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Noise and Clang reduction

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by fifthorange, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. fifthorange


    Mar 13, 2004
    can anyone tell me some ways/techniques to stop string noise, and especially the clang of fingerpicking the string and it hitting like the end of the fretboard?
  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Copy and pasted from another thread on the same issue, this is what has recently worked for me:

    -Having my bass set up by really good tech. I had it dialed in about 98%, intonation perfect etc. He got it that last 2% and it was a dig difference. He made a ton of very small adjustments that collectively have my bass playing much more naturally than it was before.

    -Switching to a lighter gauge of strings. Less tension = less effort to press down, therefor less noise upon contancting the frets.

    -Moved my right hand position closer to the neck (just in front of the neck pickup vs, directly over it). Not sure why but this made a difference.

    -Forcing myself to play as lightly as possibly with everything I do (still working on this).

    -Using left hand mutting whenever possible, i.e. my finger remains on a previous note as I fret the first one, but lifts enough that it chokes the note off. I find lifting makes fret noise as often as fretting does.

    -Changing my EQ setup on both bass and amp to have just enough mid and high to get the job done. This masks whatever extra noises I do create.

    -Enabling the compressor and limiter features on my effects unit.

    Any of these things will make a barely noticable change, all of them made a huge difference.
  3. 1. Play closer to the bridge.

    2. Play as lightly as possible, and with as little movement as possible, and turn the amp up to compensate for light playing.

    3. Listen and learn. If you pay attention, you can train yourself not to slide all your fretting fingers across the strings as you move up the fretboard.
  4. Timbo


    Jun 14, 2004
    Turn treble down?
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    Most of us that have done studio recordings have experienced that first lesson in "playing clean": having to listen to ourselves through a set of cans with a control room full of critics raising eyebrows at us, it's alot like the "showing up to class naked" dream, only it's real!!
    It's all about making you and your bass sound good in a FLAT invironment. If you have an active bass practicing with good headphones plugged directly into the bass can pay off, I do it with my treble cranked all the way up. I also have studio monitors that accept both XLR and 1/4" plug-ins, I plug right into these regularly to practice. It takes alot of practice and experience to really play cleanly, you can fake it with EQ, but it is all about you and your bass, technique and finesse, it is often what seperates good from great..
  6. Go to Gary Willis He has some techniques posted that he uses. They work really well. :)
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Great advice! This is by far the best way to clean up your technique. This will magnify all of your shortcomings, and will force you to either tighten things up, or lose your sanity.
  8. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I'm not good at giving instruction, but here's what I do:

    Make sure that your plucking fingers always hit the strings in such a way that the strings vibrate mostly up and down. Just move your hand so that your plucking fingers are always directly over the string(s) you are playing and you pull straight up or down on them, not across or in. This helps keep the strings from hitting the frets and cleans up the noise. I use my thumb as a pivot and just stretch my hand across the strings as needed to keep the finger alignment correct. Keep a constant amount of arc in your plucking fingers, in other words, don't stretch them out as you play on higher strings. And don't rest your forearm on the bass.

    You can also try shortening the length of the stroke you take so that your fingers don't collide with unused strings. Then you should be able to dig on in.