Help me figure out what I'm doing wrong here - Must be technique right?

First post and only just joined up but have been following the Youtube videos for ages.

Something is driving me nuts. I’m playing a song that has a little run. When I end the first part of the run I’m on the G string 7th fret and it buzzes. If I just play that note without playing the run before it doesn’t buzz. If I try that same note a few times after the run it’ll buzz maybe 2-3 times then it will stop buzzing (FYI I don’t move my hand when it stops).

I’ve gone from my P-bass to my J-bass and it does it on both. I’ve tried sitting and standing, with a pick and with just fingers and the same results. I’ve even played the run up and down a fret on 2 different basses and it doesn’t buzz. Just that one note in that one spot after the run.

Like I say if I just hit that note on it’s own, even if I pluck it really hard it doesn’t buzz.

It has to be down to my technique going on the run but I cannot figure out what I’m doing wrong. Does anyone have any ideas?

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A video would really help with this. Even if it is just of your hands playing. Sounds like not enough pressure though combined with string height (varies by bass I assume).

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Thanks for the reply JT. I’ll try and do some sort of video tonight to let you see.

I have tried light pressure and heavy pressure and neither makes a difference. That was my first thought. Second was string height but like I say it works fine with the note on it’s own.

Any way I’ll get a video done so you can hear it and see if any one spots anything.

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check your hand position after the run. Where is your finger on the fret, where is your thumb on the back of the neck. When you play a single note you have the luxury (without thinking about it) of having perfect position…no buzz. When you finish a run your hand may be spread out to the point that the fretting finger isn’t exactly right and the, for lack of a better term, “the pinch” isn’t right. if you are stretching to get the last note try microshifting instead. I like to use that method Josh talked about where you use the pinky and ring finger instead of just the pinky a lot of the time I think its cleaner, I don’t do it all the time but its a tool in the box.

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Good advice but again something I’ve looked at. I can keep my hand in the same position after the run, play the note another couple of times and it will buzz each time then say a 3rd time it won’t buzz. The run ends with my index finger on the fret/string. So probably the strongest one.

What you’re saying is what I believe to probably be the issue but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. I’ve tried the tip and side of my finger to see if there’s a difference. Even using my thumb over the other 3 strings to mute them in case of some sort of sympathy vibration.

I think the best thing to do is as mentioned above. Do a little video to show it.

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Maybe this is just semantics, but you don’t actually want your finger on the fret. You want it to be just behind it. Every bass is different, but the cleanest sound comes from somewhere in the far-middle of the fret to the area right behind that bar.

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Sorry @chordsykat . I meant I’m not playing actually on the fret. What I mean is that is the fretted note I’m playing. I’ve tried playing right in the middle and right behind it with no noticable difference.

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Sounds like harmonics from the note (or notes) being played before the last note of the run. You might wanna check out your muting technique… Just an idea…

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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Thanks @Griff I’ll look into that. I have tried muting EAD with my thumb over them but once I do I haven’t checked I’ve muted 100%, but will just to be sure.

Now you mention harmonics, I haven’t tried playing in a different spot with my right hand. I’ll give that a shot as couold be it.

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Doesn’t sound like it could be this based on what you are saying, but with any weird buzz I always check the truss rod just in case. Do you know how to do that?

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@JT I don’t think it’s that but I will double check. Am sure hte week before I checked the relief on the Jazz neck and it was spot on with the Fender guide for a 7.25" radius neck. The P-bass hasn’t been played for a while so that might have moved. Will check both when I get in later on tonight.

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Sorry to hear about the frustration!
I’ll echo this:

Without a video, I would ask - what are all the notes in the run leading to the 7th fret G string?
What is the phrase that you’re playing?
What’s the rhythm and tempo?
If you can’t do a video, take a screen shot of the music or TAB and link to the song it’s from.

It could be something that happens at tempo, or as a result of string crossing or fretting fingers not supporting each other.

Holler back when you can, and hopefully it can be fixed.

If it doesn’t happen when you’re playing the note and fret in isolation, I don’t think it’s a problem with the action.
It seems to be something in the mechanics of how you’re getting to the note.

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Ok, so managed to get a little video done. Please be kind :rofl: I’ve been doing this with fingers but playing it that way the camera on my phone didn’t pick up the volume well so I played it with a pick. Also to add, once in a while it doesn’t do it and once here it obviously didn’t. The sound is also 100% coming fro somewhere on the fretboard.

Here you go: Dropbox - IMG_3113.MOV - Simplify your life

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It looks to me like you’re contacting the string a bit closer to the knuckle rather than the pad of your finger, I’ve found I get very inconsistent results when I do that. Although usually for me it manifests as accidental muting due to insufficient pressure.

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@GanglyCloth , I’ve checked and I’m playing with the pad but perhaps a little more side. I’m gonna try more with the tip as that could certainly be it or less side. Still weird it only happens on that one fret but could be a combination of like you say fretting it a little off and the frequency it vibrates at maybe?

Pressure though I don’t think is the issue as I can press down very hard and it stil happens, almost to the point of making the note sound out of tune if need be.

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I FIGURED IT OUT!!!

This whole time it happened whenever I played that one note on the G-string. It never occured to me that it was another string vibrating! I was using my thumb over the EAD to mute them but I’m just touching the E enough that it’s close to the fret and the vibration of the G is just enough to make it rattle aganst the fret.

Man it was driving me nuts.

Thanks to all who commented and offered advice. Hopefully someone might come across this when they have the same issue. So @Griff was right, my muting technique was off and the vibration was just enough to show that up.

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I’m just happy that you figured it out @Ferengo … One of the things this forum is great for is helping each other out… No matter how experienced any of us are, we all have something to share that we have experienced over time… All of the replies that you have gotten from your original question are all good shit man… Put them all in your “Bass Toolbox” and next time,… you’ll be that much more ready to make things happen… We all learn from each other… None of us are any better than the rest… We are all bass players - we just olay different styles and different genres - yet we are all the same… We’re all bass players!!!

Keep on Thumpin’!
Lanny

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Nope! I’m a bass dabbler :smiley:

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Hmmm. OK… Lanny Out… Later Dudes…

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@Griff 100%. I’ve been playing for around 20 years and still find new things. One thing I try not to do is dismiss anything. Even though I said above what I didn’t think it was I still went back and checked everything. I didn’t think it was my muting technique but when I checked it, BOOM! that was it. Just goes to show you.

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