How to Fix Fret Buzz: Causes, Solutions, and More!

By Monica | Guitar Care

Jul 03
how to fix fret buzz

How to fix fret buzz? For a guitarist like you, this question should have an immediate answer or solution. After all, nobody wants to deal with these annoying buzzes, especially if you do not really want to make them!

Buzz is a particular plague. It doesn't matter where this sound comes from. As long as it reaches our ears, it will suddenly irritate us. Even now, it is pretty difficult to find a positive application for this type of hum. Of course, no musicians want their instrument to generate this particular sound. Otherwise, it would ruin their mood and concentration.

However, this predicament is inevitable. A lot of guitarists out there suffer from this problem. If you noticed that the buzz is coming from your frets, it is an indicator that is a problem to your setup. Fortunately, there are easy ways to fix this.

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How to Fix Fret Buzz

how to fix fret buzz

Worn Out Frets

Typically, the cause of a fret buzz is due to worn-out frets. Specifically, the presence of the notches and dips are signs that a certain fret is already in bad shape. Aside from causing unwanted buzzing sound, worn frets can also choke the string on the succeeding fret.

Solution:

At this point, you need a guitar technician to fix this problem for you. If the operator allows you to observe the process, then you should do so. It might serve as a valuable input for you next maintenance. Of course, if the guitar technician advises you to replace the frets, you have no choice but to follow it. Otherwise, you will just prolong your agony.

Frets Out

There are some instances where you will notice that buzzes are coming from every part of the guitar. If you observe that the strings are in direct contact with the center of frets on the fingerboard, your guitar's neck has a problem.

Solution:

Specifically, the issue could be due to the truss rod. The latter could be bowing too tight on the neck. Also, the problem could root on a fully warped or excessively back-bowed neck. If you can't fix this on your own, have a technician solve this for you. It just requires a proper maintenance on your instrument.

Moreover, we recommend that the truss should be loosened. In this way, you can give it optimal allowance and relief. Next time, you might want to opt for using a heavy set of strings. You should do this if you cannot gain relief even after you adjusted the truss rod.

Buzz on the Upper Fret

When the problem is audible on the part where the body attaches to the neck, your upper frets might be suffering from issues. But the latter is not the only cause. In fact, it might be due to your fingerboard. When it comes to acoustic guitars, the part of the fingerboard that is connected to the top have tendencies to fall or rise. This happens when there is a change in temperature and moisture.

Solution:

If that is not the cause, then your fingerboard might be warped already. Regardless of the reason, there is still a need for you to assess the humidity and dryness of your playing room. Ideally, you might also need to level on the frets that are near the B and F extensions. If all these don't work, then you should go to a guitar tech for them to plane the fingerboard to eliminate the thump.

Meanwhile, here is a detailed video about the fret buzzes and how you can fix them:

Causes of Fret Buzz (And How to Fix Them)

Of course, those that we have mentioned are not the only causes of these fret buzzes. Sometimes, this issue could be due to some other underlying reasons, too. Here are some of them:

Playing Technique

Cause of fret buzz

You are might not aware of this, but your technique might be causing these buzzes. Despite how absurd it is, this is still one of the most common reasons of buzzing in the fret.

Specifically, there is a good chance that you are fretting too much. Also, it could be due to the insufficient pressing force that you apply to the strings. Therefore, before you go to any guitar repair centers, make sure that it is not you that is causing the problem.

The Nut

the nut

During guitar maintenance, the nut is often ignored and overlooked. It is a bad thing, considering that this one is susceptible to wearing out. Once this happens, the grooves would become too spacious for the strings. As a result, you'll get those annoying fret buzz. Of course, you should notice this problem especially if you play the strings openly. Fortunately, buying a new nut could is a great solution for this!

Faulty Action

Another plausible reason for fret buzzes is due to the action. If you set your action on a very low setup, it can result in an unwanted interaction between the strings and fretboard. This would eventually cause those buzzes, especially if you are playing too hard.

You can rectify this problem by adjusting the height of the saddle. On electric guitars, this task is pretty easy and straightforward thing to do. However, the story is not the same if you are using an acoustic guitar. If your technical skills are not that yet great, you need a professional to do it for you.

The Benefits of Regular Cleanup

Do you notice an accumulation of grime and dirt on the fretboard? If yes, then you should take the opportunity to clean it in your next string replacement. It could also somehow contributes the production of these buzzes.

You can do this with the help of a damp cloth. But if you are not confident in the latter's cleaning capacity, you should invest in a guitar cleaner. This product is relatively cheap and available to any guitar stores. Also, some guitarists recommend that you need to use a fine steel wool to erase those stick dirt on the fretboard. However, we suggest that you should do it smoothly. You don't want to scratch the finish of your guitar, right?

Take note that even sweat can compromise the quality of the glue joints. It will eventually warp the neck and fretboard of your guitar. Therefore, you should always conduct regular cleaning to prevent this from happening. Aside from keeping your guitar in good condition, it saves your money as well!

Conclusion

These are the common causes and solutions to fret buzz. If you can notice, most of them are due to faulty setup. That's why it is pretty essential for every guitarist to learn some basic guitar maintenance skills. In this way, they will be able to reduce the chances of this nuisance to take place.

Of course, there is also a need for you to hone your skills as well. We already mentioned that the improper way of fretting could result in buzzing. If you are an amateur, such thing is understandable. However, you should correct it immediately. Otherwise, your progress would encounter a great detour.

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About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don’t want to drop my zeal–especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!