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5 Ways to Cut the Buzz

Overcome guitar buzz with these easy techniques.

Fret buzz is a common problem with guitars. It’s caused when a string vibrates against a fret on the neck (instead of over it), making an annoying buzzing sound. Here are five reasons why your strings are buzzing:

1. Fret in the Right Place

Make sure you’re fretting notes at the proper spot just behind the fret. If your fingers are too far behind the fret you’re likely to hear some unwanted buzzing.

2. Apply the Right Amount of Pressure

Not pressing down on the strings hard enough means the strings aren’t making good contact with the frets. This applies especially to barre chords, as you might not have worked up enough stamina and finger strength to make sure all the strings are making good contact.

3. Avoid Strumming Too Hard

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 buzzing.

4. Consider the Strings

If you’ve recently changed strings to a different size, this might have changed the tension and shape of the neck. If the new strings are thinner than before, the guitar will have a lower tension and is more likely to buzz and need some adjusting.

5. Check the Setup

Make sure your guitar is set up properly. Taking it to a guitar shop can save a lot of time and head-scratching, because a technician can see if the buzzing is caused by low action, uneven frets, a bent neck or some other issue.

There’s nothing more annoying than when your guitar makes irritating noises it shouldn't. Reducing buzzing is easy, you just have to pay attention to your technique and make sure your guitar is set up properly. Keep these tips in mind to enjoy a clean and buzz-free sound.

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