Troubleshooting High or Low Frets:
When doing some investigative work for finding a troubling buzz or a rattle in a guitar, you undoubtly looking into a string buzz as one of the initial areas of concern.
We have talked about fret analysis and you could certainly do a very thorough fret analysis of the guitar at the same time. This may reveal that several frets are giving you problems and call for either a partial or full fret job.
The one’s that are really difficult to diagnosis though are the hidden little gremlens. These are the buzzes that have no obvious reason for being there. The frets may show very little wear, the neck may be within spec for Neck Relief and you find that you will have to dig deeper.
Use A Fret Rocker:
As you first tool of defense, I go to the Fret Rocker Tool. We have an article on how to make one of these handy little tools. Just click the link above. If you suspect that the buzz is from just one fret, the rocker will find it.
How To Use The Fret Rocker:
The Fret Rocker has 4 different perfectly straight lengths on each side of it. The intent of this is since the frets vary in spacing as you go up the neck, you are in need of a graduated tool that will allow you to just rock between 3 frets.
The best way to use it is to make your diagonostics with the string tension on the neck. Take the fret rocker and check each set of 3 frets from the nut to the 20th or so frets. Each time you check, move up one fret and use a different length of the rocker to be sure to span only 3 frets and not 2 or 4.
There will be no doubt, when you find a high or low fret. The Fret Rocker will rock like crazy. Also, to complete the analysis, be sure to check all the frets between all of the strings because the fret height can vary along the fret length.