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Old January 23rd, 2010, 02:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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22 Frets vs 21 Frets?

Is there any rhyme or reason to pay attention to regarding the number of frets? I've seen Squiers that have 21 (most of them), but have also seen a few that had 22 (more rarely). Are the 22 fret models any more desirable?

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Old January 23rd, 2010, 02:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you play high on the neck, you want 22 frets.

It isn't just Squier, it is FENDER as a whole.
I never understood why Fender does such a stupid thing and makes some necks 21 and others 22. Since they are bolt-ons, they are interchangeable, so I usually try to find a 22 fret neck to replace a 21 whenever possible.

Gibson does it right. 22 frets all the time ........ 24 on some models!
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 03:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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21 frets were on the the vintage necks, my strat has 21 my ASAT has 22 and my nrew Baritone has 24. 21 frets gives you ease of maintenance with a body end truss rod adjustment. 22 i sometimes find mysels using it but i also use my slide right up to the bridge. I am not a shredder and dont play heaps of solos so 21 will do but 22 is fine.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 03:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I very rarely make it up that far so it don't much matter to me.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 03:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was gonna ask, but I see it is, to some. (Important that is!)
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 04:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like the looks of a 21 fret neck and the functionality of a 22 fret neck.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 04:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like the looks of a 21 fret neck and the functionality of a 22 fret neck.
I tend to agree. 22 is nice to have, but I don't find that I miss the extra fret terribly on my vintage-style necks.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 05:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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my MIM has 21 my MIA has 22. I can't tell the difference. When I get that far up on either guitar my fingers don't fit anymore.

I have a Agile PRS copy with 24 and its even worse for playing up high. Very cramped.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't tend to miss it, sometimes I do if I want to sweep an E7 up real high, but generally I don't need it, if I need a high E I just bend the note an extra half step.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I got a new neck on my strat with one more fret, now 22, and I didnt even notice at first!
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 10:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It's nice to have that high A on the B-string once in a while...
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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IDK where the cutoff was, but originally all Fenders had 21 frets. I know my 64 has 21, whereas my 88 has 22, & they had to add that little ledge to accomplish that without reconfiguring the whole design. As to why not 24, I recall that Leo said that the 24th fret position was the ideal place for the neck pup, harmonics & all that...he had no use for any guitar that sacrificed that prime real estate for notes that only make dogs howl

As a side note, most bass players wouldn't notice or care, but I always found it a little maddening that I couldn't hit E above middle C on my P bass without bending...
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I never noticed it when I first started out until I was trying to learn a solo and I realized that the solo required 22 frets, I really wish I could remember which song it was. It's one of those right-of-passage songs that we all probably learned. Maybe something by Pink Floyd or maybe Skynyrd.... I dont know but other than that one incident I never noticed it. It is one more thing for my friends with MIA strats to point out when bashing MIM though.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have both 21 and 22 Fret Fenders. Had the 21 for a couple decades first and was just fine. But after having 22's for lots of years now I always seem to go to the 22 fret playing leads and very commonly bend the 22 a full step. I would only buy a 21 today that is on a genuine vintage guitar.

I noticed PRS has dropped their Custom 22 and only offer the Custom 24 today. I really wonder about this because the pickups look closer together on the 24. Getting them closer together would slightly diminishes the difference between the bridge and neck.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 11:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrn_BLU_Sman View Post
I never noticed it when I first started out until I was trying to learn a solo and I realized that the solo required 22 frets, I really wish I could remember which song it was. It's one of those right-of-passage songs that we all probably learned. Maybe something by Pink Floyd or maybe Skynyrd.... I dont know but other than that one incident I never noticed it. It is one more thing for my friends with MIA strats to point out when bashing MIM though.
I remember debating, as a teen, which guitar Joe Perry was using on the song Train keep a rollin. We decided it had to be a 22 fret neck to reach that high note in the solo.

My electric guitars are all 21 fret necks, except one. Which is not a Fender guitar. I would have to agree with others, I do not really need to travel that far anymore for my playing style.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I remember debating, as a teen, which guitar Joe Perry was using on the song Train keep a rollin. We decided it had to be a 22 fret neck to reach that high note in the solo.
It was actually ace session man
Dick Wagner who played that solo,
uncredited in the liner notes though.
It wasn't divulged until years later, but
he played a lot on "Get Your Wings".
He's on some other Aerosmith too.

Wagner, Steve Hunter & the absolutely sick bassist Prakash John
all played in Lou Reed's band on the live "Rock N' Roll Animal" LP &
in Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" touring band as well.

Imho, Wagner & Hunter are the most underrated guitar duo in Rock.
Mainly because they were session cats & guns for hire types, i guess.

Prakash John doesn't get mentioned in the lists of greats either but, if
you check out all three of those guys' work on that Lou Reed record &
Alice's "Welcome To My Nightmare" (live in '75) dvd, they're undeniable.

I hope i didn't burst your Joe Perry bubble, sevycat.
I'm a ridiculously HUGE fan of 70's Aerosmith myself.

Knowing there were ghost players on some of their early stuff
never bothered me or ruined my ability to enjoy them though.

There's a long history of that stuff
going on in Rock N' Roll anyway, so...

And as for 21 or 22 frets... i don't get all the way up to the
22nd fret that often, but if i needed to for a particular song,
i'd just play my Standard Strat or Les Paul for that number.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It's one extra note. One.

Don't get me wrong, 3 out of 4 of my "Strat" necks are 22-fret... but do you really want to learn to play something in a way that won't work on all similar guitars? Better make sure every single possible backup and/or borrowed guitar has 22 before investing in that memorization..
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Old January 24th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Personally I can't imagine not using the 22nd on a guitar during solos just because I had another guitar with 21 frets. To expand that thought I have lots of solos that pretty much single coil and others that are targeted for humbuckers. When you don't play them on the right guitar they just don't have the magic.

That's why so many of us have more than one guitar to begin with.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I know most Metallica solos I teach seem to need the 22nd fret, especially ones like the Ride the Lightening solo where you're in the B minor 19th Pentatonic position for awhile.

That solo was so much easier on the Jackson V. :(
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Old January 24th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Personally I can't imagine not using the 22nd on a guitar during solos just because I had another guitar with 21 frets. To expand that thought I have lots of solos that pretty much single coil and others that are targeted for humbuckers. When you don't play them on the right guitar they just don't have the magic.

That's why so many of us have more than one guitar to begin with.
Call it laziness if you will (or lack of mental capacity!! I am getting older!!) but I made the call a few years ago that all of my guitars had to be 22 fret (where it is sensible - I agree with tonyw) so I didn't have to think about fret positions too much. I do find that because the 21 and 22 fret Strat necks are essentially the same dementions my hand will automatically got to the correct area of the neck regardless (eg the 12th fret is the same 'feel' place on both necks). Gibsons, etc follow much the same 'feel' pattern.

I have a 24 fret PRS copy and I find that where I 'feel' the 12th fret would be on a Strat is around the 16th fret on it, and it throws me every time. Man! I have to concentrate to play that thing!

21 or 22 fret is not a biggie, but I like to keep things simple where I can. A different feel and a different sound can inspire me, so it doesn't have to be a bad thing. I agree with Strato - that why we need more than one guitar!
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