Get fret clicking with agressive finger picking

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by tunewriter, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. tunewriter


    Jul 26, 2012
    Have Music Man Stingray and no problems using a pick. Just learning finger picking and I get this metallic clicking sound when I play aggressively. Seems to be coming from my fingers over the sensitive pickups. Can't figure it out. Do I just need to learn how to lighten up on my picking or is it more related to the guitar setup? Action seems just a bit high. Appreciate any help.

  2. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Are the strings touching the pickup pole pieces when you're playing? Might need to lower the pickup slightly.

    push the string against the pole pieces whilst plugged in to determine if it's the same sound.
  3. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Three things.

    1)You're digging in to much, play lighter and let the amp do the volume work.

    2)The strings are probably hitting the frets, not the pickup. If they are hitting the pickups you really need to lower them.

    3)Stingrays are notorious for their clank, especially if you have a maple board.
  4. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    you might need to raise your action

    edit: nevermind, i didnt see that you said your action was already high
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  6. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    It seems the OP knows that the problem comes from him digging in, but that is the sound he wants. You can't "amp" that sound. Hold down your last fret and measure the distance between the pickup and each string. Even if it never touches the strings it can give abrupt noise.
  7. Is it your on-board pre-amp clipping do you need to change your battery?
    Is your pick-up to close to the strings?
    Are your strings really loose?
    Are you getting a slap sound because that could be cool if you can tame it. ok maybe that's a bit advanced.
  8. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Trinity, FL
    while Digging in , ... you can go more Across the string the hitting it at a downward angle ... coming down hard might hit the pups or the frets or both ... some folks like that .. !? or play a little closer to the bridge , it takes a harder hit to make that noise ...

    you can EQ that noise out a little bit ... I think it's usually between 1k - 4k ish range ... !?

    it takes some adjusting , of several things , when you change your style of playing ... hopefully you can find a happy medium for all things ... ! then it also takes a while to adapt and get used to ' whatever ' you change ...

    Dave C. Tampa Bay
  9. I've found that if I dig in very hard then my plucking finger causes the lower string to tap the last fret when I land on it following an attack (eg plucking a note on the A string causes the E to click against the fret). Perhaps try to pluck parallel to the plane of the fretboard (if you're not already).
  10. chaosMK

    chaosMK Supporting Member

    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Just keep working on it, spend some time on your RH. It might take an effort time for the tone to really become in your control.

    I use musical sounding fretboard noise as part of my tone in metal. In my other bands I avoid it but still try to have a punchy sound. It was a very big change for me in terms of technique to go from max fingerstyle aggression to more of a clean fingerstyle funk sound... I know it can be done though.
  11. tunewriter


    Jul 26, 2012
    Update on clicking. I was not crazy. The Pre-Amp in my Music Man went up about 1 month after it was out of warranty. Now it wont play at all. All this time I thought it was my technique and it was just a pre amp going bad a little at a time.
    PS: Since it was out of warranty I'm responsible for the entire $530.00 repair. Music Man offered me a T-Shirt.
  12. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Whoa nelly. Fixing a preamp shouldn't cost $530. I snapped a bass clean in half and the repair and refinish only cost $600. Sounds like somebody is mugging you dude!
  13. lyla1953


    Jul 18, 2012
    A few things helped me with this - playing lighter, never play without an amp even my acoustic AND fingering just above the bridge.
  14. KingKrabb


    May 9, 2014
    Puerto Rico
    I like that clank-y noise when playing certain styles. (Stoner Metal, and everything Sabbath related comes to mind). Though I do it by playing on the fretboard itself, like Geezer used to do.

    However, it can be that you are hitting the strings downward way too hard, causing them to "clank" against the frets/even PUs.

    Also, DUDE, $530 for a bass Pre-Amp sounds kinda... preposterous to me. Have you tried to take it to a local store and getting an estimate? Sounds way too pricey in my mind...
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I mentioned this to Dave LaRue when I was taking lessons from him, as I had a similar thing going on. Almost as a reflex, he said, "Lighten up and play closer to the bridge." Fixed.
  16. tbz

    tbz Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    Yeah a refinish costs less than that. Really not sure where that number would come from, but you can buy a third party preamp for less than $200, installation should be $60 or so.