Guitars with Adjustable Frets


Over the last couple of years I’ve made some instruments designed for a particular non-
standard scale system, as described here. The instrument in this photo is a guitar-like instrument (but with a banjo-like drumhead for the soundboard), originally made for standard tuning many years ago. I’ve now modified the instrument to provide it with a movable fret system, which allows me to tune it to this alternative tuning – or, for that matter, to any other tuning. To make the movable fret system, I worked the neck to provide shallow slots running between the strings along the length of the fingerboard. I then made a set of staple-shaped fretlets sized to fit over the strips between the slots, their legs fitting snugly and securely in the slot on each side. The fretlets can be placed anywhere along the neck.

The sound clip heard here is a non-vocal version of a setting for the Fairy Lullabye from Midsummer Night’s Dream. The melody is played on Tangular ARC.


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