How To Stop String Buzzing When You Play Guitar
Are you interested in knowing what kinds
of details can work together to make yourself a better and better guitar player? One of the major points of interest here is getting rid of any kind of string buzzing during guitar playing.
Buzzing strings during a song can be a major issue for a guitar player. Guitar playing can be prone to extra noise we don't want and it's definitely an issue we want to pay attention to. We're concerned about getting the best sound and tone possible whenever playing, and so eliminating a buzzing string when playing a chord is of major importance. Strings can buzz for quite a number of reasons, (and not all the reasons have to do with the musician that's playing the guitar), so on this page let's take a look at this list of reasons for guitar buzzing sounds, and look also at the solutions and ways to eliminate the buzzing.
Here is a list of steps you can take to reduce and eliminate string buzz and noise from your guitar playing.
- Guitar Setup
Have a proper and professional guitar setup done to all your guitars. This item is number one for good reason. And it's a good first step to take when you notice string buzz is an issue.
It makes sense to eliminate any inherent guitar setup issues first, before getting into any playing technique items you decide to give attention to.
A proper guitar set up will assure you that your action (string height above the frets) is set correctly. This can be a major source of string buzzing sound if the strings are too low and are buzzing against the frets.
A set up should consider string thickness gauge and how hard the player will be playing the instrument. This step is well worth the time and money.
And a setup is a continuous process, more so than a one-time occurrence. Sometimes a guitar will get set up correctly when it's purchased, then later when strings are replaced, a set of strings of a much larger gauge can cause the guitar to go out of adjustment and buzz and be in need of another setup.
- Barre Chords
The playing of barre chords on guitar
is a notorious and troublesome cause of string buzzing. The idea of using one finger with an irregular shape to go across all six string at one fret and perfectly hold them down like a capo would is a tall order. If you are coming across a chord that is especially giving you a hard time and doing some buzzing, sometimes you can take a close look at the chord and see if you have the option to use a partial barre where not all six strings are fretted with one finger.
Depending on the chord in question, sometimes a note is just a double up of a note you already have on another string. Sometimes you can simplify the chord and make it a lot easier for you to fret cleanly. As you can imagine, this gets looked at on a chord by chord basis. Another thing you can do to cut down on string buzzing as you play barre chords is to play them farther up on the guitar neck if possible. Typically, playing barre chords farther up the neck allows them to be played cleanly easier.
- Finger notes close to the frets
Strings will tend to buzz more the farther your finger is away from the frets.
If you like to place your fretting finger in the middle of the space between the frets, there is more of a chance you will hear some buzzing in that note. The best place to locate the finger that is stopping the string is as close to the fret as possible.
This photo shows a note being fretted on the guitar as close to the fret as possible. While it isn't always possible to get the finger this close because of certain chord shapes or other factors, this is the goal and it is one of the best ways to eliminate a buzzing sound on the guitar. Look for the sweet spot where you approach the fret and go as close to the fret as possible and still sound a clear note. Playing this close to the fret will also make playing the guitar easier as less pressure will be required on the string for sounding a proper note tone.
- Thumb Position
The thumb has a lot of strength
and if it is properly positioned behind the neck, it can cure a lot of string buzzing problems on the guitar. You get the most strength and benefit from the thumb when it is positioned directly opposite of the fingers that are doing the fretting.
So when you hear some notes that don't sound right, whether you're playing a barre chord, or some other kind of chord or notes, take a look at the thumb position and see it making an adjustment there will help.
- String Damping
Another source of buzzing
or extraneous noise on the guitar comes from a lack of attention to string damping. By dampening the strings that are not a part of the chord you're playing, you eliminate any chance that the disharmony of a wrong not could get into your playing, even if you happen to bump the string with your picking hand.
You will see a time to dampen the string when you see an X in the chord diagram showing you don't want to play a string in the chord.
Playing the guitar without making any string buzzing sounds is more about developing good habits that end up being done without even having to think about it. Paying attention to a few simple details can pay off big. Taking the time to focus on this list of string buzz elimination solutions will pay off in making your playing sound cleaner and more professional. Minimizing buzzing and extraneous sounds from guitar is what separates the beginners from the intermediate and advanced players. And the sooner good dampening and noise reduction habits are learned, the sooner they become habit and second nature.