So your bass guitar has fret buzz and you do not know how to fix it. Well, if I were you I would not be letting anybody near my bass guitar who had to go to a website called Guitar How-To for advice. The fact that you are here tells me that you probably should not be trusted to go poking around in a bass guitar with a screwdriver or a soldering iron.
On the other hand we can’t go through our musical lives just learning how to play our instruments without also learning about how they work. Especially fairly delicate musical instruments like electric bass guitars. So let’s talk about bass guitar fret buzz and some of the causes and possible home remedies, even if eventually you are going to have to take your bass to an expert.
Your bass guitar buzzes at a certain fret. All the time. You have tried changing the strings and adjusting the saddles. That is the limit of your expertise, so now what? If you take it to a guitar shop they might recommend that the neck be reset. This would be better than you making things worse by fooling around in the saddles or anywhere else that looks like it could be adjusted by an enthusiastic amateur.
Sometimes you get vibration when you play certain frets on your bass guitar. Often it’s hard to tell where the buzzing or vibration is coming from. One thing an amateur can do is look for loose parts around the area of the tuning keys. Any small part can be loose and causing an annoying vibration when the bass is fired up. The other place where this can happen is around the bridge. Notice I said an amateur can LOOK for the possible cause of the noise. If you do not feel absolutely confident about what you are doing, do not touch it.
If you choose to go looking for the cause of the fret buzz or vibration yourself, just so you understand what’s going on, you could get a friend to look for the source of the buzz while you play the notes that cause the buzz. It’s alot easier than trying to get the guitar to make the noise while examining it minutely at the same time.
Sometimes what can happen to cause fret buzz, say on the first, second and third strings on the second fret, is the bar between the frets is lower than the others. This makes the strings touch the bar when they are played. Or one fret could be higher than the others. If this is the case a special file can be used to make the fret go deeper into the fretboard. This is an easy job for a luthier, just don’t let him talk you into having ALL the frets adjusted if only one is buzzing.
One thing that could be responsible for bass guitar fret buzz is not adjusting the truss rod when you change to a new string gauge. This will not only cause buzz but warp the guitar neck, too.
When you take your bass guitar into the guitar shop to have it looked at, don’t be afraid to tell the man what areas you have been fooling with. I know it’s embarrassing but even if you lie to him, he’ll find out when he examines it. It’s just that if he has to go to extra trouble and time to look for a fault that you could have told him about, it’s going to cost you.
Various random buzzings can come from your bass guitar without the physical components being at fault. If you are getting an electronic buzz in your speaker, try shutting down any appliances like televisions and cell phones.