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: 2220

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I’ve had some success with baling wire.

Same Hobby Lobby cord on a 3 string before gluing & trimming. Easy peasy, give it a go?

I didn't have to take the strings off to tie them on, definitely a plus?

Hi, in the opening notes Shane mentioned the Mugwamps magazine, I used to get that publication back in the day. They even had me listed as a guitar builder in some issues. I still have those Mugwamps mags as well as copies of a magazine called Frets. My only source of lutherie info other than the Guild of American Luthiers quarterly info sheets back then. 

Taff

Pardon me chuckling a bit, but you fretted an instrument, played some cool blues licks on it - but used a slide and not the newly tied on frets (unless I missed something) in the demo.

Really neat idea regardless. I bought some 20 gauge jewelry wire yesterday to try this with.

Sorry, I kinda jumped the gun & recorded the clip before I dropped the action? I’ll be sure to post one of the finger style vids I made. my intention was to show how simple it is to do, so that people could try it themselves? I actually did a few one string necks, instead of using traditional burned fret markers & the sound I got still sounded like it was fretless, pretty interesting, I’m sure it has something to do with the density of the fret material :)

Unrehearsed rambling...

Thanks so much for this. It does have that fretless banjo sound (like those minstrel banjos). I will definitely have to try it. Thanks for not taking my comment badly. I wasn't trying to bust your chops (no pun intended unless chuckled in the least bit). 

:D

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

Forum

VIDEO: Beginner Cigar Box Guitar Lesson - the 0-3-5 Blues Scale Secret

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Joseph Wesolowski 3 hours ago. 1 Reply

new bridge

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig 21 hours ago. 22 Replies

Pup redux...

Started by James Pobog in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Paul Craig 21 hours ago. 15 Replies

Make a Lo-Fi Telephone Microphone! EASY 5 Minute Project

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by Shane Speal shanespeal.com 22 hours ago. 5 Replies

Salt when clamping!

Started by KOOL DOG HOOCH in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Titch the Clown on Sunday. 15 Replies

Homemade Fretless Bass Schematic

Started by Shane Speal shanespeal.com in Feature Articles. Last reply by BrianQ. on Sunday. 2 Replies

My CBG History

Started by Uncle John in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson on Saturday. 39 Replies

Latest Activity

Nancy kat liked Uncle John's video
7 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Uncle John's video
Thumbnail

Pistol In My Hand ~ original by me.

"Fastest cbn singer er slinger we got!!  From gospel to country blues in one huge entertaining…"
7 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Andries D. EKER's video
14 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Andries D. EKER's video
Thumbnail

Dogbone Shuffle A .D. Eker 2019

"Work of art Andries! Getting that groove on! Meeeowwww^..^"
14 minutes ago
Tom T replied to James Pobog's discussion lots of new stuff and possibly an original idea...
"Here's what I think you are asking:\ 1. Yes, red and black leads from the audio jack to to…"
26 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Poorness Studios's video
31 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Poorness Studios's video
Thumbnail

Honky Tonk Heroes on CBG

"Honky Tonk cat is excited for you!!! Great job on this song really shows your talent…"
32 minutes ago
Nancy kat liked Richard Sundberg's video
48 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Richard Sundberg's video
48 minutes ago
Nancy kat commented on Richard Sundberg's video
Thumbnail

Motha Nature

"Motha Nature Rules as you do on this one Richard! Meeowwwww^..^"
49 minutes ago
JD commented on Poorness Studios's video
49 minutes ago
JD commented on Randy S. Bretz's photo
55 minutes ago

Events

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 -->