Tom Thunder posted a discussion
To fret or not to fret
I usually make my necks without any fret locators at all. I mark out the 3-5-7- & 12 on the edge of the neck and use a slide. My question is can I just burn on the fret locations on the neck and not use actual fret wire. Will it play as if it did have wire frets for making chords

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Comment by the anonymous pick on December 19, 2018 at 12:18pm

Indeed  , there are  "fretless" (not slide)  guitars out there in regular guitar stores etc ,  and cello's , violins etc all play fine being fretless . etc..etc.

A fretless guitar "can" be played  to sound similar to a fretted guitar , but techniques and  tricks and a re-learning curve all come in to play , chords may involve different finger placements to compensate .

As would  new considerations  arise when building,  your action  and intonation must be spot on ,  and using the hardest material for the fretboard , even a back neck angle ,  will help also .

This may be hard to achive with a cbg ,  but a  some folks like a muddy tone . Some are also happy with  just fingering one string notes .(which you can do on  most slider cbgs ).

So . indeed . it is doable , but is it what you are looking for ?

and it never hurts to have multi guitars  for different circumstances or tasks  , or  sound .

and easy to turn into a slider if ya dont like it ;-)

Comment by James Matthews on December 16, 2018 at 3:50pm

I've used copper wire on a couple of mine.  It seems to work better on the longer neck (25") than on the shorter one (17").  I haven't gotten to try it out on any of the others I've made so those are the only two examples I have.  The wood burning ones I've tried only seem to work well with a slide.

Comment by Tom Thunder on December 15, 2018 at 10:04am

Thank you - good to know. TT

Comment by Rich on December 15, 2018 at 9:56am

I've tried this, and found that the notes were very muted without the fret wire. It didn't work well for me.

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