Why are Dingwall frets slanted?

Dingwall bass guitars have earned a stellar reputation in the music world for their exceptional craftsmanship and innovative designs. One distinctive feature that sets Dingwall instruments apart is their slanted frets. These uniquely designed fretboards have sparked curiosity among bassists and musicians alike. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Dingwall basses and explore the reasons behind their slanted frets.

The Dingwall Difference

Dingwall basses are renowned for their meticulous attention to detail and commitment to pushing the boundaries of bass guitar design. While traditional basses typically feature a flat, parallel fret layout, Dingwall takes a different approach by incorporating slanted or fanned frets into their instruments. But why?

Optimized String Tension

One of the primary reasons behind Dingwall’s slanted frets is to optimize string tension. Traditional bass guitars with a single scale length often face challenges when it comes to maintaining consistent string tension across all strings. Bass strings vary in thickness and, consequently, require different levels of tension for ideal playability and intonation.

Dingwall’s fanned fret system addresses this issue by providing varying scale lengths for each string. This means that thicker, lower-pitched strings have a longer scale length, while thinner, higher-pitched strings have a shorter one. The result is a more balanced and even string tension, enhancing playability and intonation.

Extended Range and Versatility

Dingwall basses are frequently chosen by bassists who explore extended range playing. These instruments often feature additional strings, such as five, six, or even more. The slanted fret design allows Dingwall basses to maintain precise intonation and playability across the extended fretboard.

For example, a Dingwall six-string bass with slanted frets ensures that the lowest B string and the highest C string both have optimal string tension and intonation, regardless of their thickness or pitch.

Ergonomics and Playability

Slanted frets on a Dingwall bass also offer ergonomic advantages. The fanned fret design follows the natural curvature of the hand and fingers, making it more comfortable for the player to navigate the fretboard. Bassists often report reduced hand strain and improved playability, especially during extended performances or intricate bass lines.

Precision Craftsmanship

Dingwall’s commitment to precision craftsmanship is evident in their meticulous attention to detail when designing and building slanted-fret basses. Each instrument is carefully calibrated to ensure that the fret angles and scale lengths are precisely tuned for optimal performance.


The slanted frets on Dingwall bass guitars are not merely a cosmetic feature; they represent a thoughtfully engineered solution to the challenges of string tension, intonation, and playability. These instruments have become a top choice for bassists seeking unparalleled precision and versatility in their playing.

Dingwall’s innovative approach to bass guitar design has earned them a dedicated following among musicians who appreciate the benefits of slanted frets. Whether you’re a seasoned bassist looking to expand your sonic horizons or a newcomer exploring the world of bass playing, Dingwall basses with slanted frets offer a unique and rewarding playing experience that continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of bass guitars.

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