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"Clicking" of Strings on a Fender Jazz

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Blah114, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    I know the Fender Jazz has some noisiness to it.. but I just switched to Fender flatwounds.. and the noise is worse than worn roundwounds. Will this go away? I was expecting a nice bassy sound to these strings, but they are so bright they are unbearable. I really get tired of brightness.. and it even seems like my Sansamp contributes to the brightness. I generally have to turn the treble on the Jazz bass all the way down, and decrease the mids on the Sansamp. I had thought roundwounds were contributing to this factor.

    I have a sloppy technique overall, too aggressive, from playing Rush mostly over the years, but there is just so much finger noise, brightness. I mute strings fine.. it's just when playing something like the solo from Freewill, I get clicks as the strings get plucked.. and the flatwounds have made this worse. My friends refer to this as "snappy sounds.." and in a band setting, I cannot hear it.

    Suggestions for strings are appreciated. Is there a flatwound that would sound great for an Ampeg/Sansamp setup, using a Fender Jazz. Playing Rush, Thin Lizzy, Commodores, and stuff like this?

    I cannot really afford the TIs.. I guess I need to check out Rotosounds.

    Also, what about webstrings.com? Any experience with any of these companies' flatwound? The Fenders are simply SO bright it's ridiculous.. they are like GHS Boomers, which I despised.
  2. Turn down the presence on your Sansamp.
  3. lovemybasses


    Mar 4, 2007
    your action might be too low and neck "too straight". what about that?
    as for the strings, I love Marcus Miller DR fat beams.
  4. check up with your action and you might be having some ignored treble or harmonics or presence knob full on
  5. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    What is meant by neck "too straight.."

    I don't have treble or haromics, will check action.. once the flatwounds settle in, perhaps the annoying brightness will go away. I wanted that smooth flatwound sound I hear so often in older songs.. I guess time will tell if I can get it.
  6. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Most fret clack is in the 2-3kHz range. See if you have any EQ knobs on your amp or pedals that operate in that range (read some manuals), and cut them down a touch. You could also consider raising your action slightly, and soloing the neck pickup or doing a 50/50 blend of neck and bridge.

    PS: Give them a few weeks to calm down, by the way. Flats take much longer to settle in than rounds. I give a minimum of a three weeks before judging them.
  7. bbe


    Nov 6, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    maybe try not plucking so hard. that should stop the clicks.
  8. bassdaddy5


    May 18, 2005
    Your plucking hand technique is just as important as your fretting hand technique. Try playing closer to the bridge and really work on more of a up pluck rather than hitting your string with your finger which just drives your string against the fret. It takes a lot a practice, but you'll be way better of for it because you can have way more control over dynamics.
  9. SwitchGear

    SwitchGear Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2005
    Fender flats are noisy and clacky on the E string in my experience. Switch to a different brand of flats and you will stop worrying about your technique and be free to play without the clack.
  10. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Fret the A string at the 1st and 15th fret. At the 8th fret,the A string should be about a credit cards thickness away from the fret. If the string is closer, you may have a neck that is too straight. Loosening the truss rod will put a little more curve into the neck. Take this to a tech if you are unfamiliar with working with a truss rod.

    As far as string height, I go for 3/32" at the 12th fret for all strings on my MIA Jazz. Not too high, not too low.

  11. Are you sure that you are not clacking against the pickups? I used to do that before I got a decent amp. I could clack in time with the high hat! It was a part of the sound back then. I saw the light shortly thereafter.
  12. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. I am sure I am not hitting the pickup.. the neck is fine.. my technique is... what it is. I cannot try and change it now, but can always work on it. I think my attack is way too agrressive. But I also think the strings need to settle down. If anyone cares to to recommend other flats (if these Fenders do not work out), I welcome recommendations. Rush, Styx, Johnny Cash, you name.. we play it all live. I wanted the flatwounds because I am tired of having the neck torn up and the unwanted harmonics. Thanks also for the EQ setting recommendations.
  13. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    The strings have in fact settled in, but the best tip on here, for me, was the EQ setting.. turning that down was a no-brainer.. and really helped. comically, I boost that frequency sometimes for some songs.. and simply left it.

    Fender Flats are good strings. I welcome opinions regarding the best flats for rock.. I assume Rotosounds or something similar. I have checked the forums on here and it appears everyone has an opinion.. the best answer might be "try and see for yourself!!!" which I will.
  14. Joe79


    Jul 31, 2007
    I still have this exact same problem with my brand new stingray. Basically, I am getting a clicking noise because the strings are hitting the frets (mainly the first few, when string is played open). I was told by my former instructer to put on a thicker gauge string and hopefully, the tension would help. He suggested not raising my action, as it really wouldnt make a difference because the strings were only hitting the first frets or the closest to the one i am playing. Any suggestions? My suggestion to you would be try strings with more tension, and depending on the height of you action, adjust if necesarry. I would steer clear from intentionally bowing the neck tho.
  15. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    I use flats exclusively on all of my basses and my very last choice for strings would be Fender (love their basses, hate their strings).

    If I were in your shoes I would give the TIs a shot. They're more expensive, true, but they last longer and feel great. I wouldn't call them 'bright' either. However, as mentioned by others, give the flats longer to settle before judging.

    The TI JF344 set are my strings of choice. D'A Chromes are second, but you don't want bright, so I'm not recommending those.
  16. That's what i did. I like to use flats but I tried a few different brands. The Fender flats seemed ok to me. I tried some GHS Precision Flats and I didn't care too much for them. There are quite of few on here that recommend La Bella flats. I haven't tried them. I have a Fender Standard Jazz(MIM) and a Geddy Lee Jazz and both have Ernie Ball Flats on them. As of now I like the EB's the best.
  17. where and how do you play (what position is your right hand?). Do you pluck, hammer, tap, etc....?)
  18. Blah114


    Feb 7, 2008
    i use my fingers.. I also have been trying to play around the bridge more, thanks to all the tips here.. there is less noise there. the fact is this: the noise is NOT noticeable when playing in a band setting.. so that's what I need to focus on.

    I don't tap at all.. I don't slap well, either, hence the flatwounds.. and thanks for the EB tips. I wish I could find an online store that was cheap.. thus far, it has been tough.. the fender flats are likely made by some other company anyway.. we all know these guys don't ALL make their own strings.. there are likely 6 huge players and Fender is likely selling under the guise of DAddario or something similar. I am just guessing.
  19. phsycobass


    Jun 12, 2007
    I had the same problem with my Geddy jazz. I finally figured out that the action was just too low and my technique was just to agressive and the strings just kept hitting the fretts. I even tried flats. Your options are really:
    1- raise the action a little, this is what I did and my tone improved 10000000 times. sure low action is nice, but think, do you really need it as low as it is? or do you just prefer the feel?
    2- Play lighter and enjoy the butery playablility

    One of these should work for you because geddy's rush in rio tone only works for Rush music. (R30 tone fan here)
  20. Sleeq


    Feb 13, 2008
    I use Fender Flats.

    If you hear the clack then:

    1) you're playing too aggressively
    2) your neck is too straight/action is very low

    So either cool down with the playing; increase your amp volume and play less aggressive, or make a setup to have your action a little higher.

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