Abnormally high frets? How to fix this problem?

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Disciple
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Joined: August 8th, 2017, 11:04 pm

Abnormally high frets? How to fix this problem?

Post by Disciple » August 8th, 2017, 11:13 pm

Ok, so I am a guitar player, not a tech. I know how to set up my guitars, and do some basic maintenance and tweaks.
But I bought a used Jackson electric guitar from a pawn shop here in Costa Rica, and came across a problem I've never seen before. The low E and A strings, on the first 3 frets, cannot be played regularly because the frets are so high, that if I push the string down to the fretboard, it raises the pitch almost half a step! If I play them very lightly, and right on the fret, I can muddle through. But playing chords with the low E string on the first 3 frets is impossible.
The rest of the neck is fine...but this problem confounds me. I hesitate to take sandpaper to the frets because I don't know if that will really solve the problem; and I've never done that before. The frets are like new, and very clean and without any visible wear.
Should I just do the obvious, and sand the frets down?

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Klonk
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Joined: August 30th, 2017, 1:08 pm

Re: Abnormally high frets? How to fix this problem?

Post by Klonk » August 30th, 2017, 1:57 pm

I'd have to hold the guitar myself to actually be able to assess. But it sounds like the neck has warped a bit due to temperature. If you've properly adjusted the truss rod, the nut, and the bridge then honestly the only work around I could think of right now would be to file down the frets that are too high.

What you're describing is a bit strange though and might actually have been an intended effect. A lot of asian stringed instruments have frets that are incredibly high so that you can do funky sitar-like bends.

The instrument might also just have been poorly crafted.

However the most likely explanation is that the neck warped to due temperature.

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