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HELP! There's something wrong with my bass...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Amostar, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Amostar


    Apr 2, 2009
    So, I haven't played my bass in over a month, thanks to being too busy with university, and when I went to play it for some reason the frets closer to the head of the bass wouldn't give a clear note on the E or A strings, but they would most of the time on the D and G strings. They just make this gross noise that sounds like it's muted and I'm worried the neck of my bass is warped or something. has anyone ever had this problem, or know what might be wrong? I'm a beginner at this, and this is my second bass. The first one broke last summer, and I really can't afford a new one again. Please help me out if you can!
  2. bassistgook


    Feb 5, 2009
    Try new strings or have your setup checked.
  3. wtf_is_a_bass

    wtf_is_a_bass Guest

    Aug 11, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Endorsing Artist: PiGLET picks
    The neck is bowed, meaning the tension of the strings have somewhat pulled the neck towards the bridge (or something like that). So what ends up happening is your overall action became a little higher above 5th fret and a little lower beneath 5th fret.

    The same thing happened to my squier p bass ages ago. You need to have the truss rod loosened abit, the neck straightened out then have the truss rod re-tightened. Take it to a pro, the truss rod is sensitive. my mex jazz did the same thing yesterday and i will probably take it to the guitar shop on monday.

    Hope this helps.
  4. Amostar


    Apr 2, 2009
    Bowed? Seriously? There's nothing else it could be? How does that happen anyway? If I had played it for the last month, would it have happened? I just bought it... I really cannot afford to have it fixed now... How much does it cost to have something like that fixed?
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    A change in the weather will do that. And in the northern hemisphere, we just transitioned from winter to spring. I had to do a setup on several of my basses.

    Moved to Setup.
  6. If they're muted there's no way the neck moved towards the bridge (that would add relief which is what im guessing he needs), get a capo or tie up the strings at the first fret with a shoe lace or something similar and then fret at the last fret of the E string, the try to fit an ID card trough at the 8th fret, keep in mind it has to go trough cleanly and not get stuck, im guessing your neck has back bow which means your neck has warped backwards , try loosening your truss rod by 1/4 to half a turn, id try a half a turn first then add (loosen it up some more) or minimize (tighten it up just a bit) relief from there. Quick question was the bass playing fine before, or has it always been playing like this ?
  7. Amostar


    Apr 2, 2009
    It has never been this way, this is a recent development. I had it standing up in its case for about a month without touching it, and this resulted. Do you think it would cost me anything to have it just looked at by a professional? There's a music store in my home town, and maybe they could just glance and tell which way it is bent? My boyfriend used to work for a music store doing repairs, so I'm thinking he might be able to fix it, but he's never done this sort of thing before. Where do you get the tool to tighten/loosen the truss rod anyway? Do music stores just carry them? Are they expensive?
  8. Most truss rod's are tightened and loosened with normal Allen Wrenches AKA hex keys (a good set at Lowes or Home Depot is not that much somewhere around $20), your bass should have come with two of them in the first place (most new basses come with a small hex key for the bridge and a bigger one for the truss rod), as for looking at it (I trust your not blind :D) just sight it from the top of the head stock looking down at the side of the fretboard, but from what you described (the muted lower strings) its bending back (ive added too little relief to some of my basses and the same thing happened), if it were bowing forward (towards the bridge) it would add relief which I doubt is the cause of your problem.
  9. once i set the action on my Bongo sick low. i didn't like it though, i have some serious chops ( lol ) but i just wanted to see how low it can get.i let it in my church over the night ( outside it's gigbag, or hard case, don't remeber wich one i brang to the church ) and in the morning... MY STRINGS WERE TOUCHING THE FRETBOARD! oh, God, i couldn't make any sound.

    just a single night in a different temperature room. a very tiny difference of humidity/temperature can do that. depends on the type of wood too. basswood is very sensitive.
  10. Amostar


    Apr 2, 2009
    Okay, well I think I will leave it alone for now. If it just stays that way, will it be okay for a few weeks? I have it sitting in its hard shell case laying flat right now. I'm away at university, so I can't have my boyfriend look at it until I go home on the 24th. Should it be okay to leave it that way?

    And my bass didn't come with one of those tools. My first and second bass didn't either. I was also scammed by the store when I bought my third bass (the current one) so the store is probably just not trustworthy anyway. I had bought the second bass and two months later it completely broke, and he let me exchange it for a new one, free of charge. Then a few weeks later he calls my boyfriend, who had been doing repairs for him, and tells my boyfriend that I need to return the new bass and pay the $60 repair fee for my old bass and accept it back, or pay the $60 fee, keep my new bass and pay $100 to have my old one repainted. My boyfriend quit, and we no longer go to that store anymore. I'm assuming he's just a bad businessman, so that's probably why I don't have that tool. Since my boyfriend is a computer technician, he has like every tool in existence, so I'm sure he has one!
  11. Bass_man91


    Jul 30, 2008
    Yeah, It will be fine to leave it until then.
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Usually if the buzzing is below the 5th fret only then the neck doesn't have enough relief. Loosening the truss rod a hair should fix it.
  13. +1 ^ Yes - this is what it sounds like to me too - don't get all alarmed. Just check out the setup.

    1) relief
    2) action
    3) intonation
  14. Amostar


    Apr 2, 2009
    Well, I didn't know about the truss rod until this happened. Of course I'd be alarmed that suddenly my bass has a bent neck and I have no idea why and no idea if it's fixable. As I said, I'm a beginner. I don't know how to do the setup. I wasn't even given the tools to tighten/loosen the truss rod when I bought my bass.
  15. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Since you don't know anything about truss rods you should take it in and a have a professional do it. A truss rod adjustment isn't hard, but can be dangerous for someone that doesn't know what they are doing. You don't want a broken truss rod.
  16. Bass_man91


    Jul 30, 2008
    +1 Its important to know what your doing when trying to do anything to a guitar.
  17. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    This should have been the first response in this thread. The OP clearly doesn't know enough about the instrument to diagnose or correct the problem. Take it to a pro.

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