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How to eliminate string noise

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by thereallime, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    When I move up and down the neck lately I've been noticing alot of string noise. I noticed at times my hand slides against the G string alot. And even if I mute the string with my pluck hand it still happens and I hear it in my amp. I've never really had this problem but I've noticed it more. Could it be me? Could my bass just need a tune up? I know it does need one plus strings are kinda old.so how can I prevent this scratching string noise?
  2. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    Ugh. Why no response? Less go!
  3. mat b

    mat b

    Dec 21, 2005
    Albuquerque, nm
    It's your technique and your round wound strings. Try a hair tie. Practice slow, find the problem and correct it. Hope this helps.
  4. You can try a few things. Back off on the trebel side of the amp eq and/or turn off the tweeter on the speaker cab if so equiped. Try some coated strings like Elixr strings. They arent as noisy or try some flatwounds. Technique wise you could try changing your left hand position from holding the neck like you would a stick (fingers wrapped around if that's how you play) to like you would if you were holding a book with one hand. That would get the bottom of your fingers away from accidentally sliding along the G string.
  5. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    thanks to both replies! gonna take both into consideration. i have ernie ball hybrid slinky strings. could that be a problem too? should i try flatwound?
  6. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    If this just started happening, you're either using new or brighter strings, a new amp or crispier EQ settings, or you have a new distortion/overdrive in your setup.

    If you want it to go away, get some quieter strings (flats maybe) or turn the highs down on your amp (or the tweeter on your cabs).

    If you use a lot of distortion you might also want to look into a noise gate.
  7. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    Scott, actually i did just get a new amp Behringer BXL 1800 and it has 7 band EQ with ultrabass compressor and 2 gain knobs. got it few days ago so im still learning the features.
  8. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Roots and fifths and a little extra. Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    Well, the easiest thing to try is to take that highest band on the EQ and pull it down.
  9. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    flatwound strings also reduce finger noise when sliding try a set of flats!
  10. JamesGoodall


    Aug 29, 2011
    New amp for Christmas? ;) Same here, and I'm having trouble switching from a bass/mid/treb eq to 7-band eq, but I'm getting closer to the sound I want. Definitely dial down the highest slider/knob and that should help it a lot.
  11. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Flats will probably put a smile on your face. If that is too radical a change, you could consider DAddario Half Rounds.
    You could also consider DAddario Black Tapewounds.
  12. You may also consider that string noise will often be completely unnoticeable in a live setting, if not actually beneficial and musical!
  13. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Very, very good point. It took me Years to figure this out.

    What sounds noisy in our living room is often a mix that is Very Good for live play. I always tend to turn treble down at home.
    I get used to that, and then my tendency is to do the same when gigging, which often doesn't serve.
  14. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    so everyone has told me to get flats. so what sizes? and do they really reduce string noise? what kind should i get?
  15. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Yes they very much reduce string noise. They also very much reduce "Brightness". If you are playing modern music these may not be the strings for you. Classic rock or Motown they will be great.

    If I were you I would not start off with an expensive set considering you may not like them at all. I would get a set of D'addario Chromes in the same gauge as the strings currently on your bass.
  16. tbirdsp


    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    I went to D'A XL Chromes on my CV 50's P bass. Sounds great (vintage thump) at home and recorded, also almost no string noise. However - for me it just doesn't cut it in a live band mix. I still might try them on my Jazz to see if that brings back enough for them to cut through live.

    I had tried D'A half rounds on my VM 70's Jazz, mainly to reduce string noise. Didn't like them at all - to me, they actually seem harder on my fingers than either rounds or flats, I didn't like the tone either. Went back to rounds.

    As stated - the string noise is not noticeable in a live band situation.
    Jason Schulhz likes this.
  17. thereallime


    Aug 2, 2012
    Yea I've never had any problems with it live. Or recording just when I do videos. Like states the only thing I'm nervous about with the flats is I'm in a post grunge heavy rock band and I don't wanna lose the rock sound. So maybe ill try a cheap set and go from there
  18. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    I hate string noise, so I stopped sliding my hand along muted strings. No money spent, no strings changed, problem solved. :bag:
  19. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    weird, i was using the l2k with a new eq setup and i felt like i was playing the violin, the string noise was so bad on the a string, then i went back to the usual settings and it stopped, weird
  20. What I found that helped years ago when I was playing bass full time...finger the notes close to the fret. It diminishes noise and it takes less pressure (less fatigue in your fretting hand too) for your finger to fret the notes. Takes some practice to get it to feel routine, but it really helps.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 6, 2021

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