How to Get Rid of Annoying Fret Buzz

By Kailash Pate January 30, 2016

We know how amazing it feels everytime you pick up your guitar to jam, but all that is spoiled when there is this annoying fret buzz. If you are experiencing the fret buzz, the very first thing you need to do is – CHANGE THE STRINGS!

There is quite a possibility that your strings may be the primary cause of the problem. Changing strings or cleaning them up would be a good idea. You’ll find a huge collection of strings for acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass guitars on BAJAAO. If you see dirt building up on your fretboard, (though this isn’t one of the reasons that makes your fret buzz, you might consider cleaning it up) use a slightly damp cloth or a good guitar cleaner (depending on the crud gathered on your fretboard). Many would recommend you to use steel wool to remove extra tough dirt, we do not recommend you to do that. Using steel wool may cause irreversible damage to your guitar, even if you choose to use steel wool, make sure you go easy on the grip and be really cautious about it. It is not uncommon for sweat and dirt to be accumulated on your fretboard, which can eventually damage glue joint. This problem can be solved by occasionally cleaning your guitar. If the buzzing still continues despite of cleaning your guitar regularly, you might consider consulting an experienced guitar technician. Unless you can adjust neck and bridge on your own, it would be advisable to not make any random adjustments to bridge saddles or neck truss rod. There are some things you can do to find out exact location of the problem, check if the buzzing sound is consistent across the length of neck from open strings to highest frets closest the body of the instrument.

The following points should help you find a better solution as well. Pick each string without fretting any notes. Fret each string at first fret and move towards the body noting where the buzz appears and disappears. If the buzz is heard when picking an open string and continues even when you're fretting the highest-pitched frets, the problem is likely in your bridge/saddle assembly. Are there any loose parts? You may need to have a technician work on this area. (If the guitar tech is willing to let you observe, you can glean some skills for doing such maintenance work yourself in the future.)

If you pinpoint the buzzing in the section of your neck closer to the body:

  • You may need to adjust the string saddles to increase string clearance over the first frets. If you do this yourself, make your adjustments in small increments so you don't raise your action more than necessary. If the saddle height adjustment range is inadequate to eliminate the buzz, a truss rod adjustment is probably needed.
  • There may be a fret, which needs to be sanded slightly to eliminate an inconsistent height across the fretboard. Don't make this adjustment yourself. If you go too far, the mutilated fret will become permanently sharp in pitch.
If the buzzing is closer to the middle of the neck or towards the nut:
  • Inserting a thin shim under the nut can raise the strings enough to eliminate unwelcome contact with the frets. Again, try shimming in small increments; an overly high action makes fretting difficult.
  • Your neck may need a truss rod adjustment. This metal rod, which runs the length of your guitar neck adjusts the degree of its bow. Unless you have experience with truss rod adjustments, this should be handled by a technician. Creating too great a bow can cause permanent and expensive damage to your neck, fretboard, and bridge. Tiny adjustments can make a big difference in the bow of the neck.
We hope this guide have helped you resolve the issue; write to us on for further queries or assistance.

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