PDF Download: How to Tie Fret Knots - a Traditional Way of Fretting

Fret Not: The Fret Knot is Back by Peter Hoover

"An idea centuries old has returned..."

PDF Scan from Mugwumps Magazine, Vol 3. No. 6, November 1974   

A note from Shane:  This tutorial comes from an old issue of Mugwumps magazine, a now-defunct publication that is getting harder and harder to find.  This lesson on fret knots should hopefully inspire many new DIY instrument ideas from you all.

I first learned about tied fretting techniques when I purchased a tourist-grade Turkish saz during a trip to Israel back in 1989.  The instrument is fretted up the neck with nylon filament frets, each one wrapped around four times.

You would think that the metal strings would cut into the frets, but it doesn't The saz plays just as good today as when I purchased it thirty years go!

I've scanned the original Mugwumps article and converted it into a PDF so you can download and print out for your own use.  

A CALL FOR IMPROVEMENTS:  If you have a better technique for traditional tied-and-knotted frets, please post them below!  If you try any of these ideas, make sure to also take photos and post a builder's diary, too.

PDF Download: How to Tie a Traditional Fret Knot

About these plans:  In researching various obscure musical instruments, I have discovered the treasure trove of information from Mugwumps, a now defunct magazine originally published by Michael Holmes of Silver Spring, MD.  The bi-monthly journal celebrated old time music, unusual folk instruments and served as a classifieds for the emerging bluegrass community of the 1970's.

Views: 1161

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Shane, that's the exact same method used since the middle ages for the lute and viola da gamba. It's good enough for them -- we don't need to mess with it!

One method I saw did say to tie it a little closer to the nut, then slide it up the neck to tighten it some more (which assumes that your neck tapers towards the nut).

That is an awesome art piece of historical nature. I know you guys have committed much of your life to this and I appreciate you for creating more depth to this art form

#3 Nylon cord from Hobby lobby, same tie method as in article

Brian,

Your fret job looks awesome!

Since Shane shared the plans in this post, I've been daydreaming about how I would tie my own frets.

I really dig what you've done and appreciate that you shared your resource and photos of your work here.

you rule!!!!

Thanx Donkey, I enjoyed the simplicity of this method. It’s just 2 simple knots? The other way I learned to tie frets is very complicated & kinda bulky? But honestly, hard for fat fingered guys like me :D Just showing that it works? I also added a drop of super glue to the knot & one on the face of the fret, to stop it from wandering.

Definitely going to have to try this one some day...

I'm wondering if it would be doable with some really soft wire?

I think the wire is very interesting, like to hear how that works out

I'll first have to check to see if I have some leftover bailing wire... haven't used that stuff in ages. I know I have some somewhere in the garage... I think knowing it's somewhere in the garage is a bad thing......

Wire frets go way back in history also? Copper wire frets are common?

RSS

The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation?How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

 

Recommended Links & Resources

Featured Instrument Video

Forum

Etsy sales

Started by Angry Rooster Guitars in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Angry Rooster Guitars on Monday. 17 Replies

Latest Activity

Dave Lynas liked Poppeysguitars's photo
5 minutes ago
Dave Lynas liked Randy S. Bretz's photo
5 minutes ago
Dave Lynas liked Randy S. Bretz's photo
5 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Daniel Walter's photo
Thumbnail

Garbage find guitar

"Beautiful Daniel! I have a Harmony just like it that needs everything you mentioned and then some.…"
6 minutes ago
Dave liked Bob "Ambrose" Negus's photo
8 minutes ago
BUGGY (C) posted a video

I'm a believer - Tribute to the Monkey's

A Sad day another one of The Monkeys leaves us - Bug's one man band chaos strikes again... a Bug tribute to them and the fun we had..
8 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Jim Morris's photo
Thumbnail

Batfink/Professor Vibrato Cello

"You’re a snow wimp Jim."
11 minutes ago
Dave Lynas liked Jim Morris's photo
12 minutes ago
Dave Lynas liked Jim Morris's photo
12 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Jim Morris's photo
Thumbnail

Batfink/Professor Vibrato Cello

"Snowed in indeed. That’s not much snow Jim. Nice  Vibratto though."
13 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Daniel Walter's photo
Thumbnail

Dave Lions.......aka Lynas?

"Where? What tha? Now i’m Outed. I prefer the dark shadows of the Serengeti night."
14 minutes ago
Jim Morris commented on Jim Morris's video
Thumbnail

Batfink Professor Vibrato Cello

"Thanks Dave. I got ants in the pants already for sure!"
15 minutes ago

Music

Loading…

© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->