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New bass fret buzz

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by AskBass, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. AskBass


    Oct 9, 2016
    I bought a Fender Jazz Bass Standart American and when I play it unamplified I have fret buzz. Should I try to adjust the truss rod or the saddles?
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Short response: set your relief (truss rod), then string height. A full-blown set-up requires a bit more and addressed in the stickies.

  3. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Does it buzz through the amp?
  4. AskBass


    Oct 9, 2016
    All St.American already set up no? What should I do first truss rod or saddles?
    No. But I play unamplified at home so it's really annoying.
  5. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Then it doesn't buzz.

    An electric guitar is one half of a musical instrument. When played without an amplifier it is natural to overplay and produce noise. That's not a gear problem. It's a technique issue.

    1. Play with an amp.
    2. Play with headphones.
    3. Play lightly in a quiet room.
    4. Change the set up so that it doesn't buzz acoustically.
    Changing the setup means changing technique to compensate for raising the strings. Most players find this unacceptable.

    There is one more possibility that cannot be overlooked. That is the frets are not perfectly level. A fret dress might alleviate the problem. Or not, depending on how hard the instrument is being played.
    bonruiz and tbplayer59 like this.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You would hope so but not necessarily. Something as simple as shipping from one clime to another may throw things out of whack, as well. How much relief do you have on board?

  7. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Just because you bought a new bass does not mean that it is properly set up. Unfortunately most new basses aren't.

    There's lots of good info about how to go about setting up your bass here:

  8. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Good point. Set up is the first order of business.
  9. tbplayer59


    Jan 20, 2013
    202dy is exactly right when he says the bass is only half an instrument. I always say, "If you want it louder, let the amp do the work." Digging in is for dynamics. It's really common to play differently when you're playing unamplified.
  10. bonruiz


    Mar 19, 2009
    This advice is spot on! An electric bass should be played with an amp all the time, as long as those buzzes and quirks don't show up then you're fine with your Fender. If you want to play loud simply raise the volume knobs. Playing with finesse requires discipline and patience. Cheers man!
  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Thank you for these kind words.

    Playing a solid body without amplification is not a bad thing. There are several reasons for doing this. It is less disruptive when others are in the room. You focus on individual finger movement without thinking about volume and tone. That is helpful when learning things from a purely mechanical perspective. With regard to tone, practicing in a quiet room unplugged will help you to learn what part of the finger to put on the string to achieve a particular tone. It can also teach a lot about overplaying.
    bonruiz likes this.