Filing frets

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Instrument Pimp, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. Hey, has anyone ever tried filing their frets down on a four string bass? I'm wanting lower action all along the fretboard, but nothing I do seems to keep it from buzzing when I lower the action. I've tried raising the nut to the same height as the bridge, using different diameters of strings, made sure the neck was straight, but none of it works, so I'm down to actually modifying the neck/frets. Anybody have any tips for me?

    I already have a fretless bass, so I don't want to take the frets off of this one, so don't bother suggesting it...
  2. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    I hate to say this but please don't file your frets if you don't know what you are doing! Because I did. And I ended up needing a complete refret from someone who knows what they're doing.(I know I'm a knucklehead!) It takes a person with seasoned skills to do work like this. I know this sounds stupid but you might want to lighten your touch while playing. I had a teacher one who literally had the strings so low they were laying on top of the frets. When I tried his bass it was buzz city, when he played it it was fine, it was all in the lightness of his playing(Jaco style).
  3. Okay, so I won't try filing my frets... a lighter touch you say? What exactly do you mean? Not pressing so hard on the strings? Or not plucking the strings so hard? And one other thing, how much did it cost you to have your bass refretted?
  4. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Try a fret hammer? It's nylon so its softer than the frets, but you whack on the frets where it buzzs and makes it so it dont buzz. :-D
  5. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    Actually it is both although it does take time to develop, you let your amp take care of the volume and in a nutshell you practice playing a lighter staccato style constantly it will help with speed and contol tremendously.
    You may not need a refret, maybe a fret dressing or recrown.
    Maybe just a professional setup.
    I paid $100 10 years ago for my fret job.
  6. dragonbass

    dragonbass Commercial User

    Feb 17, 2003
    Owner/Builder of LoPrinzi Basses.........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder
    A good re-fret job will cost around $250.00. It might be more if the nut has to be replaced (about $40.00 more).

    Do not file the fret yourself! (unless you don't care about the bass and spending money!)

    I can't stress this enough...........get a set up done by a valued guitar tech, and make sure you play the bass before you pay him, to make sure it's to your liking! I set up all my instruments with low action measured at 2/32".