Clicking sounds from frets

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BigAndyA, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. BigAndyA

    BigAndyA Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    I have a Danelectro bass that I enjoy playing however I get an annoying click sound from the fret through the pickup when I play it. It is especially prevalent when I'm playing fast and hitting down pretty hard on the strings. The bass has a P-bass style, split coil pickup. Any suggestions on what is causing this and what I should do to stop the clicking? Thanks in advance.
  2. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Without observing your technique I can’t be sure, but I think you may have already identified your problem. I know because I had the issue of “hitting” the strings on a hard attack and hearing that clack when I did. By careful observation I figured out that my hitting the string bottomed it out on a higher fret, much as would happen intentionally with “slap” technique. I had to relearn my attack and figure out how to pull each note evenly. This adjustment actually took place many years into my career, BTW. The problem disappeared and it took less time than I expected. Check it out and see if I’m even in the ball park.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Probably either setup, technique, EQ or some combination thereof.
    jamro217 likes this.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Dave LaRue once gave me this advice..."lighten up and play closer to the bridge."
  5. BigAndyA

    BigAndyA Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    Actually I get the click sound if I simply push down on a string and don’t do anything with my plucking hand. I played a Rickenbacker and an Epiphone yesterday and they were both much quieter.
  6. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Are you sure your strings are hitting frets and not the pickup? If it ends up that your strings are contacting the pickup, then you may want to lower the pickup.
  7. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Sounds like a set up issue. Lots of ways for that to occur.
    jamro217 likes this.
  8. BigAndyA

    BigAndyA Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    They’re not hitting the pickup, I checked last night. I went through and reset the action last night and the problem is not as bad as it was. It wasn’t much of a bother at today’s rehearsal.
  9. Could be any of the following:
    1.) Action too low. Remedy> raise it.
    2.) Uneven fret(s). Remedy> check to make sure one or more isn't/aren't higher than the rest. May need fret work.
    3.) Ski jump. Remedy> re-shim neck to the correct angle making sure the shim is distributed between the neck screws properly.
    4.) Neck relief is wrong. Remedy> adjust truss rod to correct it.
    5.) Warped neck. Remedy> chuck it into the wood stove and replace it with a new neck.
    6.) Other. Remedy> consult a luthier in person rather than posting on TB.:D

    Hope this helps.
  10. vvvmmm


    Dec 6, 2016
    I'm wondering if the pick-up is microphonic ...
    Scottgun likes this.
  11. Turbo Sparky

    Turbo Sparky Supporting Member

    May 14, 2018
    South Eastern U.S.
    Proper set-up
    Adjust technique
    Possible raise of the action
    Check PuPs/adjust

    Had similar issue early on, all above fixed it. IMO, 95% can be fixed with proper set-up...the other 5% is ALL us.
  12. I happened to notice that after even just a few replies no one has suggested that you simply switch to 100% Iron Maiden song material, and keep playing Steve's sound. I mean, this IS our beloved Talk Bass and I don't want us to slip, or get lazy, or sloppy - it's WAY too early for that at this juncture of the TB lifespan.

    OK OK consider a tort pickguard too.

    All kidding aside, professional set up, and right hand technique. :)
  13. Sounds a lot like a technique issue. Play with your fretting fingers more or less laying on the strings. This way there is no “wind up” when hitting a note. Also, the coated strings out there might muffle the noise a bit.
  14. It seems a setup issue to me.

    (I also have a Danelectro - A DC - and I don't have such problem).
  15. Scottgun


    Jan 24, 2004
    South Carolina

    I'm guessing this as I've run into it before. Do you hear a similar noise coming out the amp just by tapping on the body wood? Is it a hollow plastic-sounding click?
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  16. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Drop your treble EQ a bit and odds are it will disappear. Might not be the right answer for your problem, but usually when I hear clicking frets and lots of string noise, it's because the bassist has his treble up at 2 o'clock or higher. It'll only take a second to see if dropping the treble EQ fixes it.
  17. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
    I have 3 Danos. No problem. Must be you.
    BigAndyA likes this.
  18. BigAndyA

    BigAndyA Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    No extra sound when I tap on the body. I will adjust the treble tonight when I get some practice time in. Iron Maiden . . . probably not for me - but thanks for the suggestion.
  19. imurrx


    Jul 12, 2019
    Are the pickups active or passive? Does it have a preamp? Are you using any effects?

    I have changed pickups in my basses and they can sound different from one to another.

    I would adjust the EQ to see if that would work.
  20. BigAndyA

    BigAndyA Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2018
    Passive, P-bass split single coil. No preamp. No effects. I noodles with the EQ tonight and that seems to help.

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