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Rattling or Tapping Noise of Strings and Frets?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by nycdweller, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. nycdweller


    Mar 9, 2006
    I have just purchased my first electric bass guitar and I decided to tune the strings with an electronic tuner. My question is in regards to noise that is produced whenever I press the strings against the frets and pluck on them. I would describe this noise as a rattling or tapping sound that is a result of metal (strings) hitting metal (frets). It is especially noticeable when I touch the A string because it is loser than the other strings. Is it normal to hear this type of sound? Are the strings supposed to tap against the frets and make noise whenever I play on them? If this is not normal, I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks.
  2. I think I know what it is that you're describing. If it is what I think it is, it can be one or a combination of several things.
    1. Your action is a touch high, and these fretting noises are caused by the strings tapping the frets as you try to finger them. This can be caused by both your technique and the setup of the bass.
    2. The relief (forward bow) in your neck is too small (even if your action is not low) and fretting the notes causes these small sounds.
    3. Your bass has very sensitive active electronics or pickups, and these amplify every tiny (and sometimes unwanted) sounds from fretting, picking, sliding, etc... This condition gets worse if you are running a very bright sound or running certain frequencies higher. Some amp/bass settings really bring out these noises...

    I have read several posts here in the past, describing your problem very similarly. It seems to me that most were written off as "technique" problems, but I think the bass's setup, action, and sensitivity play a big part in it also.


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