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sharp flat!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Butterbass, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Butterbass


    Jul 6, 2008
    When I fret my E n A strings at the first fret, the F and Bb are consistently sharp. How can I fix this?:help:
  2. Robybass


    Nov 3, 2006
    Check if the problem is in the rest of the neck with the same string and adjust the intonation, if not, get it to a repair shop.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    My WAG (wild azz guess) would be that the nut slot is too high. This manifests itself mostly in the lower 3 or 4 frets, and because the string must be pressed down so far it shortens the effective length of the string ... causing it to go sharp. An easy fix it that's the problem.

    If you recently went to a larger gauge string set, that is most likely the issue.
  4. Butterbass


    Jul 6, 2008
    Thanx for your WAG's Cats! Yep, the E n A are a lil sharp up n down the neck. I ride a Fender P American that's only a couple months old to me and I saw another guy on here havin the similar problem of an A string fret buzz. He was told to fill his nut slot with epoxy or super glue gel. I followed this advice as well and so, long story short, most likely the nut slot IS too high. Cuz I'ma DIY newbie, what should I file the nut down with?
  5. standupright


    Jul 7, 2006
    Phoenix, AZ
    Brownchicken Browncow
    take your bass to a professional and have them set-up correct your problems.
  6. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    You need to adjust your intonation, that's all.
  7. You'll also find that the notes on the 1st fret naturally run a little sharp. You can improve it, but you'll never make it perfect with a standard nut. Most people can't hear the difference, though, as it is rather slight when the bass is setup properly by a trained pro.
  8. XylemBassGuitar

    XylemBassGuitar Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 14, 2008
    Durango, CO
    Owner and Operator, Xylem Handmade Basses and Guitars
    Before you do anything else, check and set your intonation like TrooperFarva suggests. Let us know if you need a tutorial on setting intonation. If your notes are still off after adjusting the intonation, then look at the nut.

    If you really want to do this yourself, you can get gauged nut slotting files from places like stewmac.com.

    Get a file that is about .003" larger than the string gauge you're using (this will help prevent the string from bindng in the nut). When filing the nut, go very slow, checking the nut height often. It is easy to file the nut too low, which will cause worse problems than you're having now, so be careful.

    Also, make sure that you file at a slightly downward angle towards the headstock. You only want a little bit of the the nut slot's surface area to touch the string, and you want the contact point to be as close to the fretboard-facing side of the nut as possible.

    I agree with fretlessman71 about the notes running a little sharp at the first frets no matter what. If the notes are only a couple of cents off, you might not want to worry about the issue.

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