I broke 4 high E strings while playing in the last week on my Tele clone, alerting me that something was obviously amiss. All breaking in the same spot - around 10-12th fret. Been delving heavily into the blues these last few months, so lots of bending, playing sections repeatedly from solos etc . Inspection revealed something that had escaped my attention, despite being very meticulous in looking after my instruments. Frets are levelling, some indents, and likely some assoiciated burring, causing the string breakage. Fortunately, I’ve had no intonation, or buzzing issues. I realise frets are essentially a consumable item, but it took me by surprise. My Les Paul has similar levelling, but no issues yet.
When I started with Justin just over 2 years ago, my plan was to have 2 good quality entry level electrics. One Tele, and one Les Paul. I figured that if I could get 4 years out of them, while learning and developing, then I’d look at something more substantial, most likely with stainless steel frets, or similar. The 2 guitars I have are great instruments, both from a local Aussie maunfacturer, highly regarded by musos much more experienced than I. Together, they cost me about $AUS900. Both great guitars for me, and very happy with them.
This fret problem has however, given me a reality check, given the relative expense of repair. I took my Tele to the guys at my local guitar shop, who I’ve gotten to know pretty well in the last couple of years. They are going to help me out a bit by fixing any frets, and doing a full setup for $100, which I appreciate very much.
I suppose what I’m seeking here is some advice/ related experiences on how I can extend the life of these guitars for the next couple of years fretwise , given that any further fretwork is going to likely start running into hundreds of dollars, and of course, would be prohibitive given the cost of the guitars. Not being a rich man, new purchases have to be justified and budgetted for.
The guys at the shop gave me a few tips, and I’ve been doing a bit of research. Things like;
- Switch to 9s, ( from 10’s), and/ or use something like Daddario XT/XS strings, coated strings etc. Been thinking about doing this anyway, as the blues has me hooked, and probably will for the forseeable future.
- Keep working on playing with a lighter touch, which has been getting progressively better over time.
- Keep the drills a bit shorter.
Be interested in any other tips or related experiences, as I imagine it wouldn’t exactly be an uncommon occurence.