Fret mashers...what is wrong with you?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Bolt VanderHuge, May 27, 2020.

  1. Bolt VanderHuge

    Bolt VanderHuge Member

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    I just received a rather tasty mid-90's Hamer USA Artist that I purchased online (may or may not post pics soon). However, it's main flaw was that there were string divots pressed into the low frets for the unwound strings. A lot of them. :eeks Luckily, a fret dressing later, and I was able to resolve the issue, which is good, although I'm sure many would've lost their ever-loving minds over this. But that brings us to the question regarding it's prior owner(s) and similar individuals. And that question is...

    (cue hilarious rant) :D

    Fret mashers...what is wrong with you? :eek:

    Why have you developed a playing style where your monstrous meat-clamps contract so friggin' hard that they literally embed metal into other metal? What are some of your other hobbies? Do they include cracking walnuts with your brobdingnagian digits? Compressing coal into diamonds with your elephantine vise-like appendages? Finger-banging The Sarlac Pit with your gargantuan hirsute lycanthropic...ok you get the point. ;)

    Seriously though. W...T...ever-loving F? :confused

    It's no wonder some of you develop arthritis. :p


    EDIT: Clarification for those who seem confused. I wasn't talking about normal fret wear from bending, vibrato, etc.

    I was talking about fret divots, an extreme example of which is shown below:

    EDIT #2: This is not my Hamer (it was not as bad as that), but a random pic I found online.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
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  2. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    I see appreciable fret wear after 6 months and I don't use a lot of pressure. I lost nerve usage in my left forearm and had to go to 7-30 gauged stings and the lowest possible action.

    I totally understand your point, but it does occur even without a lot of pressure for some of us.

    I get my guitars refretted with ss frets and that's the end of that problem. I play R9's and don't know what type of fret wire Gibson uses, but it happens to me with any non-SS fret wire.

    Still, it sucks to see guitars come in and have that problem. It would drive me crazy. :)
     
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  3. PatriotBadger

    PatriotBadger Member

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    I used to be a fret shaver. I play with a lot of big bends, and cheap frets like used to be found on cheap import guitars (and may still be) were just too soft. I'd create little metallic precipitation from playing, and then look at the frets and see that I had worn grooves into the frets that matched the string windings. After playing it ONCE. I really didn't feel like I was kung-fu gripping either and have medium hands. The solution is Jescar or stainless frets.

    How they got that happening to a Hamer, I don't know.
     
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  4. Alanko

    Alanko Member

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    A similar phenomenon is bassists who use basses with enclosed pickups like EMGs or Bartolinis. Sometimes these pickups end up with scalloped tops, which makes you wonder just how hard the player was grinding into them.

    I've also seen scalloped pickup rings on Les Pauls!
     
  5. guitarnerdswe

    guitarnerdswe Member

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    Is this really an issue? This is totally normal. Nickel/silver frets will show wear quickly. Just the nature of the beast. One of the reasons stainless steel frets is the bomb.
     
  6. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

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    Funny thing, I go through frets and stings like poop through a goose. Originally I thought it was my wide and fast vibrato (a left over from my hair metal days that still pops up unconsciously). In graduate school I pimped myself out as a control case for neuropsychological exams for “a non-clinical population” to test against for deficits. Doing the grip force tests I measured >+2 SD (freakishly high). It all started to make sense then... it turns out that without even knowing it I almost put my fingers right through the neck. So in my case at least, fret wear is inevitable but totally unintentional.
     
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  7. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    On one of my recently purchased CS LP's, I have a scalloped mount ring on the south end of the neck pickup mounting ring, but mine is caused by needing extremely low action in order to play at all.
     
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  8. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    I don't press down that hard, and I can put significant wear in a set of nickel frets in a couple years. After a few years of continuous playing as my #1 I'm usually refretting with stainless...I could level them, there's still plenty of material there, but I'd rather just go ahead and replace with something that won't wear out instead.
     
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  9. Christopher Winkels

    Christopher Winkels Member

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    I must be really gentle with my left hand. Fret wear is a concept to me, but not something I have any real experience with.

    I do however have a heavy strum with my right hand. Read into that what you will.
     
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  10. dr_Primus

    dr_Primus Member

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    When you see guitars with worn first three frets over G and B string you are usually looking at SRV wannabes.
    I know a guy in my city. Respected jazz and session player. Has an old Ibanez Artist semi hollow, early eighties... Still has original frets and they look pretty good. Everything is even. But he rarely bends and has a really light touch
     
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  11. DonaldDemon

    DonaldDemon Member

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    All of my guitars have divots on the frets, must just be how I play. I really need to learn how to do a proper fret dress because I generally just deal with it.
     
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  12. lcfparty35

    lcfparty35 Member

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    Same but I’m very gentle with my right hand, too. I scratched up guitars sawing away as a kid and kinda taught myself to stop doing that. I bought a beat up strat like fifteen years ago and I can’t tell that I’ve added anything to it. I bet the warlord who had it before would have rendered it sawdust by now.
     
  13. Christopher Winkels

    Christopher Winkels Member

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    A couple of my guitars have a built in "Winkels, back off" feedback circuit. If I strum too hard on my fingertips hit the pickguard and the guitar emits a predictable crackle. It's truly a case of when a bug transforms into a feature.
     
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  14. Cheddar Kung Pao

    Cheddar Kung Pao Member

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    I have been playing my main 594 quite heavily for like 2.5 years now and the frets don't show any divots even though I play with NYXL strings and I'm a blooze noodling dumb dumb.

    I purposely tried to learn to be gentle with my playing a while ago, though, after I saw a video from Tomo Fujita where he said to play lightly.
     
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  15. sunking101

    sunking101 Member

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    Never saw it on my own guitars in years of playing as a teenager. Do they use softer fret wire these days? It wouldn't surprise me as everything seems lower quality these days.
     
  16. ant_riv

    ant_riv Supporting Member

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    I developed a light touch with my left hand because many years ago I installed a set of tall frets on a strat to simulate a scalloped fretboard. Since the note occurs where the string meets the fret, pressing harder would affect playing in tune.

    That touch now carries over to all guitars. I have guitars I’ve played for 40 years that still don’t show fretwear.

    I love buying guitars that need fretwork though, because the price usually reflects the need for repair.
     
  17. PhxdB

    PhxdB Member

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    I dunno, fret ware is normal.

    Nickel frets aren't exactly the hardest.

    All guitars have fret ware if you play them enough. Do you not play your guitars?
     
  18. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub

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    It’s not so much fret mashers as people playing with rusty strings that act like files on the frets.
     
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  19. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

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    I take Tony Allen's approach to his drums and apply them to guitar... in a masterclass he describes it as:

    "My drums are like my wife. If I come home every night and bash her up, she's not going to be my friend. But if I come home and caress her and kiss her, she's gonna be my friend."

    I take that approach with most of the instruments I play, definitely with guitar and drums. I play guitar and drums incredibly gently, yet the people listening to it would never know it. Playing gentle opens up a wide range of dynamics and subtle techniques you can use to really craft a signature sound. Luckily I've never experienced fret wear in any of my guitars in my life so far.
     
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  20. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    A 90's Hamer Artist? Let's see, 2020 - ~1995 = I dunno, but seems like quite a bit of time...
     
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