Best Way To Keep Strings from Clacking on the Fretboard When Playing?

I know this has probably been asked a million times before, but how do you keep the string from making noise (mainly from open E) when hitting notes along the fret board?

I know I’m still relatively new, have hand issues and have s lot to learn yet about muting - but is it just a matter of getting the fretting hand strong enough to be able to lightly push down? Is there some sort of muting trick or finger placement trick I can use to keep the old sausage fingers from causing the metal clink I get?

Kinda frustrated, but not giving up. I already know it’s going to be harder for be because my hands have a lot of issues, so any advice would be cool.

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It could be caused by a few things, some is your plucking technique. Josh covers this quite a bit in the modules, really important to pull across. Could be a function of the action (aka string height). Also realize you may get noises that only you can hear, but don’t come across your amp.

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I get the same happen especially if I’m digging in to a tune I like but I’m really making an effort to make sure I’m pulling across.

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Could be the action is too high. Also, as @Sully pointed out, you hear many things when you’re playing that nobody else hears. Try recording yourself and play it back to see if you can hear the clacking on the playback.

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Thanks everyone, I’ll keep an eye on it. Let’s see what happens!

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It sounds like you might be describing what is usually called “fret buzz”… like a quick loudish rattle when either not pressing down close enough to the fret / not pressing down hard enough / or lifting your finger off the fret too slowly (there are other factors but these seem to be common)

  • If that’s not quite what your describing then ignore what I write below and maybe try to describe it in another way to make it clearer if you like?

  • If that DOES sound like what you’re describing, then honestly don’t worry too much about it. I’m still fairly new myself and I’ve noticed it’s something that literally improves over time as you get more comfortable with playing. The good thing for early on is to be aware of what it is you’re doing that causes it so you can at least have it in your head that it’s something you can gradually correct as you go on.

A good bit of advice if you’re in the B2B course is to read the comments for each video and you’ll be surprised how many people ask about it, and how many times Josh has written out a new, human response to each one :slight_smile:
Muting is something that will likely take a longer time to get right so definitely keep trying but don’t let it frustrate you if you don’t nail it every time yet :slight_smile:

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@renouf thanks! I will keep an eye for this. Thank you for the explanation.

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The term he used, “clacking” led me to believe he was referring to the clacking sound when the strings hit the fret. I didn’t take it to mean fret buzz, but if that’s what he’s getting, you’re advice is valid.

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And you may indeed be right @PamPurrs in which case you’ve likely already hit the nail on the head! I like to try and cover all bases if it helps :slight_smile:
When I was starting up I found some things hard to research or ask for the right thing as I didn’t know any of the common terms yet… similarly while I love using onomatopoeia to explain sounds other people might not imagine that word to mean the same thing to them :joy:

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@PamPurrs @renouf it may be both. There is a slight clacking when I fret. If I relax and go very slowly with less pressure, this subsides. I think as I practice more, I am more aware of things like this and my mistakes.

I also do get the fret buzz but that is definitely 100% on me at this point.

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It can be tough to not approach things with a bit of perfectionism some times, I definitely get frustrated by mistakes initially but as long as you’re recognising them you’re on your way to fixing them!

You’ve just said a key thing there and it’s also what a number of people in this community will tell you (and have told me!), playing reallyyy slowly will allow you to not only pick up on your mistakes or quirks but will also help you see/hear/feel what you might be doing wrong to start working out how you might remedy it.

Keep up the practise and keep asking questions! I know I will be… :smiley:

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Try turning your amp up a bit so you don’t need to dig in with your fingers for volume. Dig in when you are looking for that bit of clank for effect/character. This was a good tip posted in another thread about finding a good tone, but could also help here.

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I will be honest, I think because my fret hand is so bad, I may be coming down on the strings with my fret hand too Farr and fast to compensate for the weakness I have in it.

I am going to try to go slow and gentle and observe what I am doing as I am doing it and record myself every three days or so.

Also, while I love my Sterling SUB 4 HH, I think I am going to look for something a little lighter for when the back and hands aren’t running so well.

Looking at Squier - anyone have any feedback on the Affinity Jazz or PJ lines?

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I’ve just bought a Squier classic vibe 60s Mustang which should be here on Friday. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Also my Ibanez SR weighs in around the 8lbs mark and feels very light over my shoulder

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@mac oddly enough, I have been looking at the Squier Limited Edition 70’s Precision model and after seeing a ton of videos on that line, it sounds like it may be the lightweight version I will use when the back and hand are all in a huff.

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Cool @architecht13
I nearly came home with one of those when I was looking at MIM Fenders

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@mac gonna see how it feels tomorrow. Maybe I have a friend for the Sterling.

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It took me a while to find this ('cause it is buried somewhere deep in the “wrong” thread), but I posted a little video a while back where I have a similar issue.

I am overdoing it slightly here, but is this the same kind of clanking/clacking that you also experience? If so, it is really almost unavoidable, but also only heard by you at home, playing at low volume, and shouldn’t be heard much beyond that.

Still, proper technique can minimized these extraneous noises, but they will probably never go away entirely. Here is something related that @T_dub had shared a while ago:

All that said, this “extra noises” can also be used as effects or part of your personal style!

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If I’m playing relatively slow I don’t experience any clacking but if I’m attempting to rock out with Steve Harris etc etc I’ve got a herd of elephants stampeding up and down the fretboard.
I’m sure as @joergkutter amongst others has said it could be a volume as in my case I’m playing so it doesn’t bug my neighbours

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This might be helpful too? Or at least entertaining?
We had a thread on muting:

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