#1
Hi everyone,

First of all, I have to say that I'm not a beginner player, and I haven't this problem with other guitars. I have a cheap stratocaster copy and I know is not the smoothest guitar, but when I slide my fingers (specially in the highest strings) I feel the frets blocking my fingers one after another like there are walls and I have to put a lot of effort to do a slide, in particullar sliding bar chords like going from Dm X57765 to Em X79987, making slides in one string is not that bad (but I still feel that wall blocking sensation in my fingers).

I have to say I changed only the high E string and the others are a little rusted, but I have the sensation that is a fretting defect more than a strings problem.

I want the slides to be smooth but I don't know what to do to my guitar for fix that, I feel the frets like walls to my fingers, I can make the slides, but are very uncomfortable.

I don't know If I explained it understandable or make sense to you, but I don't know how to explain it exactly.

Does anyone knows what's going on with my guitar?
Last edited by JackLovesFire at Jun 17, 2015,
#2
You need to raise the action.
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#3
Quote by dannyalcatraz
You need to raise the action.


I'll do that and see what happens, thank you Danny. Actually, the action is quite low, but I didn't think about it because it was nice to play (except the sliding) and there aren't buzzing frets.
#4
Quote by dannyalcatraz
You need to raise the action.


Why would that help?
I think he's talking about sliding up the neck, not playing with a slide.

I think a couple of other things would help, though...

One, play with a lighter touch. All you have to do is fret the string -- you don't pull it down to touch the wood on the fret. Get a bit of practice sliding up and down the neck with a very light touch, and you'll find it's a lot easier.

Two, make sure you have nicely crowned frets. Frets with a flat top and a sharp edge at the top of the fret aren't going to be fun to play with, but if they're nicely rounded, you still have a positive (and in-tune) fretting location, and the frets aren't snagging your fingers as you slide up the fretboard.
#5
Quote by dspellman
Two, make sure you have nicely crowned frets. Frets with a flat top and a sharp edge at the top of the fret aren't going to be fun to play with, but if they're nicely rounded, you still have a positive (and in-tune) fretting location, and the frets aren't snagging your fingers as you slide up the fretboard.


i think this is likely the problem. i have an old guitar that i never really maintained properly, and i didn't notice that the frets were all flat and difficult to play with until i got a new guitar.
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#6
Quote by dspellman
Why would that help?
I think he's talking about sliding up the neck, not playing with a slide.


Ah- yeah, that could be true. If so, my suggestion will not help.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Quote by dspellman
play with a lighter touch.


As said, you should be using just enough pressure to let the string sound. If the frets 'feel like walls' you are definitely pressing too hard.
#8
yes too much pressure it will really inhibit your speed and accuracy just enough pressure to just not make a harmonic unless that is what you want to do most guitar makers dont clean the frets at the ends the can be dressed with a fine diamond file just watch the fret board wood if you try it yourself it really wont take much the smooth them but just beginning your technique wont be to perfect and your index finger will get slashed for sure, The repair shops call this a beginners fret dress usually about 20 bucks if you take it to a shop
#9
This is a common problem with guitars when the neck is stickier than you're used to and especially when the frets themselves are gunky and gross, which cheap strats are unbelievably prone to.

If you have the ability to work on your own guitar, it's probably time to clean the frets. Put painters tape on the wood in between the frets so that there's no wood visible, only the frets, and cover the pickups with tape as well (the magnets will attract metal filings and you do NOT want that). Then get the finest steel wool you can, 0000 gauge if possible, and very lightly file the crap off the frets one by one until they are fresh and shiny again, and then wipe them off with a dry cloth. While you have the strings off, you may as well rub the fretboard with some lemon oil if you have any handy and get the junk off the wood too. Regardless of whether or not the gunky frets are the actual problem, cleaning the frets WILL make it feel much, much smoother and easier to slide up and down on.
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Last edited by Acϵ♠ at Jun 17, 2015,
#10
Thank you guys for your answers.

I think I'm playing fine with the right pressure, I've played other guitars and no problem, it's only on my "lovely" cheap old stratocaster...

I've never cleaned the fretboard of that guitar, and the guitar strings are rusted in general. I'll clean well the freatboard and change the strings and if it doesn't work I'll do the frets cleaning as you said Acϵ♠.
#11
Use lemon oil only if you a have a rosewood fingerboard. If your strat has a maple fingerboard, I think that lemon oil isn't good for it.
#12
Quote by DanyFS
Use lemon oil only if you a have a rosewood fingerboard. If your strat has a maple fingerboard, I think that lemon oil isn't good for it.


Won't hurt, won't help.

FWIW, rosewood fingerboards, unless they've been stripped with harsh cleaners, generally don't need lemon (or any other) oil either. I'd like to find the joker that started this particular practice and kick him in the groin repeatedly...
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#13
Quote by DanyFS
Use lemon oil only if you a have a rosewood fingerboard. If your strat has a maple fingerboard, I think that lemon oil isn't good for it.


You're going to use "Lemon Oil Cleaner" or just plain old mineral oil (Lemon Oil cleaner is about 95% mineral oil). NOT real Lemon Oil, which is used for cooking, aromatherapy, etc.

This is useful only with rosewood and ebony fretboards (among the commonly used fretboard woods). Maple fretboards are normally lacquered, and while the mineral oil won't do anything positive for them, it won't harm them, either.

To apply this sutff, wipe on a very small amount with a clean t-shirt or rag, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe it off. Do NOT "let it soak in". Do NOT apply a whole bunch in the mistaken belief that you're replacing important oils or "hydrating" the fretboard. You're doing neither.
#14
Quote by JackLovesFire
Thank you guys for your answers.

I think I'm playing fine with the right pressure, I've played other guitars and no problem, it's only on my "lovely" cheap old stratocaster...

I've never cleaned the fretboard of that guitar, and the guitar strings are rusted in general. I'll clean well the freatboard and change the strings and if it doesn't work I'll do the frets cleaning as you said Acϵ♠.


You'll want to keep fresh strings on all of your guitars; rusty strings tend to act like hacksaw blades on your fingers and they're like sandpaper to your frets. Not good.

If your frets are a bit corroded (they'll be a bit greenish and dull-looking) you might want to consider polishing them up (don't take abrasives to your fretboard, though -- there are actually fretboard protectors that expose ONLY the fret and keep the rest of the fretboard covered. Buy one. There are several options for polishing the frets, but be careful if 0000 (that's FOUR 0's) steel wool is used. The tiny shards of that stuff are attracted to the magnets in your pickups and just a few of those shards can completely ruin a pickup over time.
#15
Quote by dspellman
You're going to use "Lemon Oil Cleaner" or just plain old mineral oil (Lemon Oil cleaner is about 95% mineral oil). NOT real Lemon Oil, which is used for cooking, aromatherapy, etc.

This is useful only with rosewood and ebony fretboards (among the commonly used fretboard woods). Maple fretboards are normally lacquered, and while the mineral oil won't do anything positive for them, it won't harm them, either.

To apply this sutff, wipe on a very small amount with a clean t-shirt or rag, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe it off. Do NOT "let it soak in". Do NOT apply a whole bunch in the mistaken belief that you're replacing important oils or "hydrating" the fretboard. You're doing neither.


Quote by Arby911
Won't hurt, won't help.

FWIW, rosewood fingerboards, unless they've been stripped with harsh cleaners, generally don't need lemon (or any other) oil either. I'd like to find the joker that started this particular practice and kick him in the groin repeatedly...


Oh, I see guys, thanks for the insight!
#17
Quote by JackLovesFire
Is this the aproppiate product for the rosewood fingerboard?

http://www.thomann.de/intl/dunlop_formula65_fingerboardkit.htm

I've never bought this kind of things, if you want to recommend me some stuff would be cool.

Thanks guys for your help, finally I will save my strat from going to the junk room!


The link you posted there goes to thomman homepage. Judging by what is written on the link, I suppose it's this: http://www.thomann.de/gb/dunlop_lemon_oil.htm

If it is, then that is what is used for rosewood fingerboards.
#18
Yeah, Dunlop Lemon Oil is like the gold standard in the guitar industry for porous wood fretboards.
Quote by yellowfrizbee
What does a girl have to do to get it in the butt thats all I ever wanted from you. Why, Ace? Why? I clean my asshole every night hoping and wishing and it never happens.
Bitches be Crazy.

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#19
Quote by JackLovesFire
Is this the aproppiate product for the rosewood fingerboard?

http://www.thomann.de/intl/dunlop_formula65_fingerboardkit.htm

I've never bought this kind of things, if you want to recommend me some stuff would be cool.

Thanks guys for your help, finally I will save my strat from going to the junk room!



Link works fine and yes, that will work fine.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin