I've played guitar and other stringed percussion instruments, recently got a helluva deal on an entry-level bass. So, WITHOUT flaming me for such a question, somebody please tell me, is "buzz" a product of set-up, techique, or both? THANKS
probably a combination of the instrument and technique EDIT: but it's hard to tell without seeing you play
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Last edited by Sandor138 at Jan 11, 2010,
well, I probably attack the strings a little too aggressively, and I've found that the closer to the wire I fret the string, the less buzz I get.
Fret buzz can be caused by a lot of things. Poor fretting technique can cause buzz, but you'll know it right away because it will happen only when you improperly fret a note. Since there is no way you are improperly fretting all of the notes, some will sound fine and have no buzz. You will adjust your technique accordingly.

Bad frets, bad neck curvature or a way-too-low action are the more likely culprits. If your bass gives you fret buzz only at certain frets, then it is not the action. It is either a high fret or two, or you need to put more bow in your neck by slightly adjusting the truss rod. The best way to check for high frets is to have a tech check your bass with fret levelers. These are just very straight pieces of metal that are sized to determine if you have any high frets. If you do, then a fret-leveling job is in order. Your tech can do this for you. It isn't too expensive, and greatly increases the playability of your bass.

If it is a truss rod adjustment, adjust your truss rod in 1/8 turns at a time at most. It usually doesn't take more than two or three of these little turns to set your neck bow properly. If you are freaked out by the idea of adjusting your truss rod yourself, then have your tech do it.

If your strings are fretting out across most of the neck, then your action is probably too low.
Fairly simple - put your finger just behind the fret itself and make sure you have enough pressure on it (not TOO much though.) Don't fret in the middle of the space.