Getting close to working on my fretboard (25.5" scale) and am going to use a zero fret. I have jumbo for that. I'll take recommendations for the rest of the frets, what size? One factor may be my playing style.Arthritis prevents me from making chord shapes...at least complex ones. All my 6-string full size geets are 'Keef-rigged', 5 strings, open G tuning, straight barre chord play. Actually getting pretty good at that.
So for the CBG, what should I try? I'm experimenting with slide also, just got one of Shane's 'pocket knife- style' brass ones.
Hi, I would select a fret size by measuring one on a guitar that I find comfortable playing, you said you have a few. Maybe a low fret might be best if fretting is difficult.
You have a lot of options (and you can always change your mind at any time).
If fingering chord shape is difficult or painful, then explore alternative styles of play. I mean, of course, slide play.
You use of a zero fret is a great idea. However instead of a jumbo fret you use a bit of music wire as shown below you can raise and lower action height easily by changing the diameter of the wire.
With this setup and some strings with relatively low tension, you can try fingering chords and then raise the action and try slide play and open tuning. The low string ostentation will not only allow easier fingering, but it also allows you to change the open tuning up or down several semi-tones without risk of string breakage.
With some time spent on slide you may find that this method is not only easier on your hands, but actually a terrific way to make some good blues music.
Good luck with your project
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That looks cool. Is that homemade?
I'm using a string retainer that I cut that is similar to cb gitty's except mine has holes rather than slots. Is that setup homemade? That would probably work if I cut a shallow channel like for Shane's bolt nuts...
And I am starting to fool around with slide...
Yea, it's home made. Something I came up with when working with the zero-fret idea. Just a tinkerers blunder. I've used it on every guitar build since the first one.
The white nut-like piece was cut from a piece of white Corian that I bought on ebay. I think I got enough for about 100 nuts for less than ten bucks. It is a bit over a 1/4" thick and is easily cut on a table saw.
You can get music wire in a ton of thicknesses so you can raise or lower action in small increments until you reach the sweet spot.
After about three or four years of slide play, it's my favorite way to play blues. You can do some great lead runs using just the two bottom strings as a complimentary pair. That is if they are tuned 5-1.
Actually, if you pick your own string diameters, you can to an open tuning in which each string is in your preferred position. I always tune the bottom three strings in a 1-5-1 setup. It makes those three a great group. If, for example, you go (top to bottom) D A F# D A D you have all the proper notes for open D but moves a few notes to non-traditional positions for easier playing.
Check it out with your slide and you'll be pleased.
W@hen I was building CBG's I really didn't play at all and most often went with a diatonic layout. Around the time of covid I tried my hand at building full size guitars, i.e. Telecaster style. What helped motivate me there was when I found out about Keith Richards and 'Micawber', as well as watching the film "Keith Richards: Under The Influence". I found him extremely intelligent and very self effacing "I'm not a great guitar player, I only know 3 notes...". If you don't know about Micawber, Richards removed the low 'E[', and tunes to open 'G" (GDGBD). When I saw that I thought "I can do that" and just use simple straight barre.
I'm vastly better than when I started. It's not lead, just strumming/rhythm and I also discovered one of the secrets of R&R, the louder you play, the better you are and when you turn down the volume, you suck again.
I've built around 15 geets and bought another 7 or 8 (chinonames and First Act...which are very under rated).
Right now lumber prices are steering me away from geets and sending me back to CBG's. with a far better woodworking skillset than before.
I forgot to tell you my corian secret...
Go to Home Depot (maybe Lowes too) and go to the cabinet/kitchen department. As for samples of discontinued corian colors/designs. It's in a drawer somewhere. They're about 2" square and what, half inch thick maybe. They gave them to me...