The amount of frets on a guitar’s fretboard is a topic that has generated much discussion, yet guitarists are a particular group when it comes to the optimum specifications for their instrument. Having 21, 22, 24, or even more frets on your guitar will affect how comfortable you find it to play, what you can play, and even how it sounds.
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Do 22 fret guitars sound different to 24 fret guitars?
Yes. The neck pickups will sound different if you compare two similarly equipped guitars, one with 22 frets and the other with 24. Because a guitar with 22 frets has a shorter fretboard without the two extra frets, the neck pickup can be positioned further from the guitar’s bridge. A 24 fret guitar, on the other hand, has less space to fit the neck pickup on the body without lengthening the scale, forcing it closer to the bridge pickup.
In essence, the 22-fret guitar has two wider tonal extremities: the bridge pickup’s crisper, cutting edge and bigger, bassier, livelier sound and the neck pickup’s bigger, bassier, and livelier tone. Some guitarists prefer the sonic spectrum of a guitar with 22 frets due to the slightly more subtle differences in neck and bridge pickup tones on a 24 fret instrument.
Should I buy a guitar with 22 or 24 frets?
The two additional fret positions, which give you access to four full octaves, are the most noticeable difference between owning a guitar with either 22 or 24 frets. The 23rd and 24th frets aren’t frequently used by guitarists, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t or couldn’t use them to your advantage. Since they are mostly used in rock and metal, you probably won’t find yourself up there very often unless you enjoy certain genres of music, especially if you enjoy singing along to some more well-known songs.
The true benefit of holding the fort at 24 is the extra breathing room it provides when anxiety levels are high. At the 22nd fret, where you run out of room, playing up becomes noticeably more unpleasant. Additionally, if you get acclimated to a given number of frets on a fretboard, switching to any other layout can feel annoyingly strange.