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What's the matter with my bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by joemcb, Aug 21, 2000.

  1. joemcb


    Apr 28, 2000
    Hi, I recently bought a new bass. It is of decent quality but it's not the most expensive or greatest bass I've seen. Anyway, when I play the E string on the first few frets, the string rattles of the frets like crazy. It makes a horrible sound (especially with the amp) and I don't know what's wrong with it. If you can help me, I would appreciate it a lot.


  2. SmartLobster


    Mar 26, 2000
    Just something to consider...was that your first bass? In that case, it may not be the bass, it may be you. If your fingers aren't used to holding down a big string like that, you might not be pressing it hard enough and thus far causing it to rattle. That may sound weird to you, but it happened to me when i first started playing...you'll get used to the thick strings and it'll eventually stop.

    But if this wasn't your first bass, then sorry, but i can't offer a valid explination.
  3. gmstudio99


    Mar 11, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I would guess that Biski is probably correct.


  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    If you already know how to play bass, I mean , if this is not your first bass and you know how to adjust the bridge try first to raise the action of the E string.
    Now, if it works, could mean that you have a high fret at the midle of the neck. (The sound you talk about is FretBuzz)
    Also, check if the neck is STRAIGHT. Do this by looking the entire neck from the Bridge,,, as an arrow, look for uneven frets and neck bindings.
    If you dont know how to adjust the neck/action, take your bass to a local dealer, buy some strings , and ask the Technician or another musician in there, to put the strings for you and calibrate your bass.
    That's what I can do for you. Hope it helps.

  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Do you get the same buzzing playing standing up as sitting down? Depending on the flexibility of the neck, some basses buzz if you pull the neck towards you with your fretting hand. When you play sitting down and support the weight of the bass on your leg there is less tendency to do this. After you've made the checks already mentioned in the previous posts, if you still have the problem, check this.
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    If the problem is only on the first few frets, then it is most likely to be to do with the nut - that's presuming we are talking about the frets closest to the bridge? I have had this with basses and really the only way to deal with it is to fit a new nut or get a qualified guitar tech to make adjustments. People have fitted new nuts, but it's not something I'd like to attempt although I would do most other setup adjustments myself.
  7. mwbonsall

    mwbonsall Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2000
    Casa Grande, Arizona
    The nut can only effect the string played open. It sounds like your neck needs adjusted. I recomend having a good guitar tech take a look at your bass.

  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    This is not true! If the nut is too low the strings can buzz behind the place where you fret on the first few strings. I have direct experience of this and got it sorted out by a guitar tech in London who explained this to me.

    Most people don't realise the importance of the height of the nut - you can see Jaco at the beginning of his "instructional video" filing the slots in the nut to get the height just right. Too high and you will get intonation problems on the first few frets - too low and you will get buzz there instead.
  9. TonyS


    Dec 13, 1999
    Bruce is right,
    Additionally, if the nut is not cut deep enough the intonation and action will be off. Most noticably at the nut end of the neck. Have a qualified tech check the action on your bass. It's a good idea no matter the cause of your problem.

    Good Luck.
  10. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    depending on where you got it, it may have been poorly set up since you bought it. Sam Ash and Guitar Center are two companies that deal in bulk and don't set up instruments out of the box. Take it to where you bought it and have them look at it and fix it FOR FREE. If they break it, they give you another bass. If they fix it, it's fixed. A win-win situation.

    Jam on
  11. I agree, it sounds like a simple setup problem, might need a truss rod adjustment, or like some of the other posters said,a nut adjustment( no pun intended)But if it is new, It should still be under warranty, so yeah, Take it back and get it fixed right.

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