Buzz buzz buzz...arrghhh! Blame the 5?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mikarre, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    I used to play with a pick many year ago in a metal band. Then, for a few years I was playing fingerstyle mostly. Now that I am gonna be in a metal thing again I've been going back to the pick and trying to recapture the tone I had then.

    I pick aggressively, but for the songs I play it requires it. I KNOW I picked aggressively in my old band and back then I was very happy with my sound. Now, all I get is buzz buzz buzz. Practicing on my own tonight I was working on an Iron Maiden song requiring some hard galloping type picking, and the only way I would get a decently clean sound was to pick very lightly, losing the whole vibe of the song. I had the bass set up a little while back, so I dont know if that could be anything.

    Here's what I'm wondering though: Back then I played a 4 string. Now I play a 5. I'm kinda new to the 5. This might be a silly question, but do 5 strings basses have a different tension to them than 4s, even the regular strings? In other words, obviously the low B is pretty floppy, but will the other strings still have a different type of action than a regular 4?

    The last resort right now is to set my action way higher than I really want to in order to avoid this buzzing.
  2. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    in lower tuning i have the same problem, only way i got around it was setting action high ( which i do normaly ) or thicker guage strings and picking more near the bridge
  3. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Blame the 5, but not because it's a 5. The problem is probably poor setup. It might need adjustment of the trussrod or bridge, or maybe some fretwork.
  4. When playing pick-style you usually want to avoid that buzz, and so higher action is better. Try raising your strings a little till you egt the sound you desire.
  5. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Okay, I rasied my strings quite a bit and it did improve my sound. I wanted to do this before messing with the truss rod. The buzzing is almost gone, but the only problem now is that my action on the higher frets is terrible. I guess that's the trade off. But at least I can dig in with the pick without all that horrible noise.
  6. Well ideally the difference between the first and last frets shouldn't be TOO great. If it varies greatly then you should straighten the truss rod a little, your neck probably has a bit of a forward bow. But yeah, high action tends to affect the last fret string height more than the first few frets, so that is the tradeoff.
  7. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    Moved to Setup...