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Buzzing on E string

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Phoenix P, Aug 17, 2020.


  1. Phoenix P

    Phoenix P

    Aug 17, 2020
    Hi, I'm a fairly new bass player with a fairly new bass (and by fairly new, i mean about 5 weeks) and I am finding that the E string often buzzes a few moments after letting it ring out. I have tried different positions in the fret and pressing harder/softer on the string but nothing seems to fix it. I was wondering if this is due to a problem with my technique or a problem with the action or something else... any ideas?
     
  2. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    First-up - welcome to Talkbass!

    Your problem could be down to a few issues, in isolation or in combination. So first off, a couple of questions...

    1: Does this happen at all positions/frets, only some, only on the open string or only on fretted notes?

    2: Are the strings the ones that came with the bass or did you install new strings yourself?
     
  3. Phoenix P

    Phoenix P

    Aug 17, 2020
    Thank you!
    and it happens on most frets 1 to about 15 but not on the open string at all and they are the ones that came with the bass...
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  4. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    If you hold the string down on frets 1 and 15, can you see daylight between the underside of the string and top of frets 6-10? How about if you hold between 1 and 8 and check at 3 or 4, then 9 to 20, checking at around 13?
     
  5. Phoenix P

    Phoenix P

    Aug 17, 2020
    In that order: oooonly just very slightly, no and yes...
     
  6. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    It sounds like you might need a touch more relief in the neck. Try loosening the truss rod by no more than 1/4 of a turn. At the same time, lower the action by taking 1/4 turn off each saddle height screw.
     
    MAnderson and Phoenix P like this.
  7. Malcolm35

    Malcolm35

    Aug 7, 2018
    Steve is usually right. I think that will clear up the problem, however, if you are like me - all thumbs - take it to a guitar store and let the tech do it for you. In my neck of the woods it'll cost $35 to $40. I leave the truss rod to the tech at my local music store.

    No tech still working in your area, Google has a video...

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2020
    Phoenix P and SteveCS like this.
  8. Phoenix P

    Phoenix P

    Aug 17, 2020
    Thank you so very much!! this was so useful!
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  9. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Did it improve things?
     
  10. Phoenix P

    Phoenix P

    Aug 17, 2020
    I think we've decided to take it to a guitar tech because i don't trust myself to not mess it up. I'll let you know if it works though :)
     
    SteveCS and BassJuju like this.
  11. kmon

    kmon Supporting Member

    May 11, 2009
    Austin, TX
    That is 100% the thing to do.
     
  12. BassJuju

    BassJuju

    Jul 9, 2016
    Kentucky
    I did the first time or 6 and watched very carefully what was done. If you’ll do that, you’ll it’s fairly simple and save some bucks in the future. Easy...
     
    Phoenix P and SteveCS like this.
  13. SteveCS

    SteveCS

    Nov 19, 2014
    Hampshire, UK
    Yes - if you are not feeling confident that is the right thing. Of course, with the instrument in hand the problem/solution might be something else. Based on it being a new instrument I have assumed a few things that may not be true, including good fretwork, no worn or damaged frets, a correctly cut nut, undamaged strings and properly set witness points, for starters.
     
    Phoenix P likes this.
  14. learningbassics

    learningbassics

    Aug 13, 2020
    I've spent hours on YouTube learming about truss rod setup, string height and annotation and from why I can "feel", as a novice", there will be a setup which you may like. On my Yamaha I play in my bedroom at night, fret buzz annoys the hell out of me when I'm not playing on an amp, so the string height is a little higher, the neck isn't as straight.

    On my sub ray5, it's flat as a pancake and you can hear the frets slap a little, it's how it's "meant" to be. But I play that in my lounge room on my amp so I can't hear it. Learning basics like this has made me even more obsessed with bass now.
     
  15. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Probably good to take to a proper shop first time.

    BUT there is nothing you can break on the bridge, you can undo anything you turn, raise/lower, forward, aft. So don't be intimidated to tinker. New guitars are rarely set up perfectly.
     
    SteveCS likes this.
  16. Nobody knows how you like your bass setup better than YOU! What I like about doing my own setups is that when I am done, if something is still a little bit off, I can go right back and adjust it. I was scared to death to do it the first time also. However, it is not nearly as dangerous to your bass or as difficult as you think. Watch a few videos and apply those techniques. It really is straightforward and simple. The only way you can damage your neck by adjusting the truss rod is if you go crazy! Do 1/4 turns at a time in either direction (depending on) what you need to do for your relief. If you do that, you will be perfectly fine. After that, adjust the saddle heights accordingly. Then set the intonation. Check out John Carruthers on YouTube. He explains bass setup very well.
     
  17. It does sound like the setup needs a little bit of a tweak. If you have no idea about what to do it would be wise to have a pro work on it. May as well get a new set of strings put on because you’ll have no idea how long those have been on there and they could actually be part of the problem (could be a bend or kink in the string incurred in the store or in shipping).
    The other thing, and nobody has mentioned it, is that you have to be more gentle playing on the E string because it’s larger in diameter and usually has a lower tension. This is where technique comes into play.
    The other other thing is it’s possible that someone monkeyed around with the saddle height on that string. Best to have a pro look at it until you become a little more knowledgeable.
     
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Feb 28, 2021

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