It can be a tough decision to make, but which guitar neck is best – 22 or 24 frets? Truthfully, this is a question that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer for all players. Both guitars offer their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth taking the time to understand which one might be best for you when choosing how many frets on your guitar.
The main difference between having 22 frets or 24 frets is the number of notes that you have access to. A 24 fret guitar has access to two full octaves while a 22 fret guitar has slightly less.
22 Fret Guitars
The 22-fret guitar is the most common. These guitars are the easiest to manufacture, and, often, they can be more comfortable to play. 22 fret guitars have a slightly different feel than 24 fret guitars.
The 22-fret instrument allows for a full three octave range with room to spare for the highest notes. This means that experienced players and beginners alike won’t be left wanting when it comes time to stretch out their fingers.
The fretboard usually has a width of 1-3/4 inches across. This makes it extremely easy to learn to play chords and scales, especially for beginner players. The fact that 22-fret guitars are common means that they are easily available for purchase at any large music store or via the internet. Most guitarists prefer these models, even if they later decide on a longer neck option. It is these factors that make the 22-fret guitar the most popular option on the market today.
24 Fret Guitars
The 24-fret guitar is becoming increasingly popular. They are even more comfortable to play than the 22-fret guitar because of their wider fretboard, which allows for easier access to higher positions. These guitars need a little more practice to completely master the fingerboard, but are typically easier to learn on and easier to play than some other models.
The 24-fret guitar offers a full three octave range with room to spare at the highest end. This means that experienced players and beginners alike won’t be left wanting when it comes time to stretch out their fingers.
The fretboard usually has a width of 1-3/4 inches across, making these guitars ideal for learning chords and scales. Finger placement is easier on this longer neck, making it a better choice for those who want to learn quickly or prefer playing several different notes at one time.
You may have heard that 24-fret guitars are more difficult to find than 22-fret models. This is true, but they are gaining popularity. You can find them in most large music stores or online. A growing number of companies that produce guitars are offering them as an option or standard feature on some models.
Choosing Between 22 and 24 Frets
There are pros and cons to each option, so you have to decide which one will best suit your playing needs.
22 Frets: Pros
They’re convenient to use and generally easier to learn on than 24-fret guitars.
They’re available in most music stores and from any online guitar store.
22-fret guitars have a more defined sound than 24-fret models. The strings are placed evenly across the fretboard, producing greater clarity and richer tones.
22 Frets: Cons
You can’t reach as high on the neck. There isn’t room for another octave unless you use artificial overdrive effects. The 24-fret guitar allows you to reach those highest notes. These guitars are often missing some higher notes altogether, meaning that they won’t sound “perfect” in that regard.
The finger placement becomes slightly more difficult as you progress, especially when compared with 24-fret guitars.
24 Frets: Pros
They’re widely available and easy to learn from. They are a little more comfortable to play because of the extra room between the strings.
they offer greater access to your entire playing range. You can reach a lot further on these models than you can on 22-fret guitars, which can leave you in an awkward position if you want to reach higher notes. This isn’t a problem on 24-fret guitars, which have a smoother transition into higher positions.
24 Frets: Cons
They’re more difficult to learn on than 22-fret guitars. Your fingers need to move a little more to reach some notes, and you also need to be aware of where they are placed so that your picking hand doesn’t get in the way. Some players don’t feel comfortable using these guitars. The extra distance between the strings means that you will probably press other strings, decreasing tone quality and increasing chance of unwanted feedback.
The extra distance between the strings means that you will probably press other strings, decreasing tone quality and increasing chance of unwanted feedback. 24-fret guitars are more expensive than 22-fret guitars. This might be a negative for some players who aren’t concerned with pure sound quality.
Choosing from both models
Both models of guitars allow you to reach all notes on the neck, but they each feature a different feel and sound qualities. You may want to purchase a 22-fret guitar as your main instrument and a 24-fret guitar as a replacement or backup.
It all comes down to personal preference and how much you’re willing to spend. The only way you’ll know for sure which one you prefer is by trying them out in person. Regardless of which one you choose, it should give you years of enjoyment.