I have quite recently started playing bass, and I noticed that the 1 and 2 frets on my bass buzz very annoyingly. How can I fix this? It's a Washburn Taurus T14.
3/4 oak dowel (get a file for it to keep it smooth)

Small Brass or Plastic head mallet/hammer

give be buzzers a couple of raps.(stronger than a tap)

when you are playing a fret that buzzes, go up to the next fret and keep ascending until it stops. That on is the offending culprit.

I did this after moving to LA since my action is sub 1mm at the 12th on the C or G, and sub 2mm on the LowB
you'll want to raise the action slightly on your bass. the action is the height of the strings in relation to the fretboard. on the bridge, next to each string there should be 2 small allen key sockets, either side i mean. if you tighten or loosen these, the string should go up or down. keep adjusting it slightly and playing to see if the buzz is gone. after each adjustment, you'll want to retune to check that the tension is correct for the height of the strings. lower tension will make the strings come closer to the fretboard.
alternatively, look up truss rod adjustments, though it might be worth getting someone who knows what they are doing in this regard, as it can go horribly wrong.
let me know if i need to re-phrase that, i just got a new bass and i'm all happy and delirious

In most cases when the first few frets buzz on each string it is a sign that the bass has too little relief (upbow caused by the tension of the strings). String vibrate in an elliptical pattern, so a dead-flat neck will create some fret buzz, while one with a little relief will create space for the strings to vibrate without buzzing on the frets.

Check your bass' relief by fretting the 1st and 17th frets at the same time, then see how much space there is between the 7th fret and the string. Generally, it should be around .01" (use some feeler gauges to check, and possibly a capo to hold down the 1st fret). If there is no space it means the neck has no relief, or is backbowed slightly, which could definitely be causing the fret buzz. A neck that is flat or backbowed usually needs its truss rod to be loosened slightly.

Unless you have experience setting up basses and guitars, you'll should probably take the instrument to a good tech for a setup. With little experience, it is easy to make the instrument worse than when you started working on it.

Generally, you don't want to raise the action to fix buzzes at the lowest 2-3 frets, it will raise the string height very little at the headstock-end of the bass, and leave the strings much higher at the frets nearer the body. Plus, if the problem can be fixed with the truss rod, you'll want your action to stay low anyway.

Also, you can't generally re-seat frets by simply hammering on them. They usually pop up a little because the wood around the tang/barb has worn away a little bit and will no longer grip the fret. Hammering them again will usually just cause them to spring back up, doing nothing, or make the problem worse.

Additionally, the frets should be checked more carefully than by simply listening for which ones buzz and which ones don't. Multiple things can cause fret buzz and you shouldn't assume that all buzzes are caused by frets that have come unseated or popped up. Plus, if you hit one that is already seated properly you run the risk of making it spring up with a hammer blow.

Bottom line: unless you have setup experience, take the bass to a tech or luthier and see what they have to say. They'll be able to tell you whether it's a relief problem, a fret problem, etc. and you will avoid conducting improper procedures on the bass.
Last edited by XylemBassGuitar at Oct 22, 2012,
It could also mean that the slots in the nut are too deep raising the action is the wrong way to go, it will be preferable to have a new nut fitted if need be.
Raising the action or allowing more bow relief will make the action higher further up the neck.
G&L L2500
Squier Affinity Jazz Bass 5
Ashdown RPM pre-amp
Ashdown Little Giant 1000
300 watt 15" powered cab
450 watt 15" powered sub bass cab
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Quote by John Swift
It could also mean that the slots in the nut are too deep raising the action is the wrong way to go, it will be preferable to have a new nut fitted if need be.
Raising the action or allowing more bow relief will make the action higher further up the neck.

In this case, the depth of the nut slots would only matter if the open strings were buzzing. If a string is buzzing at a certain fret the nut height doesn't have any effect because it is behind the vibrating part of the string (unless you are getting "backbuzz" which won't happen this low on the fretboard).

To check if your nut has the proper height, press each string down at the third fret, checking one by one that there is just a tiny bit of space under the string and the first fret. It shouldn't be more than about .01" of space (and even that can be a little too high). If there is zero space then it is possible the nut is too low, but unless your open strings are buzzing, you probably don't need to replace the nut.

Once again, if you are getting buzz from the strings while they are being fretted, the nut is not the culprit.