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7th fret weirdness

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ibanezerscrooge, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. ibanezerscrooge


    Jun 28, 2012
    Hello everyone,

    I have playing for about a month now and have lurked here and read some great stuff. I bought myself an Ibanez SR300 and upon removing it from the box and tuning it, I noticed something odd.

    The G string sounded very wobbly to me and I know I was fretting the notes properly. The bass came set with very low action so I raised it up a bit and it seemed to do the trick but shortly after playing I have found the following issue:

    If I play the 6th fret on the G string all is fine. The note sounds and when I lift the finger off there's no noise or anything. The same when I play the 8th fret. No noise.

    If I play the 7th fret on the G string, immediately the D string begins to ring out loudly. If I fret the 7th fret on the D string, the A begins loudly ringing out.

    This does not happen on any other fret on the bass. I was wondering if anyone had an idea of what could make this happen. I know out of the box it is not going to be perfect but since I'm a new player, I'm not familiar with these issues and how to address them.

    I have searched with no luck to find a local person or shop that does bass set ups. I have a friend who can bring it to a shop he uses but I won't see him for a few months and I'd like to be able to practice on this full size bass. I have a short scale (I have very small hands) but as my hands begin to get used to stretching, I'd like to move between them so eventually I can stick to the full size only.

    Thanks for any possible suggestions.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's called sympathetic resonance. The 7th fret on a string is the same note as the lower string.
    For example, the 7th fret on the G string is a D. Strings cross talk to each other and vibrate together.
    Controlling and exploiting it is an important part of learning how to play the instrument. Typically when plucking, you rest your finger on the lower string after playing a note to prevent it.
  3. ibanezerscrooge


    Jun 28, 2012
    Is that something that happens on all basses? I have two other basses and it does not happen on either of them.
  4. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Depends on the overall resonance of the bass. Learning proper left and right hand muting to keep this from happening is part of the process. As your ear develops you'll probably notice that strange sounds can be caused by the portion of the string between the fretted note and the top nut vibrating when the fretted note is plucked. Again muting any portions of unused strings is a good thing but it's not always possible.

  5. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    One good thing about the sympathetic resonance you're getting is that it shows you are in tune.
  6. ibanezerscrooge


    Jun 28, 2012
    Thanks for the replies folks. I look forward to learning a lot around these parts.
  7. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks

    Dec 7, 2010
    22 ft below sea level
    First of all, welcome to the number one bass forum in the world!
    One bass is a little more resonance happy than the other. It also depends on the strings. If they're broken in or dead, the sympathetic resonance will be less. An efficient muting technique is the key to success. When I started trying to be a bassist, I found out that muting is one of the most important things to master. After a while your hands automatically mute without your brains ordereing them around.

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