Strings click on fret when playing - need advice

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Rumble On, May 29, 2018.


  1. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    Hello!

    I'm new to bass guitars and I've only been playing for a month or so, but there's a thing that's driving me crazy. Whenever I play, I can hear a click when I press down on a string. The click is produced by the string hitting the fret. This occurs even when I'm playing very softly and slowly. The string does not buzz, it just creates a very annoying click which I can hear even through my amp. Is this normal? Is it my bass or, more probably, me? What can I do to fix it?

    If that is of any importance, I play a Squier Affinity PJ Bass and have a Rumble 15 practice amp. I usually play with the treble turned all the way down. I've never fiddled with the action or the truss rod or restringed the bass.

    Any help would be very appreciated as there's no other bass players in my town so my main source of information is the internet, and I can't seem to find anything related to my problem (I've seen advice about strings hitting pickups, but I'm positive that's not the case here).

    Thank you very much in advance!
     
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  2. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    Welcome to TB, @Rumble On!

    I know you said you can hear it through your amp... so, definitely not a mechanical 'click', correct? Do you have access to another electric guitar?
     
  3. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    The sound happens when you fret the string, or when you pluck the string with your fingers?

    If it happens when you fret the note then it is probably some kind of odd setup problem (low nut, too little neck relief, too low of action), or else you are fretting the notes very hard.

    A click when you pluck a note is fairly common and can be reduced by playing more softly or with a less aggressive "attack," raising the action, reducing treble, etc. If you are doing these things then you simply need to work more at it until you find the right combination. I typically set up my gear such that I can easily get that "click" or not based upon how I attack the string, as that sound can sometimes be useful in rock/metal playing. I can get that sound too often sometimes if I have too low of action or neck relief, or if I have a more treble-forward or mid-scooped sound.
     
    RedHatter and edro like this.
  4. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    I can hear it when the amp is both off and on and epecially through headphones. I don't have acces to any other guitars, unfortunately
     
    eriky4003 and Spidey2112 like this.
  5. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    EARTH
    I think B and E string clicking is Normal.
     
  6. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    The click happens when I fret the note and I don't think I'm fretting them too hard, so it might be a setup problem. Do you think I could fix it on my own or should I take it to a music store?
     
  7. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    The clicking really is most audible on those strings, but I can hear it on all of them and it's very annoying.
     
  8. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    Let's be clear... amp is off, bass is disconnected from amp, and you can still hear a 'click' when the string makes contact with the fret...?
     
    Loring likes this.
  9. Could be a number of things. What it's odd is that you say the sound get through the amp.
    It would be good if you can record it so we can see what kind of noise it is.
    A simple thing you can check is if the strings are touching the pole pieces on your pickups. That would produce a sound that would go through the amp
     
    FenderB likes this.
  10. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    EARTH
    I always practice by headphone and i know exactly what are you saying. This happens on higher frets 4+ on thicker strings. More thicker more clicking.
    Sounds perfectly normal to me. I think lower action may help
     
    Bioflava likes this.
  11. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    Yes.

    P.S. Thank you for the welcome message, just noticed it!
     
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  12. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    Alright, I'll try to record it in the morning.
     
  13. Rumble On

    Rumble On

    May 29, 2018
    Croatia
    Yes, exactly! So you really think technique has nothing to do with it? I'd hate to form a bad habit, especially as I don't have a bass teacher to correct me.
     
    ELynx likes this.
  14. Mili

    Mili

    Nov 14, 2015
    EARTH
    It's annoying but not a big deal(headphones magnify it,sort of) but when i have to play staccatos on those frets i do all the job by my plucking hand(i don't release the pressure) so i get a very clean and nice sound.
     
  15. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    No problem... if it's 'clicking' unplugged, it's mechanical, and once plugged in is amplified along with the notes fretted.

    As someone suggested, a recording of it would be great... if you have an extra pair of hands, depress the 1st string (G) with one hand/finger at the 1st fret and with the other hand/finger, depress the last fret. Try and take a pic of the gap between string and fret, at the 8th fret.

    This will at least help determine if the neck relief is correct... good luck!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  16. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    The only time I get that is when I loosen my strings before restringing I would suggest a nice setup or try to raise the action a tad.
     
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  17. Spidey2112

    Spidey2112

    Aug 3, 2016
    Great point, @SirMjac28! Do you have the means to tune it, yes?
     
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  18. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Sounds like the strings might be hitting the upper frets. Is the action really low.

    A proper set up is possibly needed.
     
    the_home, Spidey2112 and SirMjac28 like this.
  19. TheSlug

    TheSlug

    Feb 7, 2015
    Bergen, Norway
    Not a former guitar player by any chance? Used to mute your all the other strings with your left hand? I remember a click that was caused by the string below the one i was plucking. The string that was "stopping" my finger.
    Because I was touching the string below the one i was playing, my plucking finger hit just hard enough to "slam" it against the fretboard. Didn't make a note because it was muted with the left hand.
    If this is the case, it shouldn't happen on the B-string though. :eyebrow:
    I can tell you , it's most likely not audible in a band setting, unless you are treble heavy.
     
  20. mbasile

    mbasile Mediocre Bassist of a Year Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Austin, Texas
    It is going to be down to technique or setup. Starting your playing career off with a good instructor is invaluable for this kid of stuff (and more).

    If youre calling it a click rather than a buzz or rattle, I’m going to say with 99% certainty that you’re plucking is too aggressive or is at the wrong angle.
     
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