4 Fretting

What is Fretting?

Now, you might be thinking “How do I play all these notes with only 6 strings?” but that is where the fret board come in to play. We can create many more notes by fretting. Pressing a string down between the two pieces of metal will create a note. Technically, the metal parts on the fret board are called frets, however, it is universally accepted that the space between 2 metal pieces is also called fret with its relevant number depending on where it is.

Fretting from a guitarist's perspective.

So how do you fret?

Well firstly, you need to pick a string. We will practice with the high e string. You will see on the fret board that there are gaps between the two metal pieces. These are known as frets, and have numbers relative to their position.

Some guitars also have markings on the board so players know where they are. The most common places for markings to be are on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 12th frets. Those patterns then repeat past the 12th fret (side note: some guitars also have markings on the 1st fret).

For this example, we will use fret 5 on the high e string, which will play an A note. To play the note, we place our finger on the string and push down in the gap so the string bends very slightly. To check if you have done it correctly, play the string you are fretting, and the sound should be clear with no buzzing. Congratulations, you can now fret on the guitar!

Top tip: You don't need to press as hard as you think! Try relaxing your finger over a fret and very slowly press down and add more pressure until you hear the note clearly. You might find you're pressing down a lot harder than you need!