Handcrafted basses

FRET CALCULATION

Exactly where do you put the frets on the neck? On this page you can calculate just that.
It depends on the scale you want. Standard scales are 64 cm / 25 inch for a guitar, and 86 cm /34 inch for a bass.



The results of the calculation are in the same units you entered. For example, if you enter 86 cm, the results are also in centimetres. The scale is the swinging part of the string, so between the saddle on the bridge, and the nut.

Some trivial but nevertheless sometimes useful information: fret number 12 (= one octave up) is exactly in the middle of the scale. fret number 24 (= another octave up) is in the middle between the bridge and the 12th fret.

Some guitars and basses have a zero-fret. If that is the case, the scale is the distance between bridge/saddle and zero-fret. The nut is just acting as a string-spacer when a zero-fret is mounted, the height of the strings is no longer determined by the nut, but by the zero-fret. The distance between zero-fret and nut is not that important, it's usually about half a centimetre or a fifth of an inch. The reasons to apply a zero-fret:
  • - you want to have the frets and zero point from the same material (a plastic nut sounds different from a nickel alloy fret).
  • - You don't want to fiddle around filing the nut, when a zero-fret gives you the right height at once.
Below is a table with the fret distances from fret to nut (or fret to zerofret, whatever may be the case). It's prefilled with values for a 34 inch scale. Just change the value and push the recalc button.

Enter Scale:  
1st octave2nd octave3rd octave
fret nrdistance to nutfret nrdistance to nutfret nrdistance to nut
11.9113 17.9525 25.98
23.7114 18.8526 26.43
35.4115 19.727 26.85
47.0116 20.5128 27.25
58.5317 21.2629 27.63
69.9618 21.9830 27.99
711.3119 22.6531 28.33
812.5820 23.2932 28.65
913.7821 23.8933 28.95
1014.9222 24.4634 29.23
1115.9923 24.9935 29.5
121724 25.536 29.75

Yep, up to 36 frets are calculated. Ridiculous? Maybe... but some people don't think it is...