I'm new to this site. I have an Epiphone LP Standard for which I recently dropped the tune-o-matic bridge. It plays open strings and chords below the fourth fret beautifully. Action is where I want it. I studied the frets with Buzz Off (R) and where they require lowering. My question is this: if I simply want to spot lower some frets which I think will resolve the slight buzz above the third fret, would it make sense to begin at the highest elevated fret (21) and then work my way lower until the problem is resolved? Thank you for any suggestions.

  • I've never tried to level my own frets, but if I did, I would try it on my worst guitar first, since it seems to be a process that can really mess things up if it's not done right. Also... from what I understand, you can't "level" a single fret. You can crown and dress and polish a single fret, but leveling is making sure all the frets are level with each other. Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:19
  • 'Buzz Off'? What's that? You have no datum point above the fret causing buzz - fret 4, I guess. Slowly file that down a little, which will then require the next, next and so on. Not really a beginners job!
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:35
  • When I say level, I do also mean that I would crown the fret as well. I'm not necessarily a beginner at this and have done some fret work successfully before. I'm inclined to treat each guitar as a unique challenge and in this case I imagine that spotting a few areas might be an easier way to fix the problem on a guitar that is not valued enough for a complete level and dressing. I simply thought I could get some various thoughts on the subject in general and perhaps a few specific to my description of the problem. All are appreciated.
    – minijimi71
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:46
  • Buzz Off is a small kit that includes level rods in 3 different lengths as well as a wood sanding block that ca be used to work on problem frets.
    – minijimi71
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:49

2 Answers 2


Have you checked the relief of the neck? Buzz on frets 1, 2 and 3 is usually a sign that the trussrod is too tight and the neck back-bowed.

To do a good fret dress you need:

Sanding blocks, preferably a flat, long one that covers the whole lenght of the finger board plus a radius block with the right radius, probably 12" in your case.

Crowning file, fingerboard guard, steel wool.


Hmmm. To do a proper fret level you need a leveling beam. First you adjust the truss rod until the neck is perfectly flat, and then you sand down the whole neck with the leveling beam (you can use a regular level, they're usually pretty straight). You mark each fret with a magic marker, and then sand until the marker is off the top of every fret. Then you know the frets are perfectly leveled with each other. Then you crown them with a crowning file and steel wool them smooth. However, some people just file down a high fret some until there is no more buzz. This has worked for me too, as long as there is only one high fret and all the other frets are fine. But it's tricky because when you sand that fret down it can throw off the adjacent frets to be the new high frets. Leveling them all seems like the better solution to me.

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