What could be causing dead frets on an acoustic?

My daughter’s acoustic guitar had been sitting in her closet for a couple of years. She decided that She wanted to start taking lessons again. So I get it out, cleaned it, reconditioned the fretboard, restrung it, the usual things to get it playing properly again. Going through the frets it plays perfectly except the Low E, frets 12 and 13, and High E, frets 11 and 12. Those 4 spots are dead spots that play like a thud and vibrate. The rest of the guitar plays fine. Adjusted the true rod, didn’t fix it. Changed the nut...dead spots are still there. Any suggestions or assistance anyone can provide to help me identify the issue? Thanks :)

2 Answers

  • Emdog
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    You said you restrung it, but did you use old strings or new ones? That was a bit unclear to me.

  • Tony B
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Changing the nut won't affect anything except the open strings and, on an acoustic, adjusting the truss rod won't affect how the guitar plays above the 12th fret. The only time to adjust the truss rod is to alter the relief on the neck.

    Without examining the guitar it's hard to say what's causing the problem. It could be an upturn or hump at the high end of the fingerboard (which could be maybe cured by depressing that area of the fingerboard) or it could be uneven frets (high or low frets). Sometimes a fret can raise up slightly causing problems when strings are fretted further down the neck. Frets can also wear unevenly.

    If it's really causing problems and it's a reasonably good guitar it would be worth having it checked over.

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