Removing upper frets to address ski jump

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassplaynbaiken, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. bassplaynbaiken


    Apr 3, 2014
    Just curious what anyone thinks of this. I have a 76 Jazz bass with a really bad ski jump. I've already had the frets dressed down a good amount. But I'd still like to lower the action from where it is, but can't because the ski jump causes notes to buzz out. What if I just removed frets 16-20? I never play up there anyway. Would that allow for lowering the action without buzz? Would it be hard to do?
  2. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Removing frets itself is pretty easy, not so easy to avoid chip out on the board. Watch a few Youtube videos, most people use a soldering iron and nippers. In theory, should work, depends how bad the ski jump is. It might be possible to file a "fall away" in upper frets first, nothing to lose trying. Removing the frets could actually increase forward bow.
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  3. vaesto


    Jun 21, 2010
    Removing frets won't fix sky-jump as it is. Sure, you'll be able to play lower notes, but eventually you'll hit the naked fretboard one day. And partially-fretted it would look awful, IMHO.

    I advice to correct the sky-jump, either by counter-warping it while heat is applied (as does) or harder way - ask any luthier to re-plane the neck.
  4. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    not advocating the op's solution here at all -imo you should seek pro help. but, should you decide to pull out "unnecessary frets" be advised that if your bass is an actual pre 80'-82' Fender, that the frets are installed sideways. many novices pull them out vertically and yank chunks of wood out of the fingerboard making a ugly mess.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  5. All Fender frets were installed sidewards back in the 60's and 70's. Before you start pulling frets and other non-reversible changes to your bass, try shimming the neck under the serial number of the neck plate as opposed to at the end of the neck pocket. It may help the situation and if it doesn't work just take out the shim. No permanent damage.