Tag Archives: Gretsch Guitars

GretschTech: the Zero Fret

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Zero fret on a G6122-1959 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman.

What’s the deal with the zero fret found on some Gretsch guitars? What is it, why is it there and what does it do?

A “zero fret” is an extra fret located directly in front of the nut. You don’t often see them these days, although they were once fairly commonplace. Regarded today as an antiquated feature, they nonetheless still appear on a small number of instruments as an item of vintage-style authenticity.

Nonetheless, a zero fret isn’t merely a cosmetic touch—it does serve a subtle purpose appreciated by discerning players. In effect, it takes over the role of the nut in determining string height above the fingerboard. A zero fret can even out string action even more uniformly than the nut.

It’s easy to understand how the zero fret achieves this. On most guitars and basses, the nut serves as the anchor point for the vibrating length of the string at that end of the instrument (the bridge saddles serving the same function at the other end of the instrument) and as the string “spacer.”

The slots cut into the nut are of a generally uniform depth, but there can be very slight variations, which in turn produce very slight variations in the height of each individual string above the fingerboard. Guitarists with a discerning fretting hand feel may be able to detect such small variances.

The zero fret eliminates these variances and uniformly evens out string height even more finely because all the strings rest on it as they pass over it, with the nut relegated solely to its role of spacing the strings apart evenly across the width of the fingerboard.

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Watch Allen Stone Perform ‘Unaware’

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Allen Stone recently visited with the Gretsch crew and offered a soulful performance of “Unaware,” a track off his eponymous self-released 2011 album. (more…)

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Green Day Back in the Studio (with Gretsch)

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Green Day is back in the studio recording a new album, and have even shared a quick video update. With drummer Tre Cool already in the Gretsch family, it was a bonus to  see frontman Billie Joe Armstrong rocking a Gretsch axe.

Since the vid flashes so quickly, we thought we’d better check with the Green Day camp on the exact model. According to Billie Joe’s guitar tech, Hans, it’s the singer’s “’56ish (Gretsch) Anniversary.”

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A Closer Look at the Roots Collection

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Yesterday, we officially announced the new Gretsch Roots Collection. For a closer look at some of these new instruments, we recommend this video clip from the 2012 NAMM show when Greg Koch sat down with Gretsch’s Mike Lewis to discuss the line.

Watch and enjoy below:

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OK Go’s New Video to Feature Massive Amounts of Gretsch Gear

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OK Go’s latest music video, “Needing/Getting,” is set to premiere this weekend on Super Bowl Sunday and from the teaser below, it appears it’s going to be yet another viral sensation. Filmed with Chevy, the video teaser reveals that 288 instruments were used in its making. Specifically, 148 black Gretsch G5105 Electromatic CVT III guitars and 140 red Gretsch G5103 Electromatic CVT III guitars were used in the video, as well as 67 Gretsch G5222 Electromatic Compact amps.

So enjoy the trailer below, and then tune in Sunday for the full video. If you happen to miss the big game, the video will also air afterwards on http://www.LetsDoThis.com.

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