How Many Frets On A Guitar? The Ultimate Guide

If you were to look at any guitar neck, you would see frets.

Those bars of metal on the fretboard that create large squares and rectangles are what we are going to talk about today.

Those markers make our guitar-playing life so much easier.

So just how many frets are on a guitar and why does that matter?

The answer to this question is depending on the type of guitar you have.

So let’s take a look at the different types of guitars and how many frets they each have.

Why Are There Frets On a Guitar? 

Guitar Frets

As stated above, those frets exist to make our lives that much easier when playing.

There are non-fretted instruments like violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.

These require absolute accuracy with regards to finger positioning.

If an instrument player’s fingers are off the mark by just an inch or two, then their music will sound completely different.

I know from my own experience that I reply on those frets and fret markers to know exactly where I need to be.

I have never tried a non-fretted instrument, but from what I’ve heard it takes a lot of precision.

When performing (at home or out), I have so much racing through my mind and I like the visual safety blanket of knowing where my hands need to be at all times.

How Many Frets On a Guitar (Typically)?

There are generally 22 to 24 frets, but this varies depending on the make and model. The neck is typically made from either mahogany or maple wood.

The number of frets also varies depending on what type of music you want to play.

Musicians who play jazz may like more frets than those who prefer playing rock music for example.

22-fret guitars are the most common type of guitar for beginners.

They’re great because they can be used to play almost any song out there and it’s easier than learning on the 24 fret guitars unless you want to become a top shredder.

That doesn’t mean all songs will still be playable with this less amount of frets; so it may require some different techniques.

Why Does The Number Of Frets Matter?

Depending on your skill level and preference, you might want your instrument with more or fewer frets to best suit your needs.

For example, if you play lead for an alternative rock band then it would be beneficial to have access to extra high-pitched strings so that you can reach higher notes than normal when playing solos.

On acoustics guitars, for example, some lie to also have access to the higher frets.

Others may do all their work within the first 12 frets therefore having access to the higher frets is not a big deal to them.

Number of Frets On Electric Guitars 

Modern electric guitars such as the Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster have between 21 and 24 frets (but most often they are 22 fret guitars).

Short-scale guitars like Les Paul’s have less.

Here’s a quick list to outline the number of frets for these popular models.

Gibson/Epiphone Les Paul 

Les Paul models typically have 22 frets. At the 16th fret is where the body joins the neck.

Gibson Les Paul Frets

Gibson SG

The Gibson SG electric guitar model has 22 frets. At the 19th fret is where the body joins the neck.

Gibson SG Frets

Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster 

The Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster typically have 21 or 22 frets, depending on year and model.

A vintage Stratocaster from 65 and some of the classic series models have 21 frets.

However, most modern Strats and Teles have 22 frets.

Fender Strat and Tele Frets

If you’d like more information on the Stratocaster and how they differ from the Telecaster; check out our article here: Telecaster vs Stratocaster: Which One Should You Buy?

Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster 

The Fender Jaguar and Jazzmaster electric guitars have 22 frets.

Fenger Jaguar Frets

Ibanez RG 

The RG series has the most subtypes of any Ibanez model and is one of the best-selling guitars for rock music.

The deep cutaway gives you 24 frets as standard.

This makes it a popular choice among metal musicians who want to be able to reach high notes with ease while still maintaining an aggressive and heavy playing style.

Ibanez RG Frets

If you want to learn more about playing heavy and what electric guitars are ideal, check out these posts below:

Top 7 Metal Guitars

Drop D Tuning

Drop C Tuning

Number of Frets On An Acoustic Guitar 

 

Acoustic guitars feature a lower number of frets as opposed to the electric guitar.

The most commonly manufactured acoustic guitar models come with between 18 and 20 frets, though not all acoustic guitars have the same range.

The non-cutaway Acoustic Guitars will stop the access at the 14th fret.

In my experience, I don’t typically see acoustic guitar players relying on notes way up on the neck.

I’m sure some take full advantage of those notes but typical acoustic guitar and folk guitar players usually don’t go beyond the 12th fret.

Acoustic Guitar Frets

How Many Frets are on a Classical Guitar?

The most common and typical style of classical guitars will have 12 frets on the neck.

This means that playing past fret 14 is unusual, but these guitars have an additional six to seven more frets along their body for up to 17 -19 total.

Most classical acoustic guitars will have 18 frets from my experience.

If you interested to learn m

How Many Frets On a Baritone Guitar?

Let’s keep going right?

So Baritone guitars are also gonna vary with how many frets they have.

Baritone electric guitars can have anywhere from 22 or 24 frets depending on the brand.

While baritone acoustic guitars will have 22 frets.

Number of Frets On A Bass Guitar

 

In the world of bass guitar, there are typically 21, 22, and 24 frets.

Many people have their preferences in regards to what kind they should get; whether it’s based on looks, tone quality, or how easy it will be for them due either physical limitations (hand size).

Number of Frets On A Cigar Box Guitar

Most cigar box guitars have around 18 frets but some of them do have 21 frets.

A few people often think that the more notes you can play, the better a guitar is – this is not always true.

With a Cigar Box Guitar due to its uniqueness of having only three strings, much of your time will be spent closer to the headstock.

If you want more information on Cigar Box Guitars, check out our post here: Cigar Box Guitars.

How Many Frets On a Ukulele?

Why not right?

Let’s talk ukulele for a minute.

There are a different number of frets based on the type of ukulele and their scale length.

Concert or tenor ukuleles will typically have 18 frets. Although the range can be 15-20 frets.

The soprano ukulele will have anywhere between 12-15 frets.

If you’d like more information on the ukulele then check out our guide here: Best Beginner Ukulele.

How Many Frets On A Guitar Conclusion 

The number of frets on electric guitars and acoustic guitars is important for the sound you are trying to produce.

The more frets your guitar has, the easier it will be to reach those higher notes.

The frets on this board make it easier to play notes that repeat in patterns because they divide up the fingerboard into intervals.

If you’re a beginner, or if chord melody is your focus, then having less than 20 frets might work best because they make it easier to reach all the different strings without needing extra hand movements.

On the other hand, if you want to play lead lines such as those in country music then having more than 20 frets would be better because it allows for playing higher up on the guitar neck with ease.

If you are a guitar player that likes using the neck pickup, then those higher frets will give what you are looking for when playing a solo.

Guitarists who use their guitars for slides also prefer at least 22 frets.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

Let us know in the comments below if you have a preference for how many frets on a guitar you like.

We appreciate your time and remember to always HAVE FUN! 

Frank DeMaria
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