25 June, 2012

What does it mean if my guitar makes a buzzing sound?

I recently received a question on guitar buzzing sounds. Basically, the person mentioned that when she plays her guitar, there is a buzzing sound when she plays one of the strings. So, she was asking on how to get rid of this buzzing sound.

From what I know, the reason why the guitar produces a buzzing sound when playing it is because the strings touch the fretboard once it is plucked/strummed.

Each string vibrates when you pluck it. If the string is too close to the fretboard (can be due to low action), this string will touch the fretboard while vibrating and hence cause this buzzing sound. You can read this post to find out more about what action is.

The same thing can happen when you play a specific fret. For example, if you press the 2nd fret of the 1st string and pluck it, and it gives a buzzing sound. The reason is the same - the string is vibrating and hitting the fretboard, which then produces the buzzing sound.

So, what is the solution to getting rid of this buzzing sound? Well, the solution would be to increase the action of the guitar, or to adjust the truss rod in the neck of the guitar so that the strings will not touch the fretboard once it is plucked/strummed. For both these solutions, it would be best to bring the guitar down to a guitar shop to get them to do it for you.

I hope this post has helped!


The Ceej said...

My old Washburn's e string buzzes on the third fret, and its E string buzzes on the 12th fret.

This is a problem with the frets themselves. The frets are loose. I could solve the problem by bending the string in away from the loose part of the fret. The third on the bottom of the fretboard and the 12th on the top of it. The string vibrates the fret with it. Thank God I replaced that guitar. That was getting annoying.

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Marc said...

I have one fret that buzzes in a otherwise perfectly setup guitar.
So annoying.

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Beginner Guitar said...

I would say there's also another possible reason for buzz: fret wear. If you've been playing your guitar for a long time (or if you bought a used guitar) sometimes your frets can get worn down so much that the string accidentally hits the next fret, causing buzz.

Again, though, I like your advice - take it to a shop!