E string on Strat fretting out. Quick Fix?

dave s

bottom E string (the .009 one) fretting out above 12th fret. Raise saddle a tad on that string? Is this the preferred corrective action? Frets should be good. Guitar not that old.

Additional info: 9.5" radius, maple and dunlop 6105 fret wire. Vintage tailpiece. Guitar is a Fender CS '69 heavy relic.

Thanks. I'm a player ... not a tech!



Check the neck for excessive relief, if there's too much bow it will cause this problem.

If the neck does not have too much relief then simply raise the action a bit.


Silver Supporting Member
When bending, or just fretting a note?
Does it have a shim?
Could be high fret too.
Raise action...nothing to lose


Silver Supporting Member
Frets should be good and frets really are good are two different things. If the action is already pretty high, you could well have a bad fret. If the action is really low, raise it a bit and see if it helps.

Member 1963

The first and easiest thing to do is a bit of a trade-off for some depending on your playing style and amp settings. The less relief you have the less it will fret out at a given string height. So you can set the neck close to or completely straight and raise the saddles till the buzzing is acceptable. At that point it will likely not fret out at all, but the trade-off is the lower area of the neck will buzz more than before unless you raise the action up, and probably higher than it was. But the high registers will feel lower and not fret out. Another thing that works, and this is what I do tho it's not a simple quick fix is to radius the frets like a compound radius. What i do is take them down from about the 10th fret on up only in the middle area of the frets. that combined with little to no relief will allow you to get the action as low as anyone would ever care to have it with no fretting out at all.


Frets should be good. Guitar not that old.


Sometimes fender style necks develop a bit of a twist and or rise at the end of the fretboard ("fretboard tongue lift") where the neck starts to get thick. This can happen on guitars that are still relatively new.

Have the frets had a level crown and polish?

If some basic adjustments with the truss rod or the 1st string saddle don't solve the problem to your satisfaction, you should consider taking the guitar to a local repair shop that does fretwork and ask them what they think is going on.


Sounds like fret end lifting. See if you can locate the high fret, tap it with the butt end of a screw driver lightly.

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