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Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:32 pm
Posts: 257
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 2:20 pm 

Lately I've been reading and watching videos about scalloped frets on a guitar, and would like to try them.

For those who might not know: guitars with scalloped frets have the fretboard-wood between the frets removed, meaning you won't touch the wood under the strings with your fingers when fretting, purely the string itself. This, from what I've read, allows for more grip on the strings and easier bends. It also reduces the pressure needed to properly fret the string, thus allowing for easier/faster playing.

I was looking around online for some cheap guitars that come with scalloped frets, not expecting to find any, though I've managed to find one made by the in-house brand of a big music shop in the Netherlands. It's a little over 200 euro, unfortunately the reviews are rather poor because of build quality issues. The brand, Fazley, is basically a shitty version of Harley Benton.

That aside, I'm curious as to whether anyone here has any experience with scalloped frets, whether that be positive or negative experience. Also would like to know of some other cheap brands that make scalloped guitars on a budget.

Letting a luthier scallop your guitar is apparently hella expensive, so I don't really see that as an option.
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Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:11 pm
Posts: 92
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 6:23 pm 

If you've got the tools, or someone can lend them to you, you could buy a cheap guitar and scallop the last (yes, the last, not the first) frets to see how you like it.
The thing is, scalloped frets won't offer you anything that good technique won't. If you take the time to work (and you should!) on applying the bare minimum pressure on your fretting hand that allows you to produce a good sound, the results will be the same regarding the effort the hand makes.
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Metel fraek

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
Posts: 8597
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:44 am 

Scalloped frets make it more difficult to fret chords without accidentally pushing some strings out of tune. To me, it seems more like a gimmick thing for people who make their entire guitar playing about fast lead runs.
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King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
Posts: 13277
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:24 pm 

my friend did this for his guitar, he liked it. I tried it and I feel that i want to keep pushing till I hit wood. so it does terrible for my playing.
I just do stuff.


Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:55 am
Posts: 720
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:10 pm 

Give them a shot, maybe you'll like it.

I'm definitely with Ilwhyan on this though. You will likely need to relearn playing guitar in general, because it will be very easy to fret chords out of their natural intonation. And there are many players who think it's going to turn them into a speed demon and all their frustrations will be cured. They are usually disappointed.

People usually say it makes it possible to play faster, or better vibrato, or both. A lot of times they'll cite Malmsteen because he famously uses it. There's a video out there of him playing an old Les Paul with .12 gauges on it. Basically the kind of guitar many people would say isn't a great setup for playing leads. Guess what? He sounds awesome.

The laundry list of guitar players that absolutely rip and play with incredible expression, without scallops, is far too long to print.

But hey, I play guitar and I know how personal equipment choices are. Nobody can tell you what to do, you'll figure it out for yourself and that's part of what I love about the instrument.

In terms of finding one, my guess is your best bet is to spend the $$$ to have a pro do it, rather than buy a cheapie. A cheap guitar with an important, serious customization like that - it seems like a gimmick to me rather than a quality instrument for someone seriously pursuing this setup. If you do try it, and don't like it, that could simply mean it was a bad piece of equipment rather than scalloped frets themselves being bad.

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