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String Rattling

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kjr, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. kjr


    Jan 25, 2003
    I have a Fender P-Bass Special and just changed the strings and now the A string, when played open, rattles. It doesn’t make the rattle when I play any fretted notes on that string and when I apply pressure to the string past the nut, it doesn’t rattle. What can I do the fix this myself? Thanks
  2. The nut slot needs to be fixed. An easy fix, take a very small piece of paper, and slip it under the string in the slot. Then, play away. This should do the trick.
  3. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    Fix your nuts.
  4. kjr


    Jan 25, 2003
    I took it to the guitar shop once before to get the nut fixed and the string rattling only happens when I put new strings on. Is this something more serious?
  5. Kavorka


    Mar 28, 2002
    Austin, Texas
    Are you changing string guages when you get new strings? If you're going from larger strings to smaller, then the new string is sitting deeper in the groove in the nut, making it closer to the fretboard - hence the rattle.

    The paper in the slot trick should work fine but you can alway have a new nut put in your bass to raise those strings up a bit. Since you're only getting the rattle on open strings, your problem does not sound to be significant.
  6. kjr


    Jan 25, 2003
    I'm using the same gauge and the exact some type of strings, so it’s rather confusing. The piece of paper works fine even though I can hear it dampen the sound a tad. About how much should it cost to have a new nut put in?
  7. I have had a defective string that rattled open. I suspect the core or winding was broken. Similar story, it was the same brand and gauge as its predecessor (which didn't rattle) and the replacement, also of the same brand and gauge, did not rattle :meh:
  8. travatron4000


    Dec 27, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i know this problem, it happens a lot on basses with a tilt forward head stock. something that i think is the worst design flaw in guitar history. what was leo thinking? the winding peg for the A is in such a position that if you dont leave enough extra string to wind down to the bottom of the peg, the string doesnt get bent enough over the nut to totally stop it from vibrating. look and check how much the A bends over the nut if its almost straight... there's your problem.

    If my guess is right, how do you fix it? either make sure you have enough string to wind to the bottom of the peg. or get a second string tree or a bar style tree that will hold down three strings. if anything i said sounds crazy. then i'm wrong, but check it out.

  9. kjr


    Jan 25, 2003
    Thanks for the information. I think I'm going to put another string tree on and that should work because when I apply pressure to the string past the nut, it sounds fine. Thanks again.