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31 Fanned Fret For My First Project


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How Difficult and mistake free would it be for a beginner to build such a guitar. If i practice routing on scrap etc. and do all practice on scrap and then approach this and also if i make a six stringer out of plywood with the cheapest parts i can find and obv it will have a fanned board and 31 frets etc. then would it be stupidand impossible?

Also it's not illegal to build a fanned board for myself is it considering i'm not gonna sell the guitar or anything? Also I'm thinking i'll build a seven with 31 frets without a fanned board altogether it seems kinda weird. Maybe later i Might build one but what's your take on it? I want the guitar to have a Humbucking Pickup and one volume knob. ALso i was planning on borrowing the idea of having thinner fretwire on the higher frets and also a custom body shape which lets you access all the upper frets.

What scale lenght would a 31 fret guitar fit?

Please help me out. My guitar making books arriving in a few days and I'll start as soon as i've read it a few times and done asking my questions.

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Hey, if that's the guitar you want, then that's the guitar you HAVE to build, you won't be happy with anything else.

Though I'd ditch the plywood idea --with all the work that goes into building these things (well, for me anyway) using anything less than your actual wood choice is wasting your time.

You can do ANYTHING with practice --I'm a perfect example of this, I'd never even looked at woodworking before this year.

Here's Stewmac's Fret Calculator --that should help.

Also check out the Danelectro Guitarlin --33 frets! (Apparently those upper frets are unplayable though)

You could build yourself your own McDonalds, if you wanted to. As long as you're not using it for commercial/public use or claiming it as your own, no one will bother you.

As for the mistake-free part...well, that's probably unlikely. It's part of the learning game (it's an essential part of the learning process, your brain actually NEEDS mistakes in order to learn properly). You're right to practice on scrap --you'll make most of your mistakes there. And just take it slowly but surely otherwise...most of the mistakes I make come only when I'm trying to rush something.

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I agree with idch on pretty much everything.. There are a lot of people who will say they don't like or like your design, plan, etc. But what it all boils down to is what you want.

As far as mistakes, even the professionals make mistakes. They will happen no matter how much you practice on scrap, etc. It's all about learning from them to avoid repeating them.

I definitely agree on the wood part. You will spend ALOT of time to build this.. Especially with the fanned fretboard. A basic body blank is not real expensive. Nothing says your first build has to be from the most exotic wood available. I'm in the progress of my first build and using an alder body blank from stewmac.

But in the end, if all you have & can afford is plywood... Then by all means, go ahead and do it. You may not be happy with the sound, but you will learn alot from the building process.

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Fanned frets give you more tension on the bass strings, which should benefit instruments like 5 string basses, or guitars with more than 6 strings more than anything else. Or, like, baritones.

I'd say go ahead and try it out. Read the MIMF for some info on fanned frets, I'm fairly sure there's a link on the 13th fret to an article describing how some luthier does a fanned fret board (might be direct from the Novax website, actually, but I'm not sure, and I'm too lazy to go look). Short version, as I recall: taper the board first, mark out scale lenght on bass side, scale length on treble side, connect the dots, saw.

Not sure about the 31 frets, but you may want to try that thing Perry (and a few others) do on shredder instruments, ie mandolin frets in the upper registers.

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31 frets seems silly to me, but fanned frets sounds awesome. I say go for it, however, with a disclaimer:

I had figured out everything from my "first guitar" down to the smallest detail. It's still not done. I should have gone for something more basic like a telecaster, and saved my energy and newly-acquired knowledge for LATER and do my fully custom-designed one with a bit more experience under my belt.

Mileage may vary, but I say: either make the neck or the body, but buy the other pre-made. Then you'll have the satisfaction of doing at least one of the significant build parts (neck or body) and also the electronics. But you'll also be able to finish an instrument that's of reasonable quality, and in a reasonable amount of time.

Greg

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I've been doing some thinking and i have some questions.

I can't understand how tension reduces and increases with changing scale legnths(shoot me!), I Just can't word it out all perfect and stuff.

Also i'm thinking a fanned fret will just make me stretch more on the bass side. Though as i ascend it'll prob have nice feel to it, i guess?

I'm pretty sure i'll be able to tune pretty low and the fanned frets will help with dropped/alternate tunings.

But does a fanned fret help the tone? I read at novak/novax? guitars that it helps in tone and clarity of the note and why it does. But does it really?(I've read and understood but that's all on paper!)

And if it does help with the bass so much, then if i drop a fanned instrument down 2-3 steps the higher strings are gonna drop too so then i guess it really won't help. Won't a baritone tar be better?

Greg, 31 frets for doing odd note groupings on high frets using alternate picking. Really sounds good. I haven't heard any Arps and stuff yet. Also it'll help me do this dimini shred thing-31-27-24-21(Applications-string skip, alternate pick, double string technique etc). It'll good fun to do that and jam to Beneath The Massacre?No? It's def not for bluesy type pentatonics! LOL!

EDIT: I might build one outta plywood and all kinda crap just to see what fanned frets are all about and to compare it with straight frets.

Anyone has a fanned fretter or played on one ever/?

EDIT2: Also i'm pretty amateur at playing and well i don't know anything about building and i don't believe in - "oh well, i'll build a telecaster and then i'll build 5-10 more guitars and then build the guitars i actually like."

Please excuse my amateur questions and my noobness about guitars in general, i am here to learn and i hope you guys can help me.

Edited by bombershredder
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I can't understand how tension reduces and increases with changing scale legnths(shoot me!), I Just can't word it out all perfect and stuff.

Also i'm thinking a fanned fret will just make me stretch more on the bass side. Though as i ascend it'll prob have nice feel to it, i guess?

I'm pretty sure i'll be able to tune pretty low and the fanned frets will  help with dropped/alternate tunings.

At a scale length, for any given string guage and any given not its tuned to, you've got a fixed tension. The longer the string (longer scale length), the more tension that same string will have to be under to achieve the same pitch. Simple. Increasing the string guage also increases tension, as does raising the pitch. Decreasing string guage or pitch (dropped tunings) lowers the tension. This makes the strings a bit 'flabbier', and they sound a bit 'looser' (vibrate differently).

But does a fanned fret help the tone? I read at novak/novax? guitars that it helps in tone and clarity of the note and why it does. But does it really?(I've read and understood but that's all on paper!)

And if it does help with the bass so much, then if i drop a fanned instrument down 2-3 steps the higher strings are gonna drop too so then i guess it really won't help. Won't a baritone tar be better?

Does it help tone....build one and find out. I'm a touch sceptical, although I can see how a fanned fret might help 'even out' the feel and note separation, particularly if you use dropped tunings or extra strings. A 7 string at standard scale is far from ideal.

A Baritone is a very different isntrument, but yes, fanned frets might help there. I'm planning on building an acoustic fanned fret baritone guitar in the nearish future. Adjusting to the longer scale length takes some getting used to.

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Hey mattia, Questions-

1. I can understand the relationship between pitch/tuning and tension. Drop tunings rsult in lower tension. But i can't get how a thicker gauge is gonna increase tension. Heck man Zakk Wylde tunes his guitar to E and uses .10's and man does he bend those strings. He's a madman! Is it because theres more string to tense up or tune thus resulting in tighter feel/tension on the thick string.

2. Lets look at it like this. My low E's tuned standard. Its a 25.5" scale lenght, Now i go baritone and i pull the bridge back or i just pick it up with my hands and place it further back.(just imagine it diagramatically, a thin line for the string a rectangle for the bridge and let tension be X..LOL! SO when i pull the bridge back in the diagram im guessing because the lenght is increasing and theres more area/lenght to tune or because as i pull the bridge back i also pull the string back resulting in more pull on that tuning or more tension? Like, a standard tuning on a rg1077xl will be tight, but when tuned to A it would be normalish for that guitar? Atleast what i heard from my buddy who has that tar said that its not meant for standard tuning, no that's not what he said he said that it's better in dropped tunings/lowtunings and that standard tuning causes increased tension becaused of the increased scale lenght. That's what got me wondering a while backabout this, and i was like, i understodd what i could by myself and applying logic, which im not sure i am applying,LOL, but i though it won't really matter, what matters is how i play and i also thought knowing about tonewoods properties and stuff like this can help me become a better player and i was like considering how much i know how to play i'm far from worrying about knowing this stuff. When i'm more professional or bette or advanced i guess more technical details come into playing till then it's just wheeee!

LOL!

But now i'm building or approaching building this is very important, also earlier i didn't know this site existed!

Could you give me a more technical detailed explanation. I Understood what you said about tension and tuning and stuff, that's very basic. Low tunings are flabbier, i know that. But i just can't put it in exact words and understand the theory behind such a concept like increased scale lenght and it's relation with tuning and increased scale lenghts. If i can understand why(because theres more lenght to tune so to get to E in 27" scale lenght requires more string winding because of the more legnth?) prolly i can actualy undestand the fanned board better. Though when i did read about why a fanned fret on novax guitars it did make sense but i still couldn't actually toally grasp the idea after analysing what was written.

Edit: I forgot to say thanks, and i also appreciate help and i'll return the favor though i can;t think of anything i might have to say which you don't already know. Also thanks to Mickguard and Greg.

Edited by bombershredder
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Hey mattia, Questions-

1. I can understand the relationship between pitch/tuning and tension. Drop tunings rsult in lower tension. But i can't get how a thicker gauge is gonna increase tension. Heck man Zakk Wylde tunes his guitar to E and uses .10's and man does he bend those strings. He's a madman! Is it because theres more string to tense up or tune thus resulting in tighter feel/tension on the thick string.

It's basic string physics, and I'm too lazy to look up the exact equations, but simply look at a 6 string set. Try tuning a high E string to Low E. Not gonna work, right? Or try tuning a low E string to High E. Also not gonna work, and it'll snap way, way before you even get close.

There's a fixed relationship between mass (string diameter), frequency of vibration (note you tune to) and the length of the vibrating string (scale length). You could, in theory, tune a set of guitar strings down to bass territory, I suppose, but you'd need a very long scale length, too long to play comfortably, if you got the tension right. And it might sound odd. So you put on heavier strings to compensate.

Also, 10s aren't 'heavy' strings. They're extra lights in the acoustic world.

2. Lets look at it like this. My low E's tuned standard. Its a 25.5" scale lenght, Now i go baritone and i pull the bridge back or i just pick it up with my hands and place it further back.(just imagine it diagramatically, a thin line for the string a rectangle for the bridge and let tension be X..LOL! SO when i pull the bridge back in the diagram im guessing because the lenght is increasing and theres more area/lenght to tune or because as i pull the bridge back i also pull the string back resulting in more pull on that tuning or more tension? Like, a standard tuning on a rg1077xl will be tight, but when tuned to A it would be normalish for that guitar? Atleast what i heard from my buddy who has that tar said that its not meant for standard tuning, no that's not what he said he said that it's better in dropped tunings/lowtunings and that standard tuning causes increased tension becaused of the increased scale lenght. That's what got me wondering a while backabout this, and i was like, i understodd what i could by myself and applying logic, which im not sure i am applying,LOL, but i though it won't really matter, what matters is how i play and i also thought knowing about tonewoods properties and stuff like this can help me become a better player and i was like considering how much i know how to play i'm far from worrying about knowing this stuff. When i'm more professional or bette or advanced i guess more technical details come into playing till then it's just wheeee!

LOL!

But now i'm building or approaching building this is very important, also earlier i didn't know this site existed!

See above. Better to think of it as extendeding the fingerboard below first fret, rather than moving the bridge. Try this experiment, f'r instance: capo at 3rd fret. This is about a 22" scale or so (ish, I think). Tuned down to standard E. Flabby as heck, right? Because the scale length is shorter than normal for that string set.

Take the capo off (virtually making the scale length longer, vibrating portion of string longer). Strings are still the same tension, but you're now tuned to C#. Strings just as flabby. You changed the length of the string, but not the tension or the size, giving you a different note. If you want to increase the tension at for that tuning you can:

a) increase the mass/guage of the string

:D lengthen the scale length and retune

Each has subtly different effects on sound, and drastically different effects on feel (As in, different scale lenght = different fret spacing = different feel).

Hopefully that clears things up a bit.

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Lets approach the tension vs. length question from a different perspective. Say you want to set up an old fashion clothesline in your back yard. If you clothsline is 10' long, it won't take much for you to pull the lines taught. However, if the clothsline is 100' long it will take a large amount of force to keep those lines from drooping. Now this is an exagerated example, but the underlying principles are simaliar to what Mattia is talking about. As was stated earlier mass plays a vital role in this. The thing to remember is that mass can be added by increasing the diameter of the string as well as adding length to it. Anytime a piece of nonrigid solid material (string, rope, cable, ductile metal, etc.) is stretched to a specified tension there is a relation to length and or diameter. More length and or diameter will always mean more force will be needed to reach a specific tension.

Hope that makes some sense.

Nate Robinson :D

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