What the Fret are Fretlocks — and where can I get my hands on them?

These have been the two most frequently asked questions over the past few weeks, so we thought that we’d debunk these two mysteries in one blog.

First of all: When will they be available?

Fretlocks are now officially launched (we had a blast in early October at Regent Sounds on Denmark Street pictured below). We were at first absolutely overwelmed by the interest in Fretlocks and sold out of our initial stock within 45 minutes. We’re now taking pre-orders which should be delivered in early December.

So what exactly are Fretlocks and how do they work?

Fretlocks are a new hand-crafted, single string capo. Unlike most other capos which go across all the strings, guitarists can now use Fretlocks to trap any string in any position they like, even using different combinations to create new sounds.

We came up with the idea when we were trying to figure out a way to play a particularly difficult line and needed extra fingers to hold some strings down.

After considering the obvious and painful option of reconstructive surgery, we hit upon the idea of a single string capo to hold the string in place.

So how do I stick them in place?

Simply pick the right size Fretlock for the string, choose your fret, peel off the backing paper and stick it in place. Once you’ve pushed the string back in, you’re ready to go!

How can I use them?

From early testing, we’ve already seen that Fretlocks can create sounds that no one else has ever created. We’ve seen new ways of playing that we’ve never seen before. Players have been using them in partial chord shapes, or to create drone sounds. Some have been combining them with alternative tunings to really stretch the limits!

We’ve set the ball rolling with some ideas of how to use them, but this is just the start. We want the world’s best guitarists to have a jam and play previously impossible music.

Crispin Weir Owner and Manager of Regent Sounds, an independent guitar shop on London’s famous Denmark Street said: “What will be really interesting to see is how different guitarists use the Fretlocks as we still don’t yet know the scale of the possibilities.” One of Crispin’s team, Josh has posted the below little tune which we rather like:

Our vision is to create a community or ‘freternity’ where guitarists can share their ideas, playing patterns, tips and techniques, amongst other Fretlocks pioneers. You can join our merry band by simply purchasing our product and uploading your best videos.