## Fret Calculator

A **Fret Calculator** is used by **luthiers**, **guitar makers**, and **musicians** to determine the precise placement of **frets** on a stringed instrument’s neck.

**Frets** are the **metal strips** on the neck of guitars, bass guitars, and similar instruments that divide the neck into fixed segments of **musical intervals**.

When building a guitar with a **scale length** (the distance from the **nut** to the **bridge**) of **25.5 inches**, a **Fret Calculator** would help you determine that the **first fret** should be placed **1.431 inches** from the nut.

## Fret Calculation Chart

Fret Number | Distance from Nut (inches) |
---|---|

1 | 1.431 |

2 | 2.782 |

3 | 4.056 |

4 | 5.256 |

5 | 6.384 |

6 | 7.445 |

7 | 8.441 |

8 | 9.375 |

9 | 10.250 |

12 (Octave) | 12.750 |

## Fret Calculation Formula

The **formula** for calculating fret positions is based on the concept of **equal temperament** and uses the **“Rule of 18”**:

**Distance from nut = Scale Length - (Scale Length / (2^(n/12)))**

Where:

**Scale Length**is the distance from the**nut**to the**bridge****n**is the**fret number**

For example, let’s calculate the position of the **5th fret** on a guitar with a **25.5-inch scale length**:

Distance = 25.5 – (25.5 / (2^(5/12)))

= 25.5 – (25.5 / 1.3348398541700344)

= 25.5 – 19.116

=6.384 inches

**This means the 5th fret should be placed 6.384 inches from the nut.**

## How do you calculate frets?

Here’s a **step-by-step example** for finding the first three fret positions on a **bass guitar** with a **34-inch scale length**:

**Determine the scale length** (**34 inches** in this case)

Apply the formula for each fret: For the **1st fret**:

`34 - (34 / (2^(1/12))) = 34 - 32.108 = `**1.892 inches** For the **2nd fret**:
34 - (34 / (2^(2/12))) = 34 - 30.306 = **3.694 inches** For the **3rd fret**:
34 - (34 / (2^(3/12))) = 34 - 28.593 = **5.407 inches**

These calculations give you the **distance from the nut** to each fret. **Luthiers** use these measurements to precisely place **frets**, ensuring accurate **intonation** across the instrument’s range.

**The process continues for all frets, typically up to the 22nd or 24th fret on most guitars and basses.**

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