The number of frets on a guitar that is usually taken in consideration is that of the frets on its neck. Many guitars, however, have usable frets on their bodies that add up to the frets on the neck. Although there are some general specifics in regards to how many frets guitars should have the numbers can vary. This mostly depends on the guitar’s design and the music styles that are played on it.
Many guitar designs date back years in the past and are still used for guitar production today. The design of the guitar can give the number of frets on a fretboard by providing the standards for different types of guitars. How many frets a fretboard has can actually determine the guitar type.
Music styles also play a big role in the number of frets on a guitar. Each style has different approaches to musical elements such as melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and ornaments that make it distinguishable. The number of frets helps with the expression of these elements in the diverse musical styles. For example, styles that are known for their riffs will usually be played on guitars with more frets.
Suggested Read: How Much Does It Cost To Restring A Guitar
There are many different types of guitar designs in accordance to the players’ specific preferences. However, three of these designs are the starting points for the rest of them. These are the classical nylon-stringed guitars, the acoustic steel-stringed guitars, and the electric guitars.
Classical guitars with nylon strings usually have 12 frets on the guitar’s neck. Playing on frets above fret 14 on classical guitars is unusual. Despite this fact, these guitars have six or seven more frets on their bodies. This means that a classical guitar’s fretboard has about 17 frets in total.
In terms of fret number, the fretboards of acoustic and classical guitars are similar. Acoustic guitars are often made with 18-20 frets. They typically have 12-14 frets from the nut to the beginning of the body. There will usually be 6-8 frets between the end of the neck and the guitar’s soundhole. Parlor acoustic guitars tend to have less frets than the larger, grand auditorium ones.
Electric guitars often have a fretboard consisted of 20-24 frets. There are about 14-17 frets on an electric guitar’s neck. The rest of the frets are located on the guitar’s body.
Some guitar manufacturers are famous for producing guitars that have more frets than guitars of the same kind. For instance, the guitar brand Ibanez has made a 30-fret electric guitar named Ibanez RG550XH. Washburn is also known for this practice and manufactures guitars with as many as 36 frets.
Many guitars also come with their bodies indented right next to where the neck connects with the body. This is most often the case of electric guitars. However, there are many acoustic guitars that are made this way and are popular among guitar players. The indentation helps players use the frets located on the guitar’s body without the body acting as an obstacle.