Lots of string noise

Hey guys

I bought myself a new Ibanez GSR200SM Bout a month ago and I’ve been playing it for at least 10 mins a day usually more.

I’ve noticed that the strings seem to make a lot more noise when I’m fretting notes and releasing my fingers often a squek or a pop etc…

Also, I’ve noticed that the E string will vibrate quite a bit when playing notes on the G string, so I’m getting a pretty annoying hum, I’ve double checked that I’m not hitting or catching the E.

I know technique has a big part to play and as a relative beginner it ain’t gonna be great, it just seems more so with this particular guitar

All in all the guitar sounds a lot more “clanky” and noisy than my other Harley Benton P-bass, that I put Rotosounds on. Could that make a difference ? Is it a good idea to get rid of factory strings and put something decent on ?

I know I could probably do with a pro setup, but I’m.notnreally struggling with the action, and I’m not really sure that it needs adjusting anyway.

Any advice or suggestions would be great as I really do like the guitar and the tone.

Thanks guys

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Are the sounds you’re hearing more acoustic? Or do they come through the amp? Of the blind test beginner Basses that Josh, Gio, and Ben did, I think that was the most controversial comment wise for similar reasons, while other owners did not share their experience.
I think in their test, the pick tone sounded the best.

You could mess with the setup yourself, or even better, make it a project bass and do some mods (pickups, strings, even a preamp later on…)

Here’s the blind test review for you to compare:

Could be lots of things and in this case it sounds like it could be a combination of a few… It is impossible to be sure without seeing/hearing what it is doing but here are a few things to note:

When playing any string you should be muting all the others. Even if you don’t touch the E string in the example you posted, vibrations and frequency will bleed over from string to string causing unintended overtones and ringing if not muted. That is a technique issue and not anything wrong with your bass.

New strings tend to be really extra bright, which makes all those little finger noises more noticeable. Some strings will always be brighter than others, but most have a breaking in period until they mellow out a bit.

Depending on where an why it is rattling, there is a good chance you need a truss rod adjustment which is part of a basic setup. It is frustrating that brand new basses need setups out of the box, but it is basically unavoidable. Even if it was setup perfectly when it left the factory, it has been shipped around the world since then and exposed to temperature and humidity changes which causes wood to shift and settle, which is what then causes you to need some adjustments.

There are some good videos out there for how to do a setup yourself which is worth a shot if you don’t want to pay to have it done.

So like I said, impossible to say what it is just based off your description, but it is probably a combination of several things.

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Agreed on the muting comments, that is likely most of your issue. I had a GSR200 and it was ok out of the box but not perfect. I would highly recommend investing in some bass setup tools (feeler gauge, machinest’s ruler with 1/64 inch marks, set of allen keys, screwdriver) and following this guy’s excellent bass setup tutorial. You can skip part 3 about nut height unless you want to get into that as well. The truss rod, saddle height, and intonation are the most important parts imo, and none of them are that difficult to adjust.

Also would definitely recommend putting on some new strings, might try using the same as your HB P bass for comparison’s sake.

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Sounds like these strings are less smooth than the ones you are used to. I struggle with this as well. Apart from string smoothness it’s definitely a technique issue. When lifting my fretting finger, I try to stay in contact with the string, instead of letting go of it entirely. It’s difficult and takes a lot of practice.

This would seem to be a basic muting issue. Do you not rest your thumb on the E string when playing the higher strings? That would be the easiest solution. Check out this video for some more tips:


Strings definitely impact these artifact noises a lot. Could be other things of course. If it’s strings, then flatwounds make less noise than roundwounds. And you can even go further with taped strings. I think @PamPurrs has some experience in this area.

Of course, different strings also make your instrument sound different. So while you might get less artifact noise, you might not like the tone they product as much. It’s all subjective so hard for anyone to recommend a particular string to you (if it is strings). Just know that flats and tape help with artifact noises. :slight_smile:

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for the replies, lots of great advice/suggestions.

I think the muting thing is a big part of it, it’s just a lot more apparent on my new guitar than my old one…Regarding the E string, I do usually anchor on that string, but do sometimes move to the A string if I’m playing on the D and G. I’ll add some more muting practice to the schedule and see how it goes.

I have done some basic setups on cheap 6 strings I’ve picked up in charity shops and sold on, so I have some of the tools required Eg. feeler gauges etc, so I’ll probably have a look at the truss rod etc.

I’ll probably pick up a new set of strings, but I’ll be sticking with Roundwounds I reckon, as I think thats more the tone I like.

Thanks again for all your help :slight_smile:



Just guessing but the fact that the guitar body is nice and resonant and is transmitting vibrations between the strings is probably a good thing for overall tone, not a bad one :slight_smile:


Maybe have a look at the nut wrap mutes or the next to bridge sponge mutes if you think that’s the sound you don’t like.


You probably know this already, but just to be sure: when anchoring on the A string, it’s a good idea to angle your thumb in such a way that it mutes the E string as well :+1:


That’s something I think I’ve heard but probably not took it…it’s certainly something I’ll be looking at :slight_smile: thanks

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Hi Mike
You mentioned a squeak or pop when you were releasing your fingers. Does it sound like pop of electric static (if you know what that sounds like)?
I’ve got a new Ibanez Mikro bass and I noticed that when I’d been playing it for half an hour or so that a sharp snapping/popping noise would happen when I was playing the G string. After a few days it started occurring on the D string too, and it would start to happen after only quarter of an hour or so. It was still in warranty so I sent it back but the repair guys didn’t understand the problem and just used contact cleaner.
The problem became so bad that it became unplayable, but since it was now out of warranty I found a local luthier who immediately diagnosed the problem. He replaced the grotty quality pots with new ones, replaced all the wiring inside and put extra shielding paint on too. That was all several months ago and I haven’t had any problems since.
You could try playing your Ibanez for half an hour and see if the popping problem becomes worse. Good luck!


Thanks for that , it’s definitely my fingers/strings, it’s more of a squeak/squeal really. I get it when I release my fingers from the string… especially if I’m playing something relatively fast, so I’m sure it’s a technique/muting thing.

Just noticed it a lot more on this guitar than my other one…

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I think that says it all about a new bass that costs way less than $200 USD

You really DO get what you pay for, @MegRoger . . . and I’m very glad that your problems are sorted out now! :slight_smile:


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True, but my other guitar cost £75 delivered from Germany and it’s fantastic…plays great, once I’d put some decent strings on :slight_smile:

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Hi everyone

Took some time to run through Josh’s muting video and really took time to practice the angled thumb technique…and it’s made a big difference to the vibrating strings. Added it into my practice routine and hopefully things will start to sound much cleaner.

The other thing I’ve noticed is the “squeaky” sonds seems to come when Im a bit sloppy lifting my feetting fingers off so will work on that.

Cheers for all the great advice everyone :blush:



Glad to hear you’re making good progress, @MattHinchliffe . . . :+1: