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Strings touch fretboard

Whoa.Frnk
Posts: 3
11 months ago
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I'm just beginning bass and I just bought my first one, and when I use the first fret on the E string or the first and second on the A string the string touches the fret board. Anything I can do to fix it at home? There's no way I can afford to get it fixed and the seller refuses to fix it for free.
Marko1960
Posts: 2463
A pro set up for action won't break the bank and would give you peace of mind, but if you want to have a go yourself you have two options, or a combination of the two, neck relief and saddle height adjustment. Find your truss rod adjustment nut, either at the top end of the neck in the headstock or at the body end of the neck. You will need an Allen Key of the correct size, insert the key and turn anti clockwise by one quarter turn. Next, re tune the bass and check if thE strings are still hitting the frets, repeat if this is the case but only the once, don't get carried away, excessive truss rod adjustment can break the rod or even the neck. If the problem continues you can raise the saddle height, the saddles are the parts on the bridge that the string passes over, notice the two tiny grub screws, an equal clockwise turn on each will raise the string, again, don't overdo it. You will probably end up with a high action which is a trade off for fret buzz, action is the distance of the strings from the frets, the smaller distance the better, I can just to say get a Rizla Paper under the strings on my Stingray and it makes it much easier to play.
One other thin to remember is your technique, are you fretting the strings correctly? Practice your scales so you can hear each note of the scale clearly with no buzzing or rattling and always use an amplifier, electric basses aren't designed for acoustic use. Good luck
2nick3
Posts: 246
There are lots of YouTube videos on doing setups - there is probably even one for your specific bass. Before you follow one read any comments - if there are any that say something like “I ruined my bass following this” try a different one.

Doing the adjustments isn't that big of a deal, the second time you do them, but the first time it can be uncomfortable, so if you have a friend who has made truss rod adjustments on their own instruments before see if one of them can help you out.

That said, and this being your first bass (and assuming it is new), the store you bought it should have had it setup already. Give them a call, tell them what you're experiencing, and see if they can help.

As one last option, if you are going to take lessons (highly recommended, at least at first), your teacher can probably help out too, or at least point you in the right direction.

Welcome to the low end!
Quote:
I'm just beginning bass and I just bought my first one, and when I use the first fret on the E string or the first and second on the A string the string touches the fret board. Anything I can do to fix it at home? There's no way I can afford to get it fixed and the seller refuses to fix it for free.
What I'd like to know, where exactly does the string touch the board?
Guinny
Posts: 130
Very important point, Jay.

Have a look at the neck of your bass. You want to look down the neck from multiple angles - eyeballing it. You may notice a upward bow or a downward bow. If the bow is too pronounced in either direction it may be the cause of the buzz. If you need to introduce less relief on the neck you turn your allen key clockwise, if you want more relief turn it counterclockwise. Whatever you do wait 30 mins minimum, check for buzz and then if needed make a further adjustment. As Marko said make small 1/4 turns with your allen key. Don't go crazy.

If the neck looks straight I would leave it alone and make adjustments to your bridge saddles as Marko explained.

A setup shouldn't cost you very much though and if you are not confident in doing any of this I would really suggest taking it in to a music shop and spending the $30 - $50 bucks to have a proper set up done.

I would also suggest doing what 2nick3 has suggested. Have a look at this link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yV7wY2HQkk
Whoa.Frnk
Posts: 3
Quote:
Quote: I'm just beginning bass and I just bought my first one, and when I use the first fret on the E string or the first and second on the A string the string touches the fret board. Anything I can do to fix it at home? There's no way I can afford to get it fixed and the seller refuses to fix it for free. What I'd like to know, where exactly does the string touch the board?

It's only when I play the first fret on the E string and the first two on the A string. This is my first bass so I bought a cheap one off Amazon that had pretty good reviews so I could practice and see how interested I was in it before I bought something better
Guinny
Posts: 130
ah, this is interesting. Just this past weekend I did a setup and bridge replacement for a friend on his p bass. after restringing and adjusting the bridge I had fret buzz on the A string. I spent way too much time playing around with the bridge until I finally stopped and just took a look at everything. In the end it was how the A string was strung to the tuner. Have a look and make sue that your E and A strings are sitting on the tuner properly. It should look neat and the string should not over lap itself. One other thought I had is that if you have new strings with a thick gauge the E and A may not be sitting in the nut properly. You may have to file it down a bit. Be careful not to file it down too much - a bit at a time.
Marko1960
Posts: 2463
Just how cheap was this bass? cos I'm thinking worse case scenario is it needs a fret dress, this is well beyond your capabilities as the tools required will cost more than the bass itself, notched straight edge, levelling file, crowning file! I had a fret dress done on an Ibanez Jem by Mansons for £90 which is cheaper than the tools! I wish you had asked for advice before you bought the bass, cheap musical instruments are the main reason beginners give up after ten minutes. Squier, Epiphone, Ibanez and Yamaha to name but four manufacturers who produce some great guitars on a budget. They can be picked up pretty cheap second hand and if you buy them from a music shop you get a set up thrown in. I don't want to put you off so try the suggestions posted here and fingers crossed
Quote:
ah, this is interesting. Just this past weekend I did a setup and bridge replacement for a friend on his p bass. after restringing and adjusting the bridge I had fret buzz on the A string. I spent way too much time playing around with the bridge until I finally stopped and just took a look at everything. In the end it was how the A string was strung to the tuner. Have a look and make sue that your E and A strings are sitting on the tuner properly. It should look neat and the string should not over lap itself. One other thought I had is that if you have new strings with a thick gauge the E and A may not be sitting in the nut properly. You may have to file it down a bit. Be careful not to file it down too much - a bit at a time.
On the long Fender headstocks specifically the A string is critical, because it doesn't have a string retainer. At least 3 windings on the peg are required to get the required angle at the nut. Also be sure to bend the strings over the saddles and the nut after installment and tuning.

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