Why Do Guitars Have Frets? (3 Reasons Why)

  • September 6, 2021
  • 0 

Updated: September 6, 2021

Have you ever wondered why your guitar has frets? If you’re reading this post, I’m betting you probably have.

So why do guitars have frets?

To Create a Tension Point on the Neck

Guitars have frets to serve as a tension point that a guitarist will use to alter the pitch of the string being played.

To properly play a fret, you are actually playing behind the fret.

For example, the first fret of the guitar is the first metal bar on the neck after the nut. To play the first fret, you press down just behind the metal bar to create tension.

This tension will alter the note you are playing. So if you are playing on the low E string, if you fret the first fret, you would now be playing an F note.

To Serve as a Guide for Musicians

Frets are also very valuable tools for guitar players to use as a guide. You may have noticed the small dots on the side of your guitar’s neck. These dots typically mark the 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 12th frets.

By memorizing the fretboard notes at those frets, you can use the dots as an easy, quick reference to find any note or key on the neck that you’re looking for.

To Organize the Guitar Neck

Building on the previous point of frets being a great quick reference for guitarists, frets also help to organize the fretboard.

Once you begin to learn different scale formulas, you will begin to notice patterns of whole steps and half steps.

The distance between any given note on the fretboard (except B to C and E to F) is a whole step, or 2 frets, apart on the guitar neck.


I hope you found this lesson helpful. By now, you should understand why guitars have frets on them, as well as some helpful tips to help you make the most of this new knowledge.

Questions? Leave any thoughts, questions, or concerns in the comments section below and I’ll personally get back to you. I make an honest effort to get back to everyone within 24 hours, so don’t be shy!

posted September 6, 2021

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