Posted on August 11, 2021February 2, 2024 by Dale Phillips Calculating Fret Scales Calculating Fret Scales by Bob Petrulis Originally published in Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #4, 1974 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1998 When many of us were starting out, calculating fret scales seemed an arcane and mysterious art, something known to a few high priests of the craft. As kids, we copied scales from existing guitars, or got a list of measurements from a book or by pestering an instrument maker. We did this partly because we knew little of the physics of music, and partly because, back in the dark ages, calculators and computers were not easily available to teenage kids trying to make musical instruments in their basements or in wood shop at school. This article provides the information you need to calculate any fret scale in any unit of measurement you wish. I am assuming you are calculating a chromatic scale, twelve notes to the octave. If you need to calculate a scale, say, for a dulcimer, I recommend that you calculate the entire fret scale, and then remove the unneeded frets from your listing. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.