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Strings "buzzing" when I play? {Newbie}

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Tony Canevaro, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Tony Canevaro

    Tony Canevaro

    Jan 4, 2004
    Hi all!

    I got my bass for Christmas and have started teaching myself to play. I'm getting a lot of buzzing from the strings on the frets when I switch fingering on the left hand. For example when I'm playing a major scale and am lifting my lefthand fingers I get a buzzing sound. I know some of this is probably weak fingers but how do I prevent this when lifting my fingers?

  2. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Sounds like you are lifting your fingers too soon after playing the note. Make sure that you play the note, hold it for the proper length, and then lift your fingers. From what you describe, it might be that you are doing both almost simultaneously. (Though I could be wrong.) Play slowly and very deliberately, and it'll get better. Good technique with no buzzes comes with practice. Good luck. :)
  3. Tony Canevaro

    Tony Canevaro

    Jan 4, 2004
    That could be it. I'll work on that. Thanks!
  4. Ticktock


    Sep 3, 2003
    Since you just got it for Christmas, and if you haven't had your bass set up yet, the strings may be a little low. At least, that's the way it is with my Ibanez. It doesn't buzz terribly, but I'll get it taken care of eventually...when I get a job (snicker).
  5. Somebassguy


    Nov 5, 2003
    Everett Wa
    Fret buzz is also commonly caused by incorrect right hand fingering styles. With your right hand position your plucking fingers at a 90 degree angle to the strings. Pluck the strings across the bass, not into the body. This will take some practice but keep at it and it will become second nature.

    Incorrect method that produces fret buzz is striking the strings too flat with your plucking fingers producing fret rattle.

    Good luck
  6. Also, after a few months you'll develop calluses on your fingers. They'll make it easier to hold a string down as the tips of your fingers won't be as soft. Just give it some time.
  7. Tony Canevaro

    Tony Canevaro

    Jan 4, 2004
    I could swear I read in one of my books (which, of course, is not here right now) that I was supposed to pluck, or strike, the string into the body of the bass...?

    Also, how will my thumb resting position affect my fingers ability to stay at a 90 to the body of the bass? I currently rest my thumb on the top of the pickup or on top of the neck when trying to get a "softer" sound.

    Thanks for the help! Now I just need help undestanding your help... ;)
  8. Somebassguy


    Nov 5, 2003
    Everett Wa
    Rest your thumb where ever you feel it is comfortable for you but try to position at a 90 degree angle also (same as your plucking fingers). Like i said, this takes a bit of practice but once you get it down not only will you eliminate fret buzz (to a degree) but you will also find you will have access to the strings on a much more concise and articulate manner. Even with this said, it is you that ultimately must find the most comfortable position to play in, but following these guidlines will certainly only help your technique.

    Good luck :)
  9. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    i believe somebody is confused as to which thumb is being discussed
  10. MrSaturn


    Oct 25, 2001
    Palm Springs, CA
    This used to happen to me and I was wondering if the buzzing gets picked up in the pickups. I couldnt tell since i didn't play too loud with my amp.
  11. Fuzzy Bass

    Fuzzy Bass

    Jan 19, 2004
    Either your finger isnt pressed hard enough close enough to the fret or mabe you are fingering the strings to hard or your fret finger is coming of the fret to slow
  12. I used to have the exact same problem when I first started out. I never could figure out exactly what caused it, but I do know what cured it. Practice. It took probably a month or more, gradually getting less and less noticable. After a while, my fingers just evolved away from doing whatever it was that made the buzz. Might be increased strength, might be finger callouses, might be better technique on one or both hands, might be increased confidence allowing me to play faster/slower/more accurately/without having to concentrate on making my fingers physically do what my brain wanted them to do. Most likely all of the above. Keep on practicing, and I'll bet a lot of money the buzz will take care of itself soon enough.

    Of course, I could be wrong about everything, just like my wife says.

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