[realmusicians] Guitar buzz.

  • From: Tom Kingston <tom.kingston@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: realmusicians@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2011 09:44:37 -0500

Be it that I'm a newbie virtuoso on the guitar I've been getting a healthy dose of buzz. But I expected that. But now, I seem to be getting a lot more, especially on the low E string. I even get it when plucking the string open. It has to be a pretty hard pluck, but I can't get the same out of any other string other than a little tiny bit on the D string. And that requires a real yank. Yet popping the open E doesn't cause it.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the setup that was just done because this guitar was impossible to play prior to that. But the tech did say to bring it back if I had any problems or just wanted the string height adjusted.

The strange thing about it, at least to me, is that it happens even when I pluck the string open. So I can't blame my weak left hand on that. And it's amazing how difficult it is to track down sound, even on an instrument this small. When I'm playing I'd swear it's coming off of the saddle. Yet if I put my ear down to it there seems to be part of it in the saddle, part up in the nut, but most of it seems to be coming right out of the sound hole as if something inside the body is resonating. This guitar does have a pickup. So there are some wires floating around in there.

Now this morning I decided to try and track it down some more. I had to tune it the day after the setup. I expected that. And I was able to tune it very quick and easy with my piano. Then I had to do the same again a couple days later. Probably normal, I thought. But this morning I decided to stretch that low E string to see if it solved the problem. So I tuned it up about a step, let it stretch for a few minutes, then loosened it quite a bit and let it relax for a while.

Then when I went to tune the whole thing to my piano I had a heck of a time getting the low strings, E, A, and D, in tune. I finally tuned from the high E up to the low E and that seemed to get me closer. But still I had to really battle with the low strings compared to the tunings I've done, even before it was setup and grossly out of tune. It only took a few minutes then.

And now, finally, the open string buzzing is gone. So is this normal, a problem with the setup, or just a flimsy guitar? The tuning keys do feel a bit sloppy to me, as if the slightest little bump would move them, which I assume is not the norm.

I'd appreciate any thoughts, words of wisdom, and experience on this aspect of the guitar.


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