Magazine article Guitar Player

Catching a Buzz, Part 1: Get the Most from Your Guitar Tech by "Speaking Repairman"

Magazine article Guitar Player

Catching a Buzz, Part 1: Get the Most from Your Guitar Tech by "Speaking Repairman"

Article excerpt

HOW MANY TIMES have you thought, "Where is that buzz or rattle coming from?" Not the normal fret buzz that we all know and hate, but a more mysterious buzz. Before we go further, let's define our terms. Buzzes can be mechanical (frets, hardware, etc.) or electronic (shielding, wiring, 60-cycle pickup hum, etc). We're going to look at mechanical buzzes first, and we'll discuss electronic buzzes next month.

A customer brought in a semi-hollow guitar last week that made an annoying sitar sound when any C note on the instrument was played. The strings come out a hole in the trapeze tailpiece, and the length of string behind the bridge on the low E string happened to be tuned to a C. This caused it to vibrate sympathetically against the tailpiece when any other C was played. I ended up putting a 1" piece of heat shrink around the string at the ball end and that took care of it. I recommend weaving a strip of felt or leather through the strings between the bridge and the tailpiece on any guitar that has unwanted string vibration.

Along the same lines, one of the most common buzzes happens behind the note you are fretting. This is easy to find by dampening the strings behind where you fret the note. Pro fixes include a fret level, or raising or lowering the nut. At home, you can try a slight truss-rod adjustment.

Another very common problem comes from Gibson-style Tune-o-matic bridge saddles. The individual saddles often have some play in them, and they can buzz or rattle along with a note--a note that may even come from another string. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.