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  #1  
Old 05-30-2020, 05:31 PM
Music-N-Yarn Music-N-Yarn is offline
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Question beginner note buzz

My attempt to learn is less than a month old, and I am starting out with single notes, not chords, per the book I am using. The guitar has not been set up, yet. That will soon be possible though. It is very comfortable to play right out of the box.

I am trying to figure out why a note, any fretted note, does not sound correct. Examples would include playing the wrong note, or finger too far away from the fret. Sometimes a note will buzz. What would cause that? I tried to figure this out by feel, and the use of a mirror, without any luck.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 05-30-2020, 07:15 PM
1neeto 1neeto is online now
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Originally Posted by Music-N-Yarn View Post
My attempt to learn is less than a month old, and I am starting out with single notes, not chords, per the book I am using. The guitar has not been set up, yet. That will soon be possible though. It is very comfortable to play right out of the box.

I am trying to figure out why a note, any fretted note, does not sound correct. Examples would include playing the wrong note, or finger too far away from the fret. Sometimes a note will buzz. What would cause that? I tried to figure this out by feel, and the use of a mirror, without any luck.

Thank you for your input.


Fret buzz could be caused by a few things. Like you mentioned, fretting too far from the fret wire will make the note buzz. A guitar thatís not set up correctly will also have buzzing issues. Example, action is too low, not enough neck relief or uneven frets.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:28 AM
Music-N-Yarn Music-N-Yarn is offline
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Originally Posted by 1neeto View Post
Fret buzz could be caused by a few things. Like you mentioned, fretting too far from the fret wire will make the note buzz. A guitar thatís not set up correctly will also have buzzing issues. Example, action is too low, not enough neck relief or uneven frets.
So it really, really needs to go somewhere for a set up then? I thought this was a beginner student problem, not an instrument adjustment one. Will hate to part with it for however long it takes at the shop, but will when lock down lets me.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:32 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Try several different fretted notes in different parts of the neck. Is it only in certain places? Only certain strings or certain frets?
Does it occur when you play softly, or only loud (i.e., making the string move more)? Does it occur even when you're sure you're fretting firmly (right up behind the fret)?

Some buzzing can be nothing to do with how you're fretting - it could be a loose tuner, or (if you have a pickup) a loose control knob, or object inside the guitar. (Worst case scenario - and I have encountered it once or twice with the cheapest beginner guitars - is an internal brace that's become unstuck.)

My guess - as you're a beginner and finding it easy to play! - is that it's caused by the action being too low. The usual beginner experience is that guitar playing is physically tough, often because the action is too high, but even when the action is optimal. But either way, a set-up will fix it. If it turns out your action is too low, you'll find the guitar will be a little harder to play, but you won't get the buzzing.

One other (more remote) possibility is that your strings are too loose or too light. Is it properly tuned to EADGBE?
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Old 05-31-2020, 06:55 AM
Music-N-Yarn Music-N-Yarn is offline
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Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
Try several different fretted notes in different parts of the neck. Is it only in certain places? Only certain strings or certain frets?
Does it occur when you play softly, or only loud (i.e., making the string move more)? Does it occur even when you're sure you're fretting firmly (right up behind the fret)?

Some buzzing can be nothing to do with how you're fretting - it could be a loose tuner, or (if you have a pickup) a loose control knob, or object inside the guitar. (Worst case scenario - and I have encountered it once or twice with the cheapest beginner guitars - is an internal brace that's become unstuck.)

My guess - as you're a beginner and finding it easy to play! - is that it's caused by the action being too low. The usual beginner experience is that guitar playing is physically tough, often because the action is too high, but even when the action is optimal. But either way, a set-up will fix it. If it turns out your action is too low, you'll find the guitar will be a little harder to play, but you won't get the buzzing.

One other (more remote) possibility is that your strings are too loose or too light. Is it properly tuned to EADGBE?
So far I have learned three notes on the first string, and three more on the second string. Will have to just play around to see if I can answer any of the questions in your first paragraph. The buzzing does not happen all the time, but your questions might provide some direction.

The tuners seem to be fine. There is no pickup, but something does rattle around inside the body. When I flip the instrument around, it sounds like a ball of construction debris bouncing around in the body. Tried to shake it out, but so far, no luck.

A digital tuner is used to tune my mountain dulcimer, so I am sure the guitar is tuned correctly.
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  #6  
Old 05-31-2020, 08:06 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Music-N-Yarn View Post
When I flip the instrument around, it sounds like a ball of construction debris bouncing around in the body. Tried to shake it out, but so far, no luck.
New guitars often come with a little bag of silicone to absorb any atmospheric moisture during transit. If it's that, it should be easy enough to get out, but then it wouldn't be the cause of buzzing.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:09 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Originally Posted by Music-N-Yarn View Post
So it really, really needs to go somewhere for a set up then? I thought this was a beginner student problem, not an instrument adjustment one. Will hate to part with it for however long it takes at the shop, but will when lock down lets me.
A good set-up will ensure your guitar is in the optimal playing state. Sometimes it can make the instrument feel like whole new one, making it a joy to play.

But provided you can actually play the instrument at the moment (and put up with the buzzing), I wouldn't worry about it until it's practical to get it done. It's not expensive (unless there is something seriously wrong), and well worth it.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:55 PM
Music-N-Yarn Music-N-Yarn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
A good set-up will ensure your guitar is in the optimal playing state. Sometimes it can make the instrument feel like whole new one, making it a joy to play.

But provided you can actually play the instrument at the moment (and put up with the buzzing), I wouldn't worry about it until it's practical to get it done. It's not expensive (unless there is something seriously wrong), and well worth it.
Shined a flashlight in the body the day it arrived, looking for any obvious noise makers. No silica packet.

I can, and am playing the guitar now. The action on my guitar is much nicer, for me, than my son's low end dreadnought. He had it set up and it was one of two big reasons why I had serious doubts about me enjoying learning to play. Turns out a smaller body and lower action is what this compact gal needs, at least to learn on.

I will take mine to a shop though to have it gone over. Bought the instrument online, sight unseen. The rattle concerns me, and a good set up will likely benefit me at some point in the learning process.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2020, 11:45 AM
1neeto 1neeto is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Music-N-Yarn View Post
Shined a flashlight in the body the day it arrived, looking for any obvious noise makers. No silica packet.

I can, and am playing the guitar now. The action on my guitar is much nicer, for me, than my son's low end dreadnought. He had it set up and it was one of two big reasons why I had serious doubts about me enjoying learning to play. Turns out a smaller body and lower action is what this compact gal needs, at least to learn on.

I will take mine to a shop though to have it gone over. Bought the instrument online, sight unseen. The rattle concerns me, and a good set up will likely benefit me at some point in the learning process.

Nothing will keep you from playing more than an ill-playing guitar. A setup will be money well spent.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2020, 11:59 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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one beginner miss fire is hitting notes too hard (it's actually called "attack"). is it the case that no matter how heavy your attack is?
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2020, 07:11 PM
Music-N-Yarn Music-N-Yarn is offline
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Originally Posted by rmp View Post
one beginner miss fire is hitting notes too hard (it's actually called "attack"). is it the case that no matter how heavy your attack is?
Thanks for explaining what "attack" means. It is a term I have come across around here, but did not know the guitar playing definition of.

The buzz is hit or miss, not consistent in any way I can determine. Now a new noise joined the party today. Don't know how to describe it, but clearly the instrument is asking for a trip to a luthier. My county is opening up some on Friday. I will get it set up as soon as I can. Happy guitar, happy student, at least I hope so. Will sign up for some lessons after the set up.
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2020, 05:28 AM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Music-N-Yarn View Post
Thanks for explaining what "attack" means. It is a term I have come across around here, but did not know the guitar playing definition of.

The buzz is hit or miss, not consistent in any way I can determine. Now a new noise joined the party today. Don't know how to describe it, but clearly the instrument is asking for a trip to a luthier. My county is opening up some on Friday. I will get it set up as soon as I can. Happy guitar, happy student, at least I hope so. Will sign up for some lessons after the set up.
good luck, hopefully this all works out for you.
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