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string chatter on 5 string basses

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by bassmanroggie54, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. I just recently acquired a 5 string bass and I'm having a lot of trouble with string chatter. Would simply changing to a heavier gauge set of strings reduce this effect? It is making the instrument pretty much unusable in recording and performing situations. I thought it was a technique problem at first, but it isn't getting any better as I spend more time with it. I don't want to sacrifice the 'action' but I don't mind a stiffer feel on the strings. I actually prefer heavy (11's or 12's) on my Strat.
  2. What do you mean "chatter?" What you prefer with guitar strings often has very little to do with what you prefer in bass strings.
  3. The strings 'travel path' when tuned to pitch seem to swing far enough to come into intermittent contact with the frets (especially the low B). The comment about the string gauges I prefer on my 6 string guitar was only meant to convey my preference for good action versus ease of bending or depression of the string to the fretboard. I was hoping to hear a suggestion short of raising the action I could try before investing in a new set of strings for the bass.
  4. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Sounds like you need a proper set up to me. (ie: adjust neck, check for high fret(s), set action height to playing style, etc.)
  5. rhapbus


    Feb 28, 2009
    Raise action and check the neck to make sure its straight
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1 you need a good set up.
  7. I solved the problem by #1 going from the originally equipped set of strings (.040 -.120) to GHS 5M-DYB's (.045 - .130), tweaked the truss rod to compensate for the change in string tension (while maintaining the action I had with the lighter strings) then re-set the intonation. With my particular technique, this added 'tension' prevented the strings from contacting the fretboard as they vibrated. Sure, they're a little harder to press to the fingerboard, but I've got the action I want, the sound I want and it sounds as though it plays more in tune, too. Thanks to all of you for your responses and advice, I'm sure I'll have reasons to consult TalkBass again.

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