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Too low action or...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Stilettoprefer, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    do I just play too hard? I've been having problems with the muscles in my left forearm from playing too much bass. So I decided to change the strings on my bass from really high tension flats (fender) to pretty light rounds (40-100 rotosound) and adjusted the neck accordingly. I didn't touch the saddle height any.

    When I play like I used to, it buzzes like crazy all over the place. But if I lighten up my touch and focus on staying pretty light with my right hand (plucking hand) it doesn't buzz any. Am I just too used to playing really freakin' hard? This is probably more of a technique question....

    EDIT: and my girlfriend (she has Ernie ball regular rounds on her bass) has complained about it being really hard to play with the flats on it... So I guess it could just be me having gotten used to the bass over the year I had those strings on...
  2. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    It's hard to say for sure without knowing how you play or how the bass is actually set up. You might need to adjust the neck/saddles depending on where you're getting buzzing. However, if you're only getting buzzing when you dig in then I'd say it's more of a technique issue. Soften up the touch a little bit for a while and see if it's something you can live with.
  3. Stilettoprefer


    Nov 26, 2010
    The action is moderately high for most electric basses (my preference since I also play upright an like higher action). And when I play like I used to it buzzes everywhere (except the 24th fret of course). I'm gonna give it a week and try to adjust my technique to playing lighter before raising the saddles any.
  4. rocknrollmouse


    Jan 2, 2012
    If your action is already high, I'd hold back on raising the saddles just yet.

    Have you checked the bow in the neck?

    Your girlfriend has difficulty playing your bass, does she also get the same buzzing? Have you tried playing her bass?

    If you're having pain then this also points to technique - go back to basics, slow down play a single note, try and get it to ring with out buzzing - check you left and right hands notice how you are fretting and striking the string. (A little while ago I also used to get left arm pain, and discovered I was clamping the strings too tight, by relaxing my hand and experimenting with how lightly I could fret a string, this is now a thing of the past.) Build up slowly towards your normal playing speed, notice where your sound starts to degrade, try and see how has your playing changed. If all else fails try a couple of lessons with an experienced teacher; let them know about your pain before starting, hopefully they'll spot your problem very quickly and advise you.

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