How Many Frets Are on a Guitar?
Most guitars have anywhere from 19 to 24 frets depending on the model. The type of guitar, be it acoustic or electric, as well as its model, will determine the number of frets it has.
Frets are parallel wires that are placed between the nut and the fretboard. When a string becomes shorter, its pitch increases by a semitone with every fret you jump. When playing the guitar, you need to place your fingers between these frets and hold down the strings to be able to play different guitar chords.
So, basically, frets serve as guidelines for playing.
How Many Frets Do Acoustic Guitars Have?
Acoustic guitars usually have 19 frets, where the body and neck of the guitar meet at the 12th fret. If the acoustic guitar has steel strings, it may have up to 20 frets. Some smaller guitars, like the parlor guitar, may have even fewer frets than standard acoustic or classical guitar models.
It’s worth mentioning that acoustic guitars are often referred to as “12-fret” or “14-fret” guitars in reference to the number of frets from the nut to the body.
How Many Frets Do Electric Guitars Have?
Electric guitars typically have more frets than acoustic guitars. Most electric guitars have 22 frets, with a minimum number of 21 frets and up to 24 frets on some models.
Why Do Electric Guitars Have More Frets Than Acoustic Guitars?
There are multiple reasons electric guitars have more frets than acoustic ones. First of all, acoustic guitars have larger bodies, which makes higher frets harder to reach. So, by stopping the fret count at 20 or less, the acoustic guitar becomes more playable, especially for beginners.
On top of that, the type of music played on an acoustic guitar doesn’t really need more upper frets. Most acoustic guitar songs are played at lower frets so that the sound becomes less resonant.
Does the Number of Frets on a Guitar Matter?
The number of frets on your guitar can affect two things: neck pickup tone and solos.
Neck Pickup Tone
The more frets a guitar has, the further the neck pickup moves away from the bridge, which can affect the tonal quality of the neck pickup. Conversely, the closer the neck pickup is to the bridge, the brighter it’ll sound, particularly due to the higher tension in the strings.
You can research the topic of Guitar Part Names if you’re further interested.
Guitars with a higher number of frets have more reachable notes. When you’re playing a guitar solo, you’ll notice that you’re always playing at the 17th fret or higher. That’s where most guitar solos are found. With more frets, you’ll have more reachable notes, giving you more diversity in your guitar solos. However, this is only true for electric guitars.
To recap, a guitar may have 19-24 frets depending on its type and model. Acoustic guitars fall in the lower range, with most acoustic guitar models having 19-20 frets. Electric guitars, on the other hand, tend to have 21-24 frets.