Hook, Line, and Syncopation!

I’ve been bitten by the Bass Bug, hook, line, and syncopation! I’m turning into a nerd instead of a badass!
A project Squire P Bass has developed a bad case of fret sprout, making it painful to play. This problem is solved by rolling the frets. The cost of hiring a tech to roll the frets is about the same as doing it yourself, so I bought a fret scrapper (6 inch fret leveler) and a fret rubber (Fret End Dressing File) from StewMac. There are how-to-not-screw-it-up videos on YouTube but it requires patience. If it doesn’t work out I can always buy another used project bass, but I think I can scrape and rub. If you have rolled your own frets let us know how it turned out?


This is my favorite fret files.

StewMac stuffs are higher price but not expensive considering how well and specific they are made and made for, and they last. I probably use that fret end file for over 40 basses and guitars and it’s still going strong.

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Hi Al! The fret end dressing file is what I got. It’s a tiny little tool that comes with big praise. Now I just have to summon up some courage and use it. Please tell us more about your bass collection?


I’ve done fret work too, and it’s surprisingly easy. I usually use a fret rocker and crowning file to find and fix high frets rather than the block/marker method as unless you’re doing a full fret job, that’s way overkill.

For the fret ends, I’ve also got the StewMac end dressing file and it’s pretty good. Not perfect but not bad. I am about to roll the fretboard on a cheap guitar I am pimping out right now in fact; the fret ends feel fine but I want a rolled fretboard edge on it. After I roll the board I’ll re-dress the fret ends as needed. The guitar is a project to turn a sub-$100 (yet high quality) starter instrument into an absolute beast that feels like a million bucks.

Anyway I would suggest that a fret rocker and crowning file is a good investment, great way to find and fix high frets. And for serious work maybe even radiused sanding blocks, though I am not planning to do a full fret job any time soon.


Raises his hand.

I’ve filed a lot of fret ends for myself and others. Colorado’s climate is very low in humidity so any instrument coming from a more humid location tends to show fret sprout very quickly.

If it’s not too bad sometimes re-humidifying it will work but for most cases I end up filing the fret edges and in some cases rolling the fretboad edges as well. It pays to have some fretting tools around.


Yep. No need to put up with sprout or high frets.

Another thing I do every string change is polish the frets with some fine abrasives. So far by far the best tool I have found for this is high-grit ladies’ nail buffers. StewMac sells exactly the same thing as a tool but at 10-100x the price :rofl:

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Take a look at a product called Gorgomyte. It’s a cloth infused with both abrasives for cleaning and resurfacing and polish. Easy to work with and one cloth will be able to do around 20 guitars or basses for about $10.00 total.

I came back to playing again at lockdown. I was never into mainstream basses, it was not a thing back in the 90’s who cares about P basses but through a few of the popular hits and players it brought P bass to the legendary height, now everyone wants a P bass. I went on the hunt for the P basses and Leo’s triplets.

Ok it started with the shed.

Then I just filled it to the brim, lol.


I see a couple stingrays. How do they play? I’ve been looking at the 2-pickup model – Know about those?

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Love stingrays. Dual humbuckers or HH is pretty crazy. It’s like Jazz bass on steroids. I have all but one version of it. The HSS.

Let’s start with the original. The Sabre Bass.

The Sabre is the original 2 pickups stingrays. It has quite an interesting pickup configs and electronics wiring. The pickup size is also different than other stingrays, not only it’s a sealed pickups it’s also smaller as well. The tone is undeniably classic and vintage but it cuts through the mix really well.

Next to it was my project bass. I acquired an 83 Sabre neck but I could not find a period correct body so I bought a Sterling Ray5HH and fitted the neck to the body. Change the tuners and it’s a modern tone Sabre, lol.

I also have the Stingray Special edition amethyst sparkles with HH config. Roasted maple neck and gold hardwares, I went all out and put the Optima unique studio gold strings set on it, it’s decidedly stingray tone even on the neck pickup.

HH are great but if you are a slapper the neck pickup can be in the way when popping the strings

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I love the StingRay, I think. I might as well face it, I’m addicted to bass, oh yeah!

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