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When Building Fanned Frets


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well, i am considering making a fanned fret guitar, and i know the basic idea

lower strings have a longer scale length, higher strings have shorter scale length


this is easy enough to do on a fretboard with no taper, just measure out 1 and then the other and connect the dots


here is my question and concern.

when measuring out on a fretboard that has already been tapered do you measure along the taper, or say some other method ive yet to think of

and also is the process of alighning the position of the 12th frets a question of moving the nut closer to the tip of the headstock on the low string sides?

thanks for any help!


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Measure along the taper, connect the dots is the easiest. I've seen alot of people questioning that method on several forums. Usually they don't have a grasp of the concept of scale length to start with. In my opinion measuring along the taper if more accurate than some other methods I've seen used or described. But that's just my opinion. And I've made mistakes with maths in the past.

Also, you don't have to align the 12th frets of each scale length, you can have any fret you want aligned, or none at all. Just keep in mind the angle of the nut and bridge accordingly. I don't think you'd want to get one of them on too extreme of an angle. The bridge is not so bad to angle back, but if you angle the nut back too far, and play bar chords especially, you'll be playing it like a warr guitar in no time. Take that from experience. But that possibly had more to do with the large nut width of the instrument I build. Haven't had time to experiment further.

Did you have any particular scale lengths in mind, I've seen some shockers for the difference in bass to treble side. And after playing one with a 2 inch difference a bit, I'm not sure I'd go any further apart than that. At least not on a "guitar" that will be played like a "guitar".


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hey, thanks for the response man!

well, i could forsee a 7 string in my future, the thin is that i like very tight responsive bass

so i was thinking for the bass side 27, 26, or 26.5 (less is more :D) and for the high strings a either 25 or 25.5 or 24 3/4 im not sure

i like very subtle comfortable differnces so i wouldnt angle it too far. angling the bridge would be cool for me becuase i like experimenting with shapes and fluid lines (see my thread, "second guitar project") it is even a possibility to do this on that guitar.


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