What is the cost of refretting a guitar?

Rattling strings in any guitar can be a sign of worn frets. How can you tell whether your guitar has worn frets, and how much would it cost to get it fixed?

What are frets? What is a refret?

The frets are the raised metal wires on the neck of the guitar. As the guitar is played, the strings are pushed against the frets, which naturally wear over time. The wear shows as dents or flattened frets, which can lead to string buzzing, problems with intonation and playability, especially when string bending. Fret wear is a normal part of the life of a guitar, but some guitars will suffer more from wear than others: those regularly played with a capo, fitted with steel strings, or just subjected to heavy string pressure when played.

The process of replacing them is called a refret – though it can involve a considerable number of time-consuming steps to complete the job.

So how do you know when a refret is required?

The symptoms described above can arise for a number of reasons, and the fault may not lie with the frets. Often a good setup (new strings, truss rod and/or bridge adjustment) will solve such problems, but if in doubt it really is worth talking to a luthier, or guitar shop. Minor fretwear can often be corrected with a fret dress or even replacing a small number of frets.

So how much does it cost to refret a guitar? Well this actually depends on a number of factors. The fretwire itself is not expensive, but it can be a very time consuming job, especially when dealing with fragile vintage instruments. Working on maple fingerboards cost more than rosewood; set necks more than removeable necks; bound necks more than unbound. Steel frets are very hard wearing, but are considerably more expensive to fit. Typically a guitar refret will cost between $200 and $400. A fretdress, as part of a set-up typically costs between $50 and $100, and will solve must problems, without the need for a refret.
Continue reading

Jeff Becks guitar collection

Jeff Beck talks guitars – showing some of his collection and telling some really interesting stories on the way. About the fate of his legendary Fender Esquire he played so much with the Yardbirds, and the many other vintage (and newer) guitars he still has.


Jeff’s guitar tech Steve Prior gives an in depth interview about Jeff’s guitars and beyond. Stay TUNED for more.

Jeff shows off some of his favourite guitars: his Gibson L5, 1954 Stratocaster, 1954 Telecaster, Gretch Rancher and a Maccaferri given to him by Led Zeppelins Jimmy Page. Jeff Beck clearly has great affection for his guitars, and talks about the other players that influenced his sound – mostly rock and roll guitarists like Cliff Gallup and Scotty Moore, but also the likes of Django Reinhardt.

And he treats us to a few choice licks in a different style for each guitar – even when not plugged in the tonal differences are really apparent. From twanging teles to soulful strats – check this clip out!

Continue reading

Guitar Picks

Why A Pick?

A guitar pick, or plectrum is used to pluck, or strum guitar strings; to improve sound, allow faster strumming, and reduce injury on fingers. You can just use your fingers, especially for picking, but a pick gives far more bite to notes, and hurts a lot less. There are many types of guitar picks to choose from: different materials, shapes, as well as sizes and colors. Some guitar picks are even used for special purposes, such as a double-sided pick for “double plucking.” This article explores some of the diffent types.

Different types of Guitar Pick

Guitar picks are commonly made out of plastic, but also bone, amber, rubber, felt, tortoiseshell, wood, stone, metals, and even gemstones. Each of the materials has it’s own unique sound, but also properties such as ease of grip, and durability. For instance, metal has a very distinct bright sound when plucked against a guitar string- but offers little grip. Tortoiseshell is one of the best for gripping, and sounds great, although an international ban on tortoise shell led to the creation of Tortex picks.

Choosing your favourite material is a matter of trying them all out, and deciding on which sound and grip works for your playing style- whether it be metal, bues, or jazz. If all else fails, weird guitar picks aren’t unheard of- from bone, to an Allen wrench- just about anything can become a useable plectrum!

Fender Guitar Pick A thumb guitar pick.A triangle guitar pick.

Figure 1 – Traditional picks, a thumb pick, and a triangle pick example

Continue reading