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Clicking noise with the pickup

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by jtad, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. jtad


    Sep 26, 2009
    In first place I'd like to say sorry for my english, it's not my first language.
    Anyway, I'm kinda new to the bass guitar, been playing for about 8 months, and one thing that's annoying me is the sound that my fingers make when they hit the pickup below the strings. Does anyone know what can I do to solve this problem? Do they sell noiseless pickups or something like that, or is it just a technique issue?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Jun 25, 2007
    Elberta, AL
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system (original test-pilot)
  3. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    It's largely a technique issue. One question I'd pose to you though, is whether it's noise from your fingers hitting the pickups (which sounds more like a thud) than from your strings hitting the frets. This fret noise is irritating to some, but others find it acceptable, if not desirable (it adds to your dynamic signature). This can also (to some extent) be eq'd out by cutting above 10 kHz.

    BTW: your English is just fine. IMO, there's no need to apologize, especially if it's not your first language. Welcome to TB!:hyper:
  4. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany

    If you can't hear that sound over the amplifier, I wouldn't worry too much.

    If you can, then that may have 2 causes: Either fret noise (as already pointed out) or your pickup height is set too high, causing the strings to hit the open pole pieces.

    What kind of bass do you play? How much space is in between the pickup and the string(s)? I'd suggest lowering them if they are too high, in almost all cases this can be done by turning the screws next to the pups clockwise (if my memory serves me right)
  5. Kevinmach


    Dec 7, 2008
    As Ram said, a quick and dirty fix could be to turn down the highs a little.

    Having struggled with this myself, I am not certain that the noise you are talking about *is* coming from hitting the pickup. I noticed I got it, to a certain extent from either hand, when I was hitting the strings too hard (on the plucking hand, I was sometimes pushing down instead of pulling back).

    When my pickup height was too high and I did occassionally hit it with my finger, it didn't make that much noise as long as the attack on my strings was appropriately controlled (which is another reason I am suggesting that they may not be the real issue). But as Nashrak said, it's pretty easy to find out- lower the pickup enough so it's out of your way.
  6. jtad


    Sep 26, 2009
    The bass I'm using is a Washburn WB44, which has two pickups, a P-bass type near the neck and a single coil in the bridge.
    The noise is certainly not fret noise, I'm sure of that. If I lower the pickups, will that affect the sound? Like less volume, different tone, or something like that?
    Thanks a lot for the answers, they've been really helpful
  7. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    Yes. Volume will definitely go down, dunno about the tone but I guess you will lose some "punch" and it will be softer. But that's just a wild guess.
  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Lowering the pickups gives you a bit less highs and more lows (relatively speaking of course).
  9. Hey man, don't know your bass, but if your pickups have exposed pole pieces (ie you can see the magnets), try putting a little dab of clear nailpolish on each pole. If that's the noise you're describing..
  10. jtad


    Sep 26, 2009
    OK thanks a lot, I fixed the problem by lowering the pickups and plucking in a different way, in case anybody is interested.
  11. John Webb

    John Webb

    Apr 20, 2006
    Myrtle Beach,SC
    Had to lower my PU's and raise my strings a little......no clicking now.

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