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strings slapping on frets

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by afterthoughts, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    Hi ive been playing bass in our band for about 3 months or so and can competently play with my fingers, however i just got my new bass, an ESP b-154, and when i play harder or try to jump around the strings slap on the metal frets (not sure if this is the correct term) making an irritating clanging noise. does anyone else have these problems and is there anything i can do to increase the basses tollerance to harder playing (like a thickker string that i can tighten more, just guessing here) or is it simply that this bass isnt right for me?
  2. ghorvers


    Dec 22, 2005
    This seems to have more to do with technique than with your equipment. I had this problem as well, especially when I started out. I sometimes still find I'm playing too hard, using way too much strength. Try and practice playing with a softer attack. Turn your amp up if you feel you need to. You will allow yourself to play cleaner and longer. Once you have mastered playing softer you will find it also becomes easier to gain speed.

    It's probably not the bass, but you might want to get it checked out and get the action adjusted. By all means, change the strings if you don't like the way they play and sound. That is a personal choice. Still, I would work try and clean up your technique before changing the strings.

  3. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    thanks very much for your reply,
    i generally do play gentler but when we are performing when i move aroudn and stuff i cant help but play harder, as a guitarist would strum larger etc. its just a bad habbit i suppose.
    also i am unsure as to what you mean by getting the action adjusted?,
    thanks again
  4. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    is there anyway to highten the strings also?
    because i have nptced the strngs are very close to the frets wheras i have seen on other basses that the strings lie higher
  5. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    action refers to the height of the string, I like to dig in a lot so I have pretty high action on my bass. It helps to remove the fret noise. Flatwound strings also help as they clank a lot less than roundwounds.
  6. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    awesome, how is the action adjusted?
  7. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
  8. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    thanks a bunch
  9. Maybe its because your new bass has new strings?
  10. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Too much hip thrust
    Sounds like an action issue to me. Good luck!
  11. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    In addition to the previously mentioned action issue, you can also work on improving your technique. Pluck the strings with a motion that gets them vibrating as close to parallel with the body as you can. Especially when you are really digging in, you may be attacking the string with a motion that causes the string to vibrate perpendicular to the body and smacking the frets. Proper instrument setup and practice of correct techniques will lead to clean playing.
  12. thewanderer24


    Apr 29, 2002
    SJ, CA
    Also, when you are playing loud, make sure you are using the amp to get the extra volume, not your fingers.
  13. afterthoughts


    Apr 13, 2006
    ok thanks,
    i do believe there are some technique isssues,
    ill need to work on this, but also this new bass has a very low action which i have now adjusted which has helped greatly,
    thanks for your replies
  14. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Sep 17, 2005
    Try cutting the treble and mids a little,cut the tone pot on the bass,helps a lot,but again try working with the technique its the most important and thats what I'm doing at the moment!

    But in a way that noise can be useful sometimes,like when havin' a gig if you are not heared clank it up.You are playing metal and that clank is ok for metal.Last month I watched a competition,sth. like the battle of the bands where the equipment was so poor so bass was not heared well but a couple of guys played with that "clank" and my friend said "What a bass sound,wow".
    You can hear this clank in Steve Harris' sound too.
  15. morf

    morf Inactive

    Feb 17, 2006
    how are your right fingers playing the strings? My guess is you did the way i did, which is to pluck in a curved way with your fingertips, slightly bringing the string upward. If thats so, practice leaving your fingers straight, keep your thumb on the pickup closest to the fretboard, and push the E string with your index finger towards your thumb. Play the other strings with your thumb sitting gently on the E string. It's hard at first, but keep at it and you'll get the hang of it. Playin g this way solved ALOT of problems for me. Been playing for 8 months, had my first lesson yesterday with a really good bassist (he plays with Natalia M King if anyone knows her) and lessons are necessary for bass. Learning alone will have you get used to playing in the way you're most comfortable with, and when you get better you'll have trouble playing alot of complex stuff, especially fast stuff. If you have the same problem I had, try this and it should solve the problem.
  16. ric1312

    ric1312 Inactive

    Apr 16, 2006
    chicago, IL.
    Could also be strings, or the nature of your new bass.

    I had a schecter that I returned. Was great for pop slap. ver bright. But because of the way it was set up and the heavy loose coiled strings, even if I played slowly and very deliberately it still clanked. wasn't the action as it was nice but not too low.

    the clank is not really something you want if you are going to be playing a lot of different covers that don't call for it, and the loose coiled strings made the tone deeper and harder to sing to, so it went back. Wish I could have kept it though, very nice tone.

    Thicker strings and looser coiled strings clank more.
  17. EricF

    EricF Habitual User

    Sep 26, 2005
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm not sure what you mean by "looser coiled strings", but thicker strings will actually clank LESS. A thicker string will have higher tension and a reduced range of motion when plucked with the same force as a thinner string.
  18. DannyB


    Aug 17, 2004
    and remember, just because the action on a particular bass CAN go lower than you imagined doesn't mean that it will match your playing style..

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