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String Buzz

/String Buzz
String Buzz 2023-05-03T14:41:31-04:00

Guitar String Buzz

There’s nothing more aggravating than when your guitar makes noises it shouldn’t. An issue that comes up often is subject of guitar string buzz. It’s a problem that happens often to players. What is it?

String buzz is caused when a string strikes against the top of a fret.  It creates a buzzing sound. There are a few reasons why this occurs from the strings on your guitar.

The frets of the guitar need to be level. If not, you will experience string buzzing.
I would say it’s one of the most common reasons why strings on a guitar buzz.

When a fretted string cannot overcome the top of the next fret it will strike the top of that fret.
We level all frets here in the shop to keep them at the same height.

However, we can fix it for $65. Some other considerations causing this to happen are:

1. Are you playing the note in the right place?

Watch your technique. See if you’re fretting notes at the right spot behind the fret instead of in between the frets. If your fingers are too far behind your frets then you’ll hear some unwanted buzzing.

2. Are you striking your strings too hard? 

Don’t be rough but be firm with your instrument. If you hit the strings too hard when strumming, it can cause the strings to vibrate up and down too much (as opposed to side to side), increasing the chance of string buzz.

Apply proper finger pressure

3. Do you apply the proper amount of pressure to the string when fretting your notes?

Make good contact with the frets with the tips of your fingers. Again-this is a technique issue.  Are you playing sloppily or clean?  Finger strength is important. Are you having trouble playing barre chords?  Strengthen your fingers. How? Play more and practice details such as clearly articulating each and every note. Maintain good string contact with the top of each fret.

4. Are the guitar strings too light for your technique?

Look at any new changes in your guitar strings. Have you changed the gauge? If so, this will cause a different tension when tuned up and therefore cause you to have to change your attack. If you cannot adjust then string buzz will occur.

New guitar not set up yet

5. Is your guitar new? Has it been properly set-up? Does it have the gauge of string that you normally use? Is the action too low?

With low action comes a trade-off. Super-low action can cause a sring buzz. However, if you can live with it-it is so much easier to play. Not all buzz will translate through an amplifier. So, if slight buzzing occurs when un-amplified, ignore it when plugged in, because you’ll never hear it anyway.

6. Is your guitar is set up properly?

Taking it to a guitar tech can help a lot. Get it set up right.

Uneven frets or humped neck cause string buzz

7. Can the buzzing is caused by uneven frets, an over-bowed or humped neck?

A good guitar tech can tell. He’ll level the frets, straighten the neck and get it right for you.

8. Are the tuner bushings loose?

If so you’ll clearly hear a good amount of buzzing and rattles that can be hard to pinpoint. Check and see if they are tight.

9. Does the string buzz occur when the note is played on an open string?

This will occur when a string “nut” slot is cut incorrectly. It can be fixed by a competent luthier or guitar tech. It sounds much like a “Sitar” effect when the open note is played.

Just $45 and 20 minutes will take care of the problem with help from Haywire Custom Guitars-Shop tech! Call us: 843-347-5742 or text us here:

If you prefer send it.

2 things to remember when shipping to us:

Firstly, Ship with the US Post Office. They are less expensive and much more careful  with your packages from our experience.
Second, Forget buying “signature required” services. Our postal carriers know where to leave the neck safely and securely. These two tips will save you money, save time by getting us the neck sooner and delivered safely. “We are musicians working for musicians” 


Rick Mariner
Haywire Custom Guitars Inc.
Haywire Custom Shop:

2007 Lees Landing Circle

Conway, SC 29526

image of guitar neck being checked for string buzz
A fret notched straightedge for guitar neck being checked for string buzz