I have been learning songs on the guitar, but in numerous guitar tabs especially during solos the 24th fret on the first string is required to be played. However, my Fender Stratocaster only has 22 frets.

Is there any possible way to play this note?

5 Answers 5


You could bend the 22nd fret up a whole step. You could use a slide, ring, maybe even a fingernail to "fret" it in approximately the right place (compression or distortion would help and you should use vibrato to hide the inevitably poor intonation). You can try sliding the first string down off the edge of the fret board so it both stretches and "frets" against the side of the fretboard and see what note you get - it might be close. And my last idea is push it down against the neck pickup and maybe bend it to try to get it in tune.

The first one (bending the 22nd fret up) is the only that you can be sure will work and that will give you solid control over the intonation. The rest are just tricks of dubious value - but I thought I'd throw in every idea I had.

My solution to this problem was to troll music stores for used guitars with 24 fret necks and floyd rose tremolos, which eventually yielded a great deal on a guitar that turned out to be pretty good for the price after a little work.

Oh yeah, Dom's answer about harmonics is a good one, although you want the 5th fret which is two octaves higher than open, not the 12th.

  • 3
    The same note could also be achieved by accessing the harmonic located above the neck pickup - easier to grab than fretting down to 5th fret. Jun 19, 2015 at 23:14
  • 2
    Unlike with the natural harmonic, the bending-up also works for other pitches in that region, not only e'''. And it works also to get even higher on an instrument that already has 24 frets, for instance I quite often play the a' on my four-string bass this way. — Regarding ultrasonic slide playing, I recommend watching this... Jun 20, 2015 at 13:32

Well, use a harmonic. Two octaves up means that you can touch either at 3/4 of the string length (meaning that you can just use a harmonic where the 24th fret would be) or at 1/4 of the string length. The "natural" note at 1/4 of the string length corresponds to the 12*log(3/4)/log(1/2)th fret. Which happens to be quite close to the 5th fret.

But unless that high note is quite an outlier, doing the harmonic over the would-be 24th fret is likely to fit better with your current hand position.

  • Nah, I think leaping back to fifth fret for that one note is definitely better.
    – Josiah
    Jun 20, 2015 at 14:34

You'll have to do a full bend (a bend of a whole step) up to the note on the 22 fret to get that note. You could also theoretically get that note off the harmonics on the 5 fret.

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    That 5th fret harmonic has a twin at the '24th' fret. Usually above the neck pup. The player's hand is likely to be nearer that part of the neck at the time.
    – Tim
    Jun 20, 2015 at 6:10

You could use pinched harmonics which might make it easier (after much practice) to play the note as part of a melody. A melody of all harmonics will sound more fluid than many fretted notes with just a few harmonics (although that can also sound cool).

You can find this note by fretting the 12th fret and pinching at the (would-be) 24th fret, or by fretting the 5th fret and pinching at the 12th fret (ie. an artificial "7th-fret harmonic", 4th + Octave+5th == 2 Octaves). This last option makes it (relatively) easy play even higher notes accurately (since there are still frets to orient the pinching).

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    I'm reminded of a comment in an instructional video by JOE SATRIANI: "I get the pinch harmonic if I'm lucky....." Jun 20, 2015 at 11:33

Another thought is to fret a different note entirely. Ask yourself what the guitarist may have done given only 22 frets... you could start with hitting something a 5th lower or even a whole octave lower... whatever, as long as it still sounds good: experiment and find something cool and original.

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