#1
hi guys recently started noticing my guitar has a lot more sustain in the low and middle of the neck regions (like frets 1 to 11ish) compared to the upper fretboard. is this normal? or probably just my bad technique

anything i could do to improve this?

thanks guys
#2
Same on all strings?

Buzzing?

Old strings?

Fat fingers?

If all those are a negative, look down the neck/fretboard and see if it's curved at all. The neck should be close to flat, with very slight relief towards the back of the guitar. When it warps too far one way or the other, strings may no longer clear the higher frets and will start buzzing.

It could also be old strings, as they get dull after so much use. First step with any tone or intonation issue is to put on new strings to make sure it's the guitar itself.

Of course it's also entirely normal for sustain to differ from string to string and across registers, and the lower strings tend to ring out a little longer. It should still sustain everywhere, though.
#3
Could be normal - the longer the string the more it will vibrate, as you fret higher up then you're shortening the string. However if the sound is noticeably cutting short rather than just not ringing out for as long then you could have a setup issue of some kind.
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#4
I agree, sounds like a setup issue.

I had the same problem with my Cort CL 1500 that I started noticing not long ago, when we started playing one song that has s note on the bottom E string just above the octave that needs to sustain well. It would cut off almost immediately, other guitars handle it well.

I started looking around, couldn't see anything, but I know if a string is just barely rubbing a fret that will happen, so I raised the treble end of the bridge a little. This past weekend it seemed to do a lot better, so I'm pretty sure that fret was rubbing. I'm still not sure if it is just the one fret or several, I haven't played it enough yet to really tell.

If it's the one fret, I can just file that one a little but I'm thinking I'll leave it as it is for now and see how it goes before going any further.

You didn't say what kind of guitar or bridge, if it's a Gibson tune o matic style, you can raise the treble end a little (if it's only the treble strings), if it's a strat style you can raise individual saddles a but and see if sustain improves.

Do what cdgraves said and check the straightness of the neck, if it has a very visible bow, it might be too much back bow, making the strings touch the upper frets slightly, cutting down sustain. Sometimes this can happen, and it won't cause any actual buzz, just kill sustain.

Pickups too close to the strings can also kill sustain.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#5
Low sustain on the higher frets is pretty common and sucks, but the good news is that there are things you can do to help it. One thing to note is that the higher frets will always suffer from less sustain than the lower frets. The closer the pickups are to the strings, the less they will sustain. It will take some trial and effort, but try to lower/raise the pups to find a good balance between string response sustain. You want to have a slight concave curve in the longitudinal curvature of the neck, by SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY adjusting the truss rod until it becomes noticeable. Also, you'll want to raise the action for a good balance between comfort, playability, and tone. Not only will you get more sustain with a slightly higher action, you'll get better harmonic tonal response. The caveats are that it makes it harder to play the instrument, and you might have to horizontally adjust the bridge saddles for intonation correction. The object is to adjust the saddle so that the 12th fret harmonic and 12th fretted note are in tune on that string. Depending on the quality of craftsmanship, some guitar frets may not have been installed 100% correctly, so you may have to use your ears to find a good median of intonation up and down the fret board for any particular string. The B string is the hardest string to adjust for intonation. Consequently, I always tune the B string ever so slightly flat.