I’m quite new to bass, and when I play, the frets buzz. I know it’s probably due to my fingers not being strong enough. Will the buzz just go away with time and as my fingers get stronger?
Well it depends. If you fret your note properly and it buzz then you need a neck relief adjustment. It’s pretty simple task and nothing to be afraid of.
If it’s the technique then it takes a little practice to get the finger pressure and position correctly. Once you get this it would be automatic. Take your time learn the fundamental properly it will be on autopilot so right technique goes a long way down the road.
If all the strings buzz chances are the neck is too straight or backbowed and you need to adjust the neck relief by loosening the truss rod to decrease the backbow. Just take your time and make slight adjustments (max 1/4 turn), wait 10 minutes, retune and check the neck relief again.
There are a ton of good videos explaining this on YouTube.
Just do a search for bass setup.
Here is one.
Hi @Dottie. A brief check may help to determine if the neck needs adjustment or if the buzzing sound is related to playing technique.
Tune the bass. Press down the G-string in second fret. No excessive force, just press it down. Play the tone. Is it a clear tone or is there still some buzzing noise? Do the same with all strings at 2nd, 7th and 12th fret.
Clear tone: it’s you
Buzzing tones in the low, medium or high frets: neck needs an adjustment
I’d like to add that it shouldn’t take a lot of force to press the strings down to the fretboard. If it does, your action (the distance between the strings and the fretboard) may be too high. This can be fixed by lowering the bridge saddles, which is also part of a good setup. But you should check/fix your neck relief first as the others have explained.
Is this happening when you play through an amp, or are you just playing the bass “raw”?
Another thought… Depending on your comfort level with doing it yourself, I’d suggest maybe that you get a professional to setup your bass.
My last bass is “partscaster” bass I built last year. I set it up myself, and it was…okay. But, eventually I took it to pro (not affiliated a big box store, but a guy who was doing neck repairs on Gibsons, so he was legit…) just to see how good it could be. And, there was some significant improvement. Could I get there with more experience? Sure, but sometimes you gotta know where the bar is, and if you know the bass is setup correctly, then you will know where you technique is. The only way I know to get that it to get a pro to do it (Josh recommended this as well).
Can you do this yourself? Certainly, if you are comfortable with it, but I think there’s value in having that bass as good as it can be, so you have no doubt of where you stand on fret buzz issue.
New bass human question… what is fret buzz and how is it identified (sound)?
Fret buzz is the sound of a string rattling against a fret (more precisely: the fret wire) when it is played/plucked.
For me, it’s playing without an amp.
I’m getting fret buzz/rattling on just one fret - A# on the E string (6th fret). It doesn’t happen on any other frets, and it used to not happen at all. Could this be a fret wire or string issue? It started while I was practicing a line that was mostly chugging on the 6th fret.
EDIT: oh wait - just read the link @Mike_NL posted
I have one bass (actually playing it now as I scroll) that buzzes right in this area on E only when the truss rod is a tiny bit out of whack. Haven’t played it in a while and it is doing its 'buzz buzz, tweak my truss rod please" routine.
With the change in seasons etc the truss rod will need some tweaking here and there. Try giving it a small turn CCW by about 1/8 of a turn or so and see if it helps. This gives just a little more arc to the neck (un-flattens it) and it should help.
Thank you, @John_E ! I happen to have my Allen wrenches right here…
This can also be a symptom of having a single high fret, but definitely try a small tweak like John suggested.
Seasons change rapidly here, so I need to tweak my truss rods monthly or so. I’m just used to it.
Hey @Dottie how did you do sorting out your fret buzz?
Let us know.
Question for the Bass Buzz hive mind. When he plays the E note on the A string in the riff it’s distorted.
So is it fret buzz? or is the signal being distorted in the signal chain somewhere? He seems a nice guy, so I don’t want to be trashing him on his You Tube channel comments section. Nobody needs that kind of garbage. I’ve got my own channel to post covers while I’m improving, so I’m definitely more sensitive to how crappy YT comments section can get.
However I’m also keen to learn what can cause this. I’ve just played it and it sounds clean when i play it. Cheers
It’s a couple frets on that string. Almost sounds like he is overdriving something rather than fret buzz. I wonder if his levels are off. The bass sounds super saturated there to begin with. I suspect recording error.