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  #1  
Old 04-03-2019, 10:30 AM
vintage40s vintage40s is offline
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Default Fret height

I have noticed on my new Yamaha parlor that it it easy to mess up the tune of a lower string just by pressing. A string sounds OK when first fretted, but not when pressed to the wood, which has been my lifelong habit.

It made me think that new Yamaha frets are slightly higher than those on my old Martin. Is that good or bad? It is not worth paying to lower the frets. Would the frets be lower if I just bought a high end parlor like a Blueridge BR-371?

Do all high end guitars get a factory Plek setup "that scans, levels, and dresses your guitar's frets to a microscopic level of accuracy for ideal action with no loss of sustain, minimized fret buzz, and no fretting out when bending strings, plus complete consistency whether you're playing low or high on the neck."
https://www.sweetwater.com/shop/guitars/plek/index.php
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:42 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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All my guitars have the largest fret wire available.

It requires an easy touch, but it also means I don’t have any callus on my fingertips.

Perhaps you should put heavier string on?

HE
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Last edited by Kerbie; 04-06-2019 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:51 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Don't press so hard. There's no need to mash down on the strings unless your guitar has a particularly bad setup. And no, not all factories have Plek machines. Every Martin I have owned has needed a set up, and likewise every Yamaha. All a Plek machine does is ensure fret heights are consistent. They don't do individual setups.
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Last edited by AndrewG; 04-03-2019 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:54 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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Plek is highly over sold in terms of any lasting accuracy. Don't worry about whether a Plek job has been done.

With taller frets you have a greater potential of over pressing and making notes play sharp. Just be aware of
that and have your fingertips press closer to the fretwire when you can and you will likely soon overcome that
issue.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:00 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Don't press so hard. There's no need to mash down on the strings unless your guitar has a particularly bad setup. And no, not all factories have Plek machines. Every Martin I have owned has needed a set up, and likewise every Yamaha. All a Plek machine does is ensure fret heights are correct. They don't do setups.
Hey Andrew,
I get the sense that ‘pressing too hard’ is something that many have a hard time unlearning from their beginning days.

No matter the setup, if the string can be bent behind the fret, the more the bend the more the tuning issues.

HE
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Last edited by Kerbie; 04-06-2019 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:02 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Hey Andrew,
I get the sense that ‘pressing too hard’ is something that many have a hard time unlearning from their beginning days.

No matter the setup, if the string can be bent behind the fret, the more the bend the more the tuning issues.

HE
True enough Howard, on both counts.
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Last edited by Kerbie; 04-05-2019 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Edited quote
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:05 AM
mawmow mawmow is offline
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You fret too hard : We have to fret just behind the fret with the minimal pressure required to fret the note correctly.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:13 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi Andrew and Howard,
pretty soon after I learned a few chords, and thanks to AndrewG, I then discovered bluegrass.
I soon found myself bashing away at my guitar against banjos and fiddles and developed a very heavy approach with both hands; a common problem that wears both frets and carpel tunnels!

It took me some years to learn that the "art" is to learn to fret only as hard as is necessary and to put the power into strings with the picking hand.
What made me finally realise this was playing slide/bottleneck on a National.

I'd strongly recommend to the OP (ajd other, newer players) that time considering and experimenting with learning how to play lightly with the fretting hand and applying power as necessary with the picking hand - it cod save you years of effort and refretting and hand issues.
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Old 04-03-2019, 11:40 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Hi Andrew and Howard,

pretty soon after I learned a few chords, and thanks to AndrewG, I then discovered bluegrass.

I soon found myself bashing away at my guitar against banjos and fiddles and developed a very heavy approach with both hands; a common problem that wears both frets and carpel tunnels!



It took me some years to learn that the "art" is to learn to fret only as hard as is necessary and to put the power into strings with the picking hand.

What made me finally realise this was playing slide/bottleneck on a National.



I'd strongly recommend to the OP (ajd other, newer players) that time considering and experimenting with learning how to play lightly with the fretting hand and applying power as necessary with the picking hand - it cod save you years of effort and refretting and hand issues.
An evil American export and look what happened to you. Lol.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:54 PM
tippy5 tippy5 is offline
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I sold a Santa Cruz and my Martin because of sub .040" fret height. Like stubbing your fingers especially with the flat 16" fretboard. Playing in the center of the fret space gets old.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:56 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Hi Andrew and Howard,
pretty soon after I learned a few chords, and thanks to AndrewG, I then discovered bluegrass.
I soon found myself bashing away at my guitar against banjos and fiddles and developed a very heavy approach with both hands; a common problem that wears both frets and carpel tunnels!

It took me some years to learn that the "art" is to learn to fret only as hard as is necessary and to put the power into strings with the picking hand.
What made me finally realise this was playing slide/bottleneck on a National.

I'd strongly recommend to the OP (ajd other, newer players) that time considering and experimenting with learning how to play lightly with the fretting hand and applying power as necessary with the picking hand - it cod save you years of effort and refretting and hand issues.
Andrew,
I would have advised you to seek out players who also understood how to listen in an ensemble setting, kinda like that guy at the club....not:-)

Yes, it takes time to relax, and still exert good force while maintaining economy of motion.

HE
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Last edited by Kerbie; 04-06-2019 at 03:14 AM.
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2019, 02:25 PM
vintage40s vintage40s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
... learning how to play lightly with the fretting hand and applying power as necessary with the picking hand - it could save you years of effort and refretting and hand issues.
Maybe that is why I developed a trigger thumb, where the joint would hurt and lock up sometimes. Too much pressure on the base of the thumb pressing on the underside of the neck. But it was also just after I got a 12-string and began fingerpicking on it.
A hand surgeon did the thumb joint at the same time as the Dupuytrens.
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Present, bought new:
2019- Eastman E20 OM concert
2019- Yamaha CSF3M parlor
2006- Breedlove Atlas AC25/SR-12 concert
1969- Martin D-35 dreadnought
Previous, bought new:
2007-2007 Washburn Rover travel
1963-1969 Gibson Hummingbird dreadnought
1962-1963 Martin D-18 dreadnought
1960-1962 Favilla classical
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2019, 07:35 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage40s View Post
Maybe that is why I developed a trigger thumb, where the joint would hurt and lock up sometimes. Too much pressure on the base of the thumb pressing on the underside of the neck. But it was also just after I got a 12-string and began fingerpicking on it.
A hand surgeon did the thumb joint at the same time as the Dupuytrens.
I’ve had the same surgery on three fingers. Saved my hands to do a lot of stuff, including playing guitar.

I prefer old guitars with worn frets, as I mash strings and send them sharp.
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  #14  
Old 04-05-2019, 04:37 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddy1951 View Post
An evil American export and look what happened to you. Lol.
Maybe but far less harmful than Junk food/drinks!
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Old 04-05-2019, 05:45 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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High Frets have an advantage of saving wear and tear on the fingerboard, the theory being that done correctly, your fingers never touch it. I like them low; the tall ones feel like railroad ties when I make a slide. And capos, which I rarely use, are less likely to pull them sharp.
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