I want to build a mini electric guitar. I'm not a musician, but my son is, and I want to build a tool that he can use to practice. So it is important to me that what I make look and sound like a real instrument, despite the fact that I am not a luthier.

I got a small acoustic guitar on which I made my measurements to build the electric one. I searched online and found the right ratio to shrink the body (an average of 68%) but I can't find any information on how to shrink the length of the neck.

On the acoustic it's about 30% smaller than the original size.

What frets can I remove to downsize the neck?

  • 2
    What's wrong with making everything , say, 50%? You'd lose the first 11 frets, so the nut would be where the 12th fret was. Any frets beyond 24 original will be pretty tight to finger.
    – Tim
    Apr 14 '18 at 18:15

It's not so much a case of which frets you can remove, more what proportion of the scale length each fret distance is. For example, 1.059463 is the ratio between fret intervals, and the 12th fret has to be at half the scale length.

There are various fret position calculators online, such as http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator which make it very easy to work this out.


If you wish to design and construct a playable instrument, you'll need to study fret placement in relation to whatever neck size you choose for your guitar. Another possibility would be to copy a neck from a ukelele depending on how small you wish to go. If you just want a wall ornament when your done, just reduce it along the lines of your percentages idea.

  • String length from nut to bridge will also need to be considered Apr 14 '18 at 19:56

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