PDA

View Full Version : Fret wear?



jer
05-02-2015, 04:26 PM
One thing I like about ukes with plain strings only is I don't see how they could wear the frets much, if any at all, over time.

I'm wondering how much the type of wound string used for low G wears frets? They feel softer than steel type strings. I experienced some minor fret wear with a guitar I had for over 10 years, but I know those strings are made differently (especially the plain steel strings, obviously). Uke is the only instrument I've ever owned for any extended amount of time that uses nylon strings.

Has anyone here ever experienced fret wear with ukes with either plain or wound strings?

Thanks in advance to any replies. This is something I've been curious about for a while, but I'm just not getting around to asking.

Brad Bordessa
05-02-2015, 04:46 PM
I've almost always played unwound Worth clears. The frets on my Kamaka HF-3 are pretty much shot after 7-8 years. But I'm an elephant on the frets. I play hard. Not much experience on wound strings, but I can only imagine they'd wear out faster.

hollisdwyer
05-02-2015, 05:13 PM
I have a 4 year old Mya Moe 6 string that was previously owned by a touring professional. I was using wound strings which broke very often so I just had the frets dressed and polished thinking that this might reduce the frequency of breakage. So far so good.

jer
05-03-2015, 08:30 AM
That must be A LOT of playing to get that wear. Wow. Now I wonder how differently various uke strings that aren't wound will wear frets... Flouro vs. nylon vs. Aquila etc. etc. Maybe the diameter of the string would have something to do with it too. I know on my guitar with fret wear it was usually the thin plain steel strings that seemed to wear the most on frets with my playing. Maybe skinny uke strings will dent a fret quicker..I don't know...Hm.

Ukejenny
05-03-2015, 09:06 AM
Definitely something to think about and be aware of. I changed the strings on my main player and I was surprised at what a beating the fingerboard has taken since the last time I changed them. I have played it quite a bit and there were some marks and it looked quite dry. I wonder if my playing (which can be heavy in the left hand) will have an effect on the frets.

BlackBearUkes
05-03-2015, 09:52 AM
All frets wear, how fast epends on the player, strings, etc. I do a lot of fret jobs on all kinds of fretted instrument and the number one thing that I see is fingerboard wear between the strings, not under them. This is due to finger nails eating away the wood over time. Frets can be dressed or replaced, the fingerboard wear is another story. Keep your nails short!

Pippin
05-03-2015, 10:35 AM
All frets wear, how fast epends on the player, strings, etc. I do a lot of fret jobs on all kinds of fretted instrument and the number one thing that I see is fingerboard wear between the strings, not under them. This is due to finger nails eating away the wood over time. Frets can be dressed or replaced, the fingerboard wear is another story. Keep your nails short!

Absolutely. My fingernails are almost nonexistent. I always keep them very short because of fretboard wear. As for frets, when the action is set right, you won't have to use a super-tight grip and you'll get more mileage before a re-fret. On guitars, I have gone about three years and traded away guitars that needed a fret job. But, I played professionally for many years and can't even begin to estimate how many hours I played. On uke, I have owned so many that I have never needed a fret job on one.

Jon Moody
05-04-2015, 01:35 AM
I'm wondering how much the type of wound string used for low G wears frets? They feel softer than steel type strings. I experienced some minor fret wear with a guitar I had for over 10 years, but I know those strings are made differently (especially the plain steel strings, obviously). Uke is the only instrument I've ever owned for any extended amount of time that uses nylon strings.


Most of the metals used for classical guitar / ukulele strings is either silvered copper, or phosphor bronze (either in 8%, or 80/20 or 85/15 copper zinc). As you've noticed those are much softer metals compared to what is used on electric or acoustic guitar strings, and won't have nearly an effect on the frets as the others will.

A lot of fret wear is also going to depend on the players' technique. Someone that has a heavy fretting hand is going to find their frets wear faster than someone with a lighter touch.

As mentioned, fret wear is really nothing anyone should be afraid of. It will happen, but a lot of factors go into play as to how quickly.