Odd buzz on 1 fret only - ideas?

So the new Aerodyne (after setting it up fully, twice - swapped bridges) has fret buzz in exactly one fret and one fret only, and its very bad.
I set it up like every other bass I have.
Buzz is when E string is fretted on the 6th fret only, buzz comes from fret behind it, 5th fret.
Relief is same on as on every other bass, string height for the E is 3mm.
Using La Bella flats.
Makes no sense.

Any ideas before paying to have it looked at?


The only thing that occurs to me is fret height from an undressed or improperly dressed fret.
Elsewise, check whether the buzzing fret has popped up a bit out of its slot.

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Visually see nothing odd there, was my first thought too, but maybe need a closer look. Maybe a combo of worn fret slightly low and popped fret slightly high?

Easy enough to check. Fret on the 7th and 3rd frets (or better yet, capo) and see if it rests on the 5th more than on the 6th and 4th. You may need a feeler gauge.

Wondering now if nut might be cut a bit too low and at that fret point it just touches when vibrating.
Thinking this as its buzzing a fret behind.
G back a fret string at steeper angle - no buzz
Go up a fret longer angle - no buzz
Measured with a gauge and its low compared to some techniques to measure/set.
Maybe I’ll shim it with something small and see if it changes.

Sounds like a high fret

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I’d try a piece of paper (shim) under the E string in the nut groove before anything else…


Or a piece of electrical tape cut to the nut width and bedded down in the slot.

It looks like an unleveled fret, is nothing unheard of.
The easiest way to check it is to have some straight surface (could be a ruler or anything else) on the 3 frets (4, 5, 6 in this case) and see if the ruler touches all three frets.
If it’s leveled, your straight surface will be sitting on all 3, but, if it’s as it seems to be it will sit on 4-5 or 5-6.
You can move your ruler-like surface around, to see if it happens somewhere else too but.

If it’s a new instrument, I’ll recommend turning it back to get it leveled.
On the other hand, if its second hand, you can bring that string a bit higher from the saddle to avoid the fret buzz ( you’ll have a slightly higher action on that string, but it’s better than fret buzz).

Or, in the case of second hand, you have also the third option, take it to a luthier to have the fret leveled.


If you are buzzing behind the fretted note (6) and the buzz is coming from 5… but you can fret 4 and 5 does not buzz then it is very unlikely that 5 is too high, so getting your frets releveled will be a waste of money. The two most likely culprits are either your nut slot is filed a bit too low or your string is old or defective and you have a loose wrap so the string is slightly wider near the 5th fret.

In either case though, your pickups probably don’t pick up the buzz… so just crank your the volume until the buzz is drowned out by your amp. :smiley:

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and the winner is… @Griff
a slice of thin business card in the nut elimated the issue.
I have nut bone powder and will work the slot up a bit this weekend.
Thanks for the help everyone.


Any chance you can post a photo of this? Cheers

@Bassdacious I think he’s talking about raising the string height at the nut. You can do it permanently using this method.

This is why I love this forum. I had never heard of this before but it makes sense and is cleaner than crazy glue :slightly_smiling_face:

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Basically yes but I have the Stew Mac bone nut powder set so I can match color of nut if not pure white.
Had to do this on the Bello bass on a slot someone else got a little happy with the file on too. Easy stuff

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Will do in morning. This was just for the test and temporary.

I really like Stew Mac but their shipping rates currently make more sense for me to ship the product to your house and then I pay for you and your family to fly to Canada for a mini break and I’ll meet you at the airport.

However once the border opens I live about 10km (that’s 6 miles for people who haven’t heard of metric!) from it. So I get stuff delivered to a local US hardware store and then pick it up.

Of course when the border opens that means I can order from Sweetwater again.

I paid for their free shipping deal they offer i think it was like $30 or something for a year because their shipping rates here are recockulous too.

I’m guessing they don’t offer the same deal for Canada though.

Ditto, sounds like a high fret to me too, might need a leveling. I don’t think this is super uncommon, I hear about it on new basses all the time.

Checking the nut first is a good plan, but that would usually give open string buzz too, and IIRC on Fenders it’s usually the A string.

@John_E Do you know how to check nut height? It’s super easy.

For those wondering what @howard means; you can use a simple little tool called a fret rocker. It sits on top of 3 frets. If the middle fret is high then it will rock or see saw. It’s a super fast easy way to check for high frets. You start at the nut and move up the neck checking the frets as you go.

If you find a high fret then you can file it down so that it’s level with the adjacent frets.