Why Does My Guitar Only Have 18 Frets?

The number of frets on a guitar depends on exactly what type of guitar you have. However, the standard range of the guitar frets is around 18-24 if we consider the modern-day guitar. But, it is OK to ask why the number of frets on guitar varies. Or, why does my guitar only have 18 frets? 

Most modern acoustic guitars have only 18 frets as upper frets are less accessible due to having larger body shapes. The size of the acoustic guitars is larger, so fewer guitar frets allow the guitarist to play their guitar smoothly.

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However, you can consider many more things regarding the guitar’s frets. For example, which guitar is easier to play, an 18 frets guitar or a 22 frets guitar? What number of frets in a guitar do I need?  These are the questions people often ask.

Keep reading this article to have a more in-depth idea about guitar frets.

Why Should You Care About the Guitar Frets? 

Though caring about the number of frets in a guitar is a personal preference, the discussion has its value. You will often find people asking what frets of the guitar are suitable for a particular group of guitarists. Regarding a beginner guitarist, for example. 

However, a thin strip of metal often plays a prominent role in determining the tune, note, type of music one wants to play, ease of use, etc. Moreover, most of the standard guitars have around 18-24 frets. But what are the differences?

Let’s first talk about the sound or tone where all the guitarists have real concerns. For example, let’s say a guitar has 24 frets. Therefore, it is more likely to happen that the neck pickup comes near the guitar bridge. And, when the neck pickup comes near the bridge, the guitar will produce a brighter sound. 

On the other hand, a guitar having comparatively fewer frets is more likely to sound thinner than a guitar having more frets. That’s why it sounds brighter when you play electric guitar than an acoustic guitar. 

Do Guitar Frets Influence the Ease of Playing the Guitar?

If you consider the ease of playing different guitar frets, there are variations too. For example, the larger guitar needs fewer frets than the average guitar. 

Now, what happens with the larger guitars having more frets is you can control the notes on too many high frets. Anything above 12 frets, comparing the perspective of most guitars, especially the beginners. You will find the 18 frets in 3/4 size guitars.

But, as the electric guitar is not as large as the acoustic guitars, it’s OK if they come with 22-24 frets. 

Regarding acoustic guitars, the guitar neck finds the body at the 12 frets, which is more than OK. The rest of the 6 frets are located between the body and the sound hole. 

Why Do Acoustic Guitars Have Fewer Frets?

The main reason acoustic guitars have fewer frets than electrical guitars is because of their size. As the acoustic guitars are usually bigger, it becomes difficult for the guitarist to access the higher part of the frets. 

So, if someone can’t access the higher frets or doesn’t need to, there’s no value in having more frets. But, talking about other types of guitars, the picture is the possible difference.

Moreover, the 18-fret acoustic guitars are well-suitable for the beginner as they like to have the best control while playing. 

However, most acoustic guitars come with the frets number of 18-20, which are accessible when it comes to guitar playing.

Some of the most popular 18-20 frets acoustic guitars  are:

  • Gibson G-45 Standard
  • Martin SC-13E
  • Martin D-28
  • Yamaha A5R
  • Eddie Vedder’s Vintage Martin
  • Robert Johnson’s Gibson L-1

What’s your guitar like?

How Many Frets Should Be There in a Guitar?

Here’s come the important part. Well, as you already know, most modern guitars come with 18-24 frets. However, the number of frets on the guitar depends on what type of guitar you play and what type of guitar you are. 

But then again, acoustic guitars above 22-23 frets are considered difficult to play. However, if you want to produce a brighter sound, you can use a larger number of frets. But don’t forget that scale length will remain the same. 

However, the most common number of frets is 20, which is ideal no matter what type of music you want to play with your guitar. 

Number of Frets a Guitar Should Have for Beginners:

A beginner guitarist’s most important thing to master is control over playing the guitar. However, at the beginner stage, people are more likely to follow the note carefully. 

Here, a guitar with frets between 18-20 will be the best for a beginner. Therefore, a beginner should go with the string steel acoustic guitars. This is because, when someone is learning the guitar, they hardly go beyond 12 frets. 

Related Questions

Why Do Electric Guitars Have More Frets?

You will find most of the electronic guitars come with 22-24 frets. However, electric guitars have more frets because they are comparatively smaller. 

So, if the guitar is smaller, there will be no serious difficulty as it comes with more frets. The guitarists can even access the upper level of the frets comprehensively.

Is a 12-Fret Guitar Easier to Play?

Yes, most of the 12 frets guitars are easy to play. Here, the 12 frets indicate the frets with the guitar neck melting the body. You should go with the 12 frets guitar if you are a beginner. 

With the 12 frets guitar, you don’t need to extend your hand pretty far to reach the open position. Moreover, you will have much better control over the number of frets in your guitar.  

Final Thoughts

If you have carefully read this article, you shouldn’t be confused about the guitar’s frets. For example, does your guitar have 18 frets? No worries, you own the standard guitar, considering the number of frets. 

However, some people don’t care about the guitar’s frets. But then again, if you are comfortable playing any guitar, the frets of your guitar won’t create any issues.

Nonetheless, using guitars with fewer frets is always better if you are a fingerstyle player. That’s it. 

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