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nasty noise when playing fingerstyle.

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by PinkTelephone, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. i dont know if i should post this in the technique forums, but recently when i play figure style, especially on my ric 4003, i get this nasty almost "clanking" kinda noise. i think it may be my strings hiting the frets when i play to hard, but i like my action low, and i'm not a gaint fan of playing with a pick all the time. So was just wondering if theres anything you guys can offer me to make this terrible noise go away.

    heres a small video, its not the best example of it of but it was hard to hold the camera and play lol. You can here what i'm talking about the best when i'm playing the E string. thanks
  2. paulodumb


    Jan 16, 2006
    ypsilanti, mi
    How high are your pickups? I had a similiar problem once and it turned out my action was too low and one of my pickups was too high, so the string would hit it.
  3. thanks i'll check that out tomorrow.
  4. nope its not hitting the pickups, i'm still gonna stay its hitting the frets or its just my style.

    i'm getting new strings tomrrow, maybe that could help out a bit. i have changed them since december.
  5. Hi Pink, I've been a 4003 player for years. It is common to get really nasty noises from the strings hitting the pickups in the stock setup, but it sounds like you've ruled that out. The other two things to think about are where you are plucking (proximity to neck or fretboard) and the angle of your finger's attack on the string. People pluck from all angles - from pulling the string upward to sideways to downward - and it can make a big difference on the direction of the inital deflection of the string. Watch the technique of each finger you pluck with and see how it behaves.
  6. thanks man, i think i've come down to it that when i pluck i push the string downwards hitting the frets, i gotta work on pulling the strings up instead of pushing the inwards.
  7. I watched your video, and it looked like you are kind of striking/slapping the strings rather than pulling through them. This type of action would probably create a lot of deflection and potentially be what is causing the noise. (Most folks say a 4003 is not a good bass for slapping.)

    The last thing I want to do is tell you there is a right or wrong way to play, but since you are having issues with the current technique and setup you may want to try something a little different. Try some exercises where you start the plucking motion with your finger touching the string. Pull it directly through the string toward the next string. This causes the string you pluck to go initially horizontal and then downward as it crosses your fingertip. This sort of motion seems to get very good tone, at least on a 4003.

    If you want to try something really different, play on the other side of the cover up toward the neck, using the E string as the place to rest your thumb. (Playing on the E itself then requires either plucking with the thumb or lifting the thumb to use the fingers, which feels rather awkward at first.) You will find that the feel and tone is completely different up there. Plucking down by the bridge where you are now causes the most growly/twangy sound you can get from the instrument. I removed the cover from my treble pick-up as many 4003 owners do so that I can pluck anywhere to achieve the tone I desire.
  8. Like Pockemonster said, you're striking the strings more than plucking them.. sort of using the your fingers like hammers.

    However, it seemed to be only when you were playing faster.
    When you played slow, it was more relaxed, and you were pulling, or "plucking" the strings in a more controlled way.

    Just slow it down, and build up the technique using the same approach as you did when you were playing slow.

    If you make contact before you start the movement to play the note, then its almost impossible for the strings to bounce on the frets like that, because the string begins its motion moving -away- from the frets. Even if its touching at the start of the note, it can't rebound far enough to hit them. If you hammer into it like that, then you're slamming it toward the frets, and that sound is what you get :)
  9. BadB


    May 25, 2005
    AZ, USA
    And...trim your nails. :D

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