Butter Frets - anyone else?

TonePilot

Supporting Member
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3,750
Yeah, I probably press too hard but that's the way I roll. Six months playing mostly the same guitars and I have visible and deep divots. I've refretted two so far with stainless frets but it's getting expensive.

Maybe I'll start learning how to dress the frets but that seems like a pretty easy way to make things worse.

"Plays like butter" makes me cringe. My frets are already soft enough.

What do you guys do and how deep do you let the frets go before doing anything? Until the strings buzz or start to go dead sounding?
 

Tootone

Member
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5,308
No offense... clean your hands. It will help

I often work in grime and mud, come home, grab my guitar and that stuff transfers and just sits like rubbing compound on your frets, even though you can't see it. Every time you play thereafter, its like rubbing a tiny piece of sandpaper on the fret.

I sh!t you not. Long term, clean hands, cleaned fret board, makes a difference.
 

Jim85IROC

Member
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1,755
I seem to be hard on frets too. When I'm practicing a certain lick over and over, I can feel the fret getting scraped, and I end up with shiny particles (presumably fret shavings) on the fretboard. For years I just raised the action so that I was able to get under the string and push it up, instead of pushing it down into the fret, but having my action that high has made it difficult to play.
 

scmavl

Enjoyer
Silver Supporting Member
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3,495
Lol, that's not going to happen. Years of weight lifting and strength training have set me up to be a fret abuser.
Nah, you can learn to lighten your touch. By this rationale, you couldn't gently hug your significant other without breaking their ribs. I'd say make a conscious effort to play with a lighter tough for awhile, and hope it eventually turns into second nature. Good luck, frets ain't cheap!
 

TonePilot

Supporting Member
Messages
3,750
Nah, you can learn to lighten your touch. By this rationale, you couldn't gently hug your significant other without breaking their ribs. I'd say make a conscious effort to play with a lighter tough for awhile, and hope it eventually turns into second nature. Good luck, frets ain't cheap!
You know what, I will try this. Curious though, how long should frets last on a guitar that's played 10 hrs a week?
 

dpeterson

Member
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504
Plays like butter to me doesn't mean soft frets it means they are slippery like SS frets. Bends are easy, and not like sand paper. I have guitars i've had for decades with no visible wear patterns. So you might just have a heavy hand like you mentioned, or keep playing the same cowboy chords over and over would beat them down too.
 

scmavl

Enjoyer
Silver Supporting Member
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3,495
You know what, I will try this. Curious though, how long should frets last on a guitar that's played 10 hrs a week?
I still have the original frets on my 1992 Les Paul that I got new in '92. It was my only guitar for probably 10 years, and it's had one fret level. I still play it often, but not 10 hours a week. Basically, I've never caused a guitar to need a fret job myself. I play 10s (D'Addario or Elixir Optiweb) and play with a light touch. And it's mainly from rockabilly to punk rock, so the music itself is aggressive, I just try not to be.

Best of luck! :aok
 
Messages
414
heres something to think about... learning to do your own maintenance can save you bunches... If you're modestly "tool savvy" fret leveling.. then a full blown fret job becomes a reality... start here .

http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-technical/201556-fret-leveling-yer-tele-101-a.html


r
This guide is superb! I’ve followed these instructions many times and have saved myself tons of money! The initial investment on the tools might seem like a lot upfront, but it’s not a whole lot more than a single fret job. Spend the $$$ where it counts, IMO - get a good crowning file.
 

TonePilot

Supporting Member
Messages
3,750
Plays like butter to me doesn't mean soft frets it means they are slippery like SS frets. Bends are easy, and not like sand paper. I have guitars i've had for decades with no visible wear patterns. So you might just have a heavy hand like you mentioned, or keep playing the same cowboy chords over and over would beat them down too.
Yeah, I'm the rhythm player in the band and depending on the song, I switch between open and barre chords.
 

Ron Kirn

Gold Supporting Member
Vendor
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6,602
how fast frets wear involves two issues.. How hard "you" grip/fret the note, and how much you play....

Since Stainless came on the scene, I have only heard/read one guy say he still wore out the Stainless frets about as fast as he did nickel.. but, I gotta admit.. I saw that one with a bit of skepticism..
 

bobcs71

Member
Messages
4,363
Yeah, I'm the rhythm player in the band and depending on the song, I switch between open and barre chords.
It could be a few things. Technique is important. Electric guitar is a finesse instrument. For rhythm especially I prefer a thinner pick. It is suggested SRV played hard. He used Fender medium picks. The round edge works great for lead.
Good hand strength should help your control. If you are pressing down really hard with your fretting hand, you are also pushing the strings out of tune.
Some guitars come with frets that just wear out quick. I do re-fret with SS now and I don't flip guitars any more.
 

fjblair

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,908
Plays like butter to me doesn't mean soft frets it means they are slippery like SS frets. Bends are easy, and not like sand paper. I have guitars i've had for decades with no visible wear patterns. So you might just have a heavy hand like you mentioned, or keep playing the same cowboy chords over and over would beat them down too.
Me too. I have never refretted a guitar.
 




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