In Defense of Vintage Frets

Low, small, vintage, whatever you want to call them, I used to avoid them like the plague in favor of extra jumbo, jumbo, medium jumbo frets (so long as it had jumbo in the name).

In the last couple of years, for whatever reason, I acquired a couple of guitars that feature small frets, those low, skinny things that find your fretting fingers all over the fretboard ... or, really, fingerboard now.

One of these guitars is the Eric Johnson Strat

At first I thought this was going to be an unsurmountable problem and made plans to have them refretted with medium jumbo stainless steel wire.

But the more I played them the more I found myself altering my technique such that I was actually playing with better technique: more on the fingertips and less fingerprint, if you know what I mean.

Then those guitars grew on me. Especially the acoustic, a Martin OOO-15M that I've played every day since I've owned it. What a killer guitar.