What are Fretwraps and what do they do?

Let's get somethin' straight brothers and sisters. That little black band on my bass neck is NOT a capo. It's called a Fret Wrap by a company out of Southern California called a fretwrap. Fretwraps are adjustable straps that allow you to control the pressure of string dampening effectively cutting the overtones and sympathetic resonance during recording, live performance or techniques like two-hand tapping. Honestly, the work well for any other situation where an extra muting hand is needed for taking out unwanted string noise or ringing. Full disclosure; this post includes affiliate links and I receive a small commission should you click on a link and pick up some fretwraps of your own.

 A little bit of history...

Victor Wooten back in the day with hair tie on neck.

Victor Wooten back in the day with hair tie on neck.

Guthrie Govan

Guthrie Govan

Back in the day, as extended range basses started to become more in vogue and some of the more extreme techniques like two handed tapping and double thumping became popular with players like Victor Wooten and Michael Manring rising to prominence, bass players found it necessary to find a way to control sympathetic ringing of strings. Metal guitar players also did this to help with additional string noise created by so much distortion. Who knows who but somebody got the idea to put a hair scrunchy on the neck close to the nut. The two big issues with this were that they never looked good and never really fit well and would wear out rather quickly.  I can't tell you how much money I personally spent on hair ties and those little "conversations" with my wife I had to have about taking her hair accessories to put on my bass. 

 

 

Fast forward to the Fretwrap...

Gruv Gear

Enter Jay Baldemore and his crew at Gruv Gear. These guys come up with a simple and super effective idea to replace the hair tie by essentially attaching an soft pad to an adjustable Velcro strap that fits on the neck of any guitar or bass. They look great and come in a wide variety of colors that compliment the instrument more than they detract from it.

 

My opinion is that you don't have to be a "fancy" player to benefit from using fretwraps. I don't consider myself to be a fancy player at all and A lot of the time my fretwrap is pushed far enough towards the tuning machines got it doesn't do anything but on those times when I need to use it I just pull it forward a little bit and that really helps to free my hands to play more creatively without being too concerned with the additional ringing and string noise.

 

Blyss Gould

 

They come in 3 different sizes and various colors. Check em' out.

 

Small - Fits 4-string basses 6-string electric / acoustic guitars and ukuleles

Medium - Fits 5-string basses and 6-string classical guitars

Large - Fits 6-string basses and 7 to 8-string guitars