How to pluck the strings always in the same way?

Hey everyone, I´m Angela, I´m 24 and I´m Italian.

I´ve started two months ago the B2B course and I´m really happy about it! It seems like it´s going pretty well, even if I´m advancing quite slow, since in the meanwhile I´m putting into practice what I´m learning by playing some simple covers.

However, I have a doubt about plucking. I was plucking quite hard at the beginning and I´ve noticed that if I pluck hard, the strings often buzz, so I´m trying to do it more lightly. It´s definitely going better, but I´m still struggling in plucking always consistently: sometimes the sound is loud, sometimes wicker. I hate this, because I sound really messy and not consistent.

Do you have any suggestions to improve? Every little raccomandation will definitely be helpful. :blush:

Keep grooving, :metal:



Welcome, Angela @angela.r . . . :slight_smile:

Plucking is something that we all work on, and usually it’s just a matter of time and practice!

You will find that to be true of just about everything related to playing. Just take it slow and easy, and with time, you’ll develop good technique :slight_smile:



It’s part of the process, don’t get frustrated, time and practice will take care of it…. What I do is trying to apply the plucking technique as instructed by Josh on one of the open strings and just pluck slow and adjust how hard or soft until it feels right, and keep doing it while trying to reproduce the same sound, as I feel comfortable I try to do it faster or fret a note… I also exaggerate the motions, change angles and purposely find what makes it sound bad or buzz or whatever, for me knowing what not to do helps. Then do it on the other strings… it’s not playing, it’s exploring and learning, not fun but rewarding


I noticed for a while, the faster I tried to pluck, the harder I plucked! Additionally, my index finger already had a slight callous and so it sounded sharper/brighter than my middle, which was driving me nuts on “chugging” :joy: I sounded like a metronome set to eighth notes with emphasis on the beat XD

But it’s improved over time, doing just what you said. Practice, slow down some, pay attention to what I am doing. I will say that on my basses with the best setups I can pluck harder. Explanation: The amplitude of the string makes it vibrate ‘wider’ so if the string is too close to the fret, BZZZZZZ. If the string is higher, there is more room for the string to move, and so there’s no buzz when plucking harder. It’s basically been a matter of improving technique and remembering that I have an amplifier to play loud for me, and adjusting the setup for what I would like the best.


Like everyone said here. This is one of the milestones we all have to pay due to the low end god.
It takes a while to get your muscle memory down on the right hand there’s a bit of learning curve with plugging and muting but one you get it it’s autopilot for the right hand, then later you can add more advanced technique one by one.


Definitely practice will make perfect as has been said and don’t try to play too fast .


Thank you everyone for your comments and for your nice words :slight_smile:

I feel much more relieved now! I was quite worried because I was thinking that I was developing a bad technique, but apparently that’s a common issue.

Sooo I’ll continue practise as you recommended :slight_smile: :blush:


Also, make sure that the bass is properly setup as @Koldunya points out, with high action the buzzing improves also… recently while practicing Alone together on the higher frets I was getting a high pitch buzz unless I was super precise, but after a couple of adjustments it’s gone… so check your setup, you might be plucking better than you think


Proper setup aside, when you are starting out a lot of things will feel like you are doing them wrong, but you are just teaching your body how to do them right. Inherently in that statement, you must do them wrong until they start working themselves into ‘right’.

The really funny thing is, you won’t really notice when things start coming together. You will notice them AFTER they do, and go “hey, that thing is not a problem anymore, when the heck did that happen?”. Things just sort of start clicking, without a real ‘ah-ha’ moment. You will have the ‘ah-ha’ moment, but you will already have been doing it right long before, and not really noticed. At least that’s what happens with me.

Then there are other days when everything falls apart and brain/fingers seem to be in/on another body. When this happens, don’t fret about it either…we all go through this here and there.


@angela.r Welcome to the BassBuzz forum!

When you have time, join us on the Introduce Yourself! thread.

Such great responses everybody. You all are the reason this is such a great place to learn.


I find when working on something new, it pays to practice it for a bit, then set it aside. Get some sleep, let the brain assimilate, and come back the next day. You’ll be noticeably better.


Welcome ! I am a beginner too, and what you have noticed is very real. It is important to be conscious in the way we are playing, noticing how we sound and trying to improve. At times it can be discouraging (it happens to me!) But music is like this, you cannot simply pickup an instrument and play. You have to put it the work in, and if you do sooner or later you will notice a progress. Keep at it!

Ps also: nice to see another Italian bassist :slight_smile:

1 Like

You’re no slouch yourself when it comes to helpfulness, Eric @eric.kiser . . . :wink:



+1 @Jazzbass19 :+1: :+1: :+1:


Hi @Angela, I have the same problem! Thank you for asking this

@angela.r @Jeanette
Should be an easy fix.
Depending on where you live you may need to adjust the neck relief via the truss rod because of humidity changes.
I live in central Ontario Canada and have had to adjust mine every two weeks or so with the humidity fluctuating between 35% and 79%. :+1:


Depending on where you live you may need to adjust the neck relief via the truss rod because of humidity changes.
Thanks, but, lol, I have no idea what you just stated. I live in Central Florida, so, yeah, there’s humidity! But, being a super noob, I don’t know what “neck relief” nor the “truss rod” are. It’s pretty chilly here right now, then warms up in the afternoons, I was wondering if that’s what keeps knocking Gil out of tune,


If you are plucking too hard, it could be that you have your amp volume too low. I know a few years ago when I used to practice electric guitar unplugged (no amp), I was playing too hard so I could hear the guitar. Once I stopped doing that and generally only practicing with an amp (or headphone amp), I now don’t play so hard.

Same is probably true for playing bass. I don’t think I’ve ever played without my amp and I usually have it loud enough for general playing so that when I pluck a bit harder, it’s probably a bit too loud (well maybe for my family anyway :grinning:)

The buzz could also be the way your are plucking. As you progress through B2B, Josh will regularly remind you about plucking technique.

It could also be the difference between your index and middle finger. My index has better control and I get a more consistent pluck than my middle. I’ve been doing B2B for about 2 months and it’s been getting more consistent between both fingers.

Lots of practice on open strings so you can focus on the plucking and not worry about what the left hand is doing can also help.

As others have said it could also be the setup of the bass.


OK I understand.

You have two choices. 1-Take your Bass to a music store and have them set it up or 2-Do it yourself.

To do it yourself - In the upper right corner of forum page you will see a little magnifying glass. Click on it and enter ‘Truss rods on the move’ or ‘Bass setup’. You will get a listing of the topics on the forum related to this. Just click on the ones you want to read.

I know it sounds scary but it really is not and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
There are also a ton of YouTube videos on this and a lot of them are linked in the BassBuzz topics.

Really - Right now we have been averaging -20C during the day and -30C at night. And I’m sure you don’t want to hear about the 3 feet of snow we have had in the last 5 days :rofl:

You can do it. Good luck.


Jeanette you should see slight tuning changes with temperature. I live just south of you on the east coast of Florida. Every time I pick up a bass I need to slightly tune the strings. The truss rod adjustment that is being mention helps to set the neck of the bass. If you had a setup on the bass that should have been set and down here in Florida since the temps and humidity stay relatively small range the truss rod tends to need very little or no adjusting once set. At least that is what I am finding out with my basses. If you are having buzzing issues when you play then the string height might be the problem, if you had a setup done. If you never had a setup done, and would like to learn how I would be willing to teach you. It is not that hard to do, and I can show you what tools I use and where you can obtain them. Setup is good skill to learn because when you change strings a slight adjustment in the setup is usually required.