Fret Buzz on Strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Osama_Spears, Jan 19, 2003.

  1. Hey,Umm...I got what my friend calls a "fret buzz" on mostly my A string,it'll make a buzzy sound if I play a note lower then like 7(7th fret-22nd),It pisses me off...umm,do you guys know any suggestions how I can rid my bass of this frett buzz? should I get diff strings? what? PLEASE HELP! thank you...
  2. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    Different string sometimes help. You may also need truss rod adjustment b/c you have too little relief. If that's the case, loosen your strings and turn the truss rod to the left about 1/10 of a turn and see what happens...
  3. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    I strongly disagree with this advice.

    First, when you start making adjustments just to see what happens, you're already in trouble.

    If the first "guess" is incorrect you end up with two problems. The original prob plus the misadjustment that you make.

    The relief is one of the adjustments that can be visually checked. Simply use a straight edge to check for a forward bend in the neck. The string itself serves nicely as the straight edge.

    A quick search using "relief" as the keyword will get you full instructions.

    The problem that you describe is much more likely to be a bridge heigth adjustment.

    A pretty reliable rule of thumb: If it buzzes on the bridge end of the fingerboard, the bridge heigth is usually the prob. If it buzzes at the nut end on open strings, the nut is notched too deep. If it buzzes at the nut end on fretted notes, it's probably the neck relief. If it buzzes all over the neck, there is a pretty severe back bow(also a truss rod adjustment). One note that buzzes on a single fret is usually a fret prob.

    Believe me, a few minutes spent properly diagnosing a set up problem will pay you back in time saved many, many times over.

  4. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    Excellent,excellent advise pkr2.
  5. Actually, Ive had the same buzzing problem with my Ibanez, And my problem wasnt due to the frets at all. It was actually the Springs that are on the bridge touching the string. It drove me crazy for awhile cuz I had no idea what was making that noise, I tried raising my action (which helped very little), different strings, everything. Then I looked down at the bridge and saw that the spring on the G string was touching the string. So I pulled up on the part of the string that covers the bridge which temporarily stopped the buzzing, about an hour later into playing It started to buzz again so I took a little sticky note, folded it up to a little cube and put that in between the string and the spring and that fixed the problem. There is probably a better way to fix this than what i did but im just a conventional bassist who uses conventional repair methods.
  6. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Your experience is a good example of the point that I was trying to make.

    You changed strings, raised the action- everything.

    Everything except to take the time to diagnose the problem.

    When you finally got around to taking care of the actual problem you had created at least two other problems that needed to be corrected before the bass was properly repaired.

    By the way, I believe your repair would be more conventional if you figured out why the spring was contacting the string and corrected the problem, but that's beside the point. :)

  7. You may want to take your axe in to a 'local luthier' who can adjust your truss rod and set you up right, at least until you know what's going on.

    Too much turning of screws etc.....and you may end up with all strings buzzing or a warped neck etc.

    This is for original poster of question.

  8. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    With all due respect, Vern , I must disagree.

    Set up is not complicated! In fact, it is very straight forward.

    If you depend on someone else to set up your instrument you will never play a bass that is optimized for your particular style and preference.

    Most basses will change setup with changes in humidity and temperature. If you have to pay someone to keep it in optimum adjustment you will either end up making your local repair person very happy or you will deal with a compromised set up.

    What does one do if they arrive to play a gig and find that thier bass is buzzing ? There aren't any repair people available at nine or ten oclock at night.

    I firmly believe that being able to make simple adjustments is part of being a well rounded musician.

    I will admit that there are some people that should not attempt to do thier own setup.

    If you are not comfortable putting up a shelf in the pantry or replacing a faucet washer, you probably shouldn't try setting up your bass.

    If you don't know what an allen wrench is, can't read a rule or can't follow simple instructions, you probably shouldn't try set up.

    It ain't rocket science! You'll never learn to swim if you don't get in the water! :)
  9. PKR2:

    Hey I agree with you totally....

    But if you read my post......which could
    possibly be misunderstood...grin...sorry,

    what I really meant to say...which is for the
    original poster of the message mr Osama...

    that if he doesn't know how to do it, then maybe
    he should go and bring it to someone who knows,
    or someone who can show him how to set his
    bass up....or get some instructions.

    I do my own set up....and again I agree with
    you totally on having to be able to do it, in fact
    I prefer to do it myself. Then after all is exhausted
    then if you still have a buzz...then take it back
    to a luthier who can probably have another reason
    why only your A string buzzes on the 7th fret (as an

    grin....sorry for the misunderstanding....It just
    sounds like the original poster was really new at it.

  10. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    No prob, Vern. I was just enjoying my little rant. :)

    I just noticed from your profile that you are new to the board. Welcome aboard. Your critique or input is always welcome.

    I'm a little jealous of where you live. I'm in eastern N.C. and we just had the first substantial snow in the last 13 years.

    My plumbing is all frozen, I'm all frozen and I wish I lived where you do.

    What's the chance of you adopting me? I'm even house broke. :)

  11. PKR2.....

    If that's the case...go ahead and rant all you want...hehe!

    I know I've heard about the bad weather down in the south and east ends of the US.

    Sure...I'll adopt you! House broken....better yet!