E-String Clicking Sound

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Smallmouth_Bass, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. I have noticed (for a long while) that I am getting a clicking sound on my E-string. It is not an electronic sound, nor is it the string(s) hitting the pickup but rather something that sounds like it is coming from the neck. It can be heard amplified, but in a full band mix it is barely noticeable if at all. If I play really lightly, it goes away. If I dig in a little bit, it's there. I wouldn't say that I dig in too hard and I feel it is something that should be able to be removed as part of the setup, however I do not know what adjustment is required.

    I know that I tend to pluck more at a downward angle on the lower strings, but not a ton more. It's also been consistent for multiple strings (i.e. I have changed the strings). It is also only on the E-string and not the neighbouring A and B-strings. (EDIT: It can also be on the A and B-strings, just to a lesser degree).

    Is it possible that it has something to do with the nut? Is it slotted too low?

    Any help would be much appreciated!
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  2. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Ugh these things can be a real bear to diagnose. Is the clicking sound only when you play and open note? If so your nut may be worn. It is also possible that the greaterr movement of the E string is hitting the pickup. After that you are on the long and frustrating trail of holding different parts of the bass and hitting the string. When you find what you are holding when the click goes away you have probably found the problem. Good luck.
  3. recently ran into this on a new build. I loosened the truss rod just a bit and that took care of it.
  4. Sounds like the string hitting the frets a little when you dig in. You can fix it by loosening the truss rod a little to add relief or raising the action a bit. Either will lessen the issue or get rid of it
  5. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I will sometimes (on one particular bass) get a clicking sound on my E string when I pluck my A string and my finger comes in contact with my E string. This tends to only happen when I am "barring", as it means my E string will be slightly depressed (resulting in the string hitting the frets above where my finger is).
  6. It's more pronounced, but not limited to, the lower register frets (1st 5 at the headstock). I was hoping not to have to raise the action, but that might be the only solution or something to try.
  7. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    It's probably the string bouncing off the fret. Either adjust your technique to improve your attack angle or raise the action.