a-bass
the more frets there are the more likely the intonation will screw with you, trick is to not pay attention to it, and also to not change anything that doesnt need to be changed. Want a 24 fret bass? buy one thats suitable for such things

my next one will be 24 if it also feels right with the neck and body and looks cool.

i didn't think about the fret numbers when i got this one.

sometimes del tacos soft tacos taste and smell like dog food with the beef in them. but anyway...