#1
I posted this in the noob forum too, but figured that you guys read this forum a little more.

I have been playing bass off an on for a few years, and am pretty much self taught. (forums, youtube).

Anyway, I have always had a problem playing with my fingers on th elow E string. I have 2 basses, one where the action is really low, and seem to always get that chugin sound from the string hitting the fretboard. Not a good sound, and makes you sound like crap. Now, I can eliminate it if I play it only with my thumb, or play lightly with my index and middle fingers........but how can I really attack the string without making this noobish noise. It happens if I play with a pick too.
Now, recently I bought a new Fender bass, and the action is much higher than my other bass. The noise is considerably less.
Does it mainly have to do with the action?

Is my technique just that bad? I want to be able to pay 8th - 16th notes on the E string with a heavy attack. I see guys play live all the time, plucking the crap out of the string and their sound is great. Why do I suck?

No one has ever showed me the "right" way to play, and frankly I think I am beyond changin my ways. I have tried to focus and just pull the string straight "up", hoping that the vibrations would not hit he neck.....not helping.

Does it have anythin gto do with string gauge? Maybe get fatter strings, the increaseed tension may not vibrate so much? I dont know, Im just guessing.

any suggestions?
#2
If you really want to break the habit get a teacher. But as far as I can tell it's one of two things a) your action is too low or b) you're hitting it too hard. However, a) is a little dumb because if you try and get an action that allows for noiseless playing when you're thrashing the strings you probably won't be able to play the bass. I like b) because there really isn't a reason to hit the fretboard with the string. Turn up the bass instead of hitting harder. Also, play by the bridge if at all possible.
#3
action does have to do with it. but your technique can definitely make a big difference too. if you're more plucking at the string instead of just rolling the pad of your finger across it, you're going to get that harsh sound. studybass.com has some great excercises/videos for getting the very fundamentals of your right hand down.
#4
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
If you really want to break the habit get a teacher. But as far as I can tell it's one of two things a) your action is too low or b) you're hitting it too hard. However, a) is a little dumb because if you try and get an action that allows for noiseless playing when you're thrashing the strings you probably won't be able to play the bass. I like b) because there really isn't a reason to hit the fretboard with the string. Turn up the bass instead of hitting harder. Also, play by the bridge if at all possible.


thanks for the reply. Playing by the bridge does help. But if I ma playing on the higer string, and want to hit the E, I dont want to have to shift my righthand positioning just to play the lower sting. As far as teh volume, I have tried that, and I dont think its a good idea to go louder, as I dont have issues with other higher tension strings. Any comments about string gauge? Do you think if the tension is much higher, a string could withstand a much harder pluck?
#5
Potentially yes, but what is your gauge now? If it's anything .105 and up then that isn't the problem. I still think it's your technique. Yeah, action (actually the truss rod) is going to have something to do with it, but try with a lighter touch before doing anything like that. Especially if you like the action where it is. Action tends to change fret buzz more than clack, at any rate.
#6
Am i right in thinking that the left hand tehnique to stop fret buzz is to play each note as close to the fret as possible or putting more pressure on the string when fretting?
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Last edited by Fiw at Mar 29, 2008,
#7
Definitely the first thing you said about fretting as close to the next fret as possible is a huge factor. The second thing depends on how hard you're depressing the string now. If you do it too hard you might have hand strain, if you don't depress them enough you might get fret buzz.