Why Do Acoustic Guitars Have Fewer Frets

Almost all of the present-day electric guitarists once started their journey with an acoustic guitar. Acoustic guitars are easy to understand, help in understanding the chord progression, and the finger-picking experience of an acoustic guitar is what helps you master any other guitar with ease. But have you ever thought about why do acoustic guitars have fewer frets than electric guitars?

Acoustic guitars have fewer frets because an acoustic guitar has a big body which makes the access to the upper frets a bit hard. Also, the upper frets of an acoustic guitar are hardly used due to their sharp sound. Keeping this in mind, the acoustic guitar contains fewer frets so that the guitarist does not have to struggle to reach the uppermost fret.

So, what makes an acoustic guitar have fewer frets than an electric guitar? If you want to have a detailed insight into acoustic guitars and their fewer frets, this is the perfect place to land on. Below, you will find every necessary detail that you need to have about the acoustic guitar and its number of frets.


How Many Frets Does An Acoustic Guitar Have?

Frets are the fundamentals of any guitar. Without them, you’ll not be able to create the sound you want. However, it is hard to say how many frets an acoustic guitar has. The fret count of an acoustic guitar varies depending on the producer and the size of the acoustic guitar.

In the current guitar market, you will find 20-fret acoustic guitars, 18-fret acoustic guitars, and even 12-fret acoustic guitars. However, if we talk about the average number of frets in an acoustic guitar, you will have the number 20.

An average acoustic guitar contains almost 20 frets. This is the number that some of the most popular guitar manufacturers, including Fender and Les Paul, use for their acoustic guitars.

All in all, a quality acoustic guitar will have as many as 20 frets on its fretboard.

3 Reasons Why Your Acoustic Guitar have Fewer Frets

There are a lot of reasons why acoustic guitars have fewer frets. However, to help you understand, below, we are going to list three of the most common and crucial reasons why an acoustic guitar owns fewer frets than an electric guitar. So, follow the article below and have compact answers to your queries.

1- Size of the body

One of the most common and understandable reasons behind acoustic guitars having fewer frets is the body size of your acoustic guitar. If you compare, then an acoustic guitar has a considerably larger and thicker body than an electric guitar.

An electric is designed with a sleek and small body that helps you reach the upper frets of the guitar with ease. On the other hand, due to the thick and large body of an acoustic guitar, a guitarist will find it hard to reach the upper frets of the guitar.

When you are unable to reach the upper frets of your acoustic guitar, there is no way that you will be able to produce quality sound from that particular fret. The sound of the acoustic guitar depends entirely on how perfectly you press and release them.

So, this is why the guitar producers decided to reduce the number of upper frets of acoustic guitars. This is one of the main reasons why your acoustic guitar has fewer frets than an electric guitar.

2- Joint of the neck

Another reason that compelled guitar manufacturers to reduce the number of frets of an acoustic guitar is the point where the fretboard joins the body of the guitar. On average, the fretboard of an acoustic guitar joins the body of the guitar at 12th or 14 frets.

On the other hand, an electric guitar’s fretboard meets its body at the 16th or 17th fret, making it easier to access frets than an acoustic guitar.

Making things simple, when your acoustic guitar joins the body on the 12th fret, it becomes harder for a player to play chords beyond the 16th or 17 frets with ease. The higher you go, the thicker your body will have to deal with. So, the producers of the acoustic guitar do not put more than 20 frets on an acoustic guitar as it will be near to impossible to play those frets with ease.

Now, if we talk about the electric one, not only does it join the body on the 16th fret, but its body is also thinner than an acoustic guitar. An acoustic generates its sound from its body, while an electric guitar uses electrical parts to help the guitar generate the sound. This is why the body of an acoustic guitar is thicker, making it hard to reach the upper frets.

3- Upper frets have no major role in an acoustic guitar

If you play an acoustic guitar, you will agree that the beauty of acoustic guitar lies in its resonance, soft and deep sound. However, this isn’t the case with electric guitar. An electric guitar is known for its fresh and sharp sound. And this is one of the most important reasons why an acoustic guitar has fewer frets.

It is once in a blue moon that an acoustic guitarist will choose to play on upper frets. Most of the time, we do not go below the 15th fret of our electric guitar. And the reason behind it is that below the 15th fret, the vibration of strings is reduced due to as we reduce its size, and it generates a sharp sound.

This is something that no acoustic guitar player or listener will love to have. We, acoustic guitarists, do not want a sharp sound. So, this became the reason why you have fewer frets on an acoustic guitar. Upper frets on an acoustic guitar are more or less useless.

So, keeping in mind that we do not usually play on upper frets, and it is also hard to reach the upper frets of the guitar, the producers of acoustic guitars reduce the fret count to a maximum of 20. And, I bet my words that no acoustic guitarist will ever play the 20th fret of their acoustic guitar.

Does An Acoustic Guitar Sound Good On Upper Frets?

There is no doubt that an acoustic guitar will sound good even on upper frets. However, we do not think that you will have the need to play an acoustic guitar on upper frets. Due to reduced size, the upper frets of an acoustic guitar sound so sharp that it ruins the feel of an acoustic guitar.

Playing on the upper frets of an acoustic guitar will feel like playing an electric guitar with no amp connected. So, there is no doubt that an acoustic guitar will sound good on the upper fret, but it will have less resonance than it regularly has. So, only play on upper frets when it is highly needed.

Why Do Some Guitars Have No frets?

It sounds weird to have a fretless guitar. However, a fretless guitar is one of the most amazing things that we have witnessed in recent times. A fretless guitar offers you a free space to practice sound and hit your limits.

But, one of the most amazing benefits of a fretless guitar is that it allows you to escape the western music scale and help you produce sound beyond it. Along with all this, with no frets to space the strings, you can play from anywhere on the fretboard and enjoy playing completely different music. So, if you are intermediate or professional guitar, a fretless guitar will help you practice music like never before.

Is a 12-Fret Guitar good For Strumming?

Unlike a 24-fret guitar, a 12-fret guitar has a low scale and shorter neck that helps to play open chords with ease. Along with it, a 12-fret guitar has a warmer tone that allows the open chords to stand out while strumming, and you will be able to easily identify if you are committing any mistakes while strumming.

Now, the best part about a 12-fret guitar is that it has more resonance than any other type of guitar. With this said, it is clear that it will help you understand what string to press and play at what time. In short, a 12-fret guitar is perfect for strumming.

How Many Frets Should An Acoustic Guitar Have?

If we talk about the pure sound of an acoustic guitar, then only 18 frets are enough for an acoustic guitar. On an acoustic guitar, you will only play till a maximum of 16, and in rare cases, we reach the 18th fret. So, an acoustic guitar with 18 frets is good to have.

However, there are some acoustic guitars that contain 20 frets. These guitars are for those who love to play and experience sharp sound. So, it is you who will decide how many frets are enough for you to have on an acoustic guitar. If you are comfortable with an 18-fret guitar, then well and good. But, if you need to have a guitar with 20 frets, go for it.

Is acoustic guitar harder to play than electric guitar?

If you are an absolute beginner, then it is going to be a hard nut to crack to learn and play an acoustic guitar. An acoustic guitar has a thick neck, a large body, and greater fret to-string space than an electric guitar. So, if you are going to learn an acoustic guitar, then it will be tougher than learning an acoustic guitar.

However, despite all the hardship, any guitar expert will suggest you learn on an acoustic guitar rather than an electric one. The reason behind it is simple. First, the acoustic guitar is hard to learn. So, once you learn it, you can easily play all other types of guitars.

Secondly, an acoustic guitar has more opportunities to learn about sound and open chords. So, an acoustic guitar is hard to learn, but this is the best option to learn guitar basics.


To conclude, we can surely say that after this article, you know quite well why acoustic guitars have fewer frets. Above, we have guided you to our best. That is why an acoustic guitar owns fewer frets. Along with it, we have also clarified some of the most common confusions about an acoustic guitar and its playability.

Therefore, if you wanna know anything about the frets of an acoustic guitar, follow this article heartily. However, if you find anything missing or need additional information, let us know. We will be there to help you out. 

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