Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Excessive string noise when fingerplaying

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Steve Harris Is, Aug 10, 2005.


  1. Steve Harris Is

    Steve Harris Is

    Jul 4, 2005
    Ok, I have decided to switch to playing fingerstyle (I'm a 6 week newbie) and I am enjoying this method much better. However, I am noticng that I am getting a LOT of string noise that didn't seem to be present when playing with a pick.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Lower your pickups, EQ it out, or clean up your technique. Whatever suits you :) :bassist:
     
  3. You can never get rid of it if you're using roundwounds. But, if you switch over to flatwounds you'll get none. You might not like the sound, but the noise will be gone. Turn down the treble.
     
  4. WillBuckingham

    WillBuckingham

    Mar 30, 2005
    Is the string noise your talking about coming from your right hand? Is it from the strings clicking against the pickups, or is it from the friction of your hands on the strings? I don't really get any finger noise from my right hand and I use steel roundwounds with a lot of treble. Try playing closer to the bridge and using a lighter touch.
     
  5. Or is this noise like strings other than the one you're playing on are ringing? Muting is a bit easier with a pick.
     
  6. Suckbird

    Suckbird Banned

    May 4, 2004
    Sweden
    The muting is my biggest issue when i play with a pick, it just doesn't work, or well i dont know how to do it..
     
  7. I palm mute when I use a pick. I learned it on the guitar years ago, so it may just seem easier to me, but I just let my palm touch the E when I'm on the A, and both of those when I'm on the D, and so on. I find it easier than trying to mute with my fingers while playing with them. I use my thumb a lot so it's not always available. Another nice thing about pick playing is that palm muting the string you're playing on often sounds good, so you can mute all the strings all the time. Extending your pinky and ring finger can give you more usable muting length if you're trying to get all the strings.
     
  8. Steve Harris Is

    Steve Harris Is

    Jul 4, 2005

    It's easily accentuated when I lightly release the fretting finger on a given note so my guess is it has to do with my fretting hand and the pressure applied there, etc. I am wondering if there is some element I am missing in the left hand that I need to clean this up or what?
     
  9. I get this problem with my Applause electro-acoustic. I go for the easy option of using a pick! ;)
     
  10. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    San Antonio
    I'd like to point out that flatwounds don't *completely* eliminate string noise. They do for the most part, but IME, they also give you a noise of their own. You don't have the sqeaking and buzzes you get from roundwound, but I find that you still get some "clack" from depressing on the string if you're not careful, and some quick muted buzzing on the release.
     
  11. the_luke

    the_luke

    Jul 3, 2005
    Perhaps the problem is that to get the same volume on fingerpicking as with a pick, you have to turn up the volume of the amp/bass... so it's the same issue, just more noticable with the higher gain.
     
  12. marsvolta

    marsvolta

    Jul 28, 2005
    providence
    Its your technique. Ive seen lots of new players get lots of string noise because their strumming too hard with their right hand. Try being more gentle, play the strings softly and try not to pull the string hard enough for it to hit the fretboard or pickups. The longer you play the better your technique will develop and eventually the string noise will disappear.
     
  13. OrionManMatt

    OrionManMatt

    Feb 17, 2004
    Houston
    I'm not sure if this falls in the same category or not but I have noticed that as I've cut down on the noise that is associated with fingernails I sometimes notice that when i move down, the string above will still be going about. How can I correct this so that only the strings I'm wanting to move are, in fact, moving?