Fret noise

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by cman227, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    I purchased a five string recently to complement my 4 string J bass and I am getting a great deal of fret noise. The action on this bass is much lower than my J and I am using steal string where my J has chromes. The 5 string is great for slap/pluck and adding percussive ghost notes but not great for playing any faster riffs because of the noise. It's not a buzzing like it needs a neck adjustment, just a clanking when you fret a note and also the noise you get from sliding your fingers over the strings. Is this something in my technique or is it because the action is too low or just an effect of having steal strings? I should also add that it's a P style split pickup (Nordstrand) that is much hotter than the J pickups even though it's a passive bass.
  2. Not being there I'll just say what I would try.

    First, some foam rubber under the strings at the bridge. A sock can give you an idea if this is going to help. If so I use the foam rubber from a foam rubber paint brush.
  3. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    It sounds like a combination of insufficient muting, the action being too low, and/or not being used to roundwound strings (?) that expose bad technique, rather than mask it like flats.
  4. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    Well I did figure out the muting technique so that eliminated some of it, and I used to have roundwound strings on my J bass and don't recall having this much of a noise issue. Also, my J bass has a rosewood fretboard while this is maple so maybe that brings out more noise?
  5. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Aren't Chrome's flatwound?
  6. cman227


    Dec 21, 2014
    Semi roundwound. I used to use Rotosound roundwound on my J when I played in a classic rock band. I'm in a blues band now so I use the Chrome's on the J
  7. jnslprd


    Jun 26, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    I'm having the same issue. My new bass has very low action and very clear pick ups. If i pluck like I do on my P bass it almost sounds like a slap. I am trying to lighten my touch and concentrate on picking upward towards the top of the bass an d not outward away from the pick up. Now my issue is is there really a correct technique and is the clanking really unacceptable? I know certain types of music and styles sound great with the strings clanking others don't. Not sure which direction I want to be going.
  8. You want a good clean sound. If the song calls for something else, well then do what the song dictates, however, first you need to have a good clean sound.

    I play with my thumb. So palm mute is part of my bag of tricks. I also fret with the meaty part (pad) of my fingers. Using the pad has the effect of muting the lower strings not needed. It also puts my wrist in a natural position and this eliminates the pain issue that may come from playing with the finger tips.

    On top of all that I play with foam rubber under the strings at the bridge and use flatwound strings. Why flats? I like the sound. Foam and flats get the sound I like. It also helps with the muting, but, that is just gravy, I'd use foam and flats for the sound anyway.,.
    If more muting is needed I use palm mute, but, normally do not need to with pads, foam and flats. Everyone has to work out this muting thing for themselves. After awhile when you find your way of muting you'll not have to think about it, it'll just happen. But yes right at first it's a big problem, keep trying.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018

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