Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
Gabosho

Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Gabosho » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:50 pm

Hello everyone! :bye:

I am new to this forum, I discovered it during my search for a classical guitar. I have played a little guitar since 2 years ago and consider myself still being a beginner.

I have a question which I would like to discuss.

I have received four guitars now (first one + the replacements), all of them have had fret buzz on the 6th, 5th and 4th string. The first was a La Mancha Zafiro, the others which I changed to after the first return have been Höfner Classical guitars, around 600 bucks each.

When I play the guitars with my finger close to the frets it doesn't buzz, but when I place my finger in more at the middle it starts make annoying buzz noises... The last time I contacted Thomanns customer support they told me that; "you have to play with your fingers closer to the frets" - I guess they are tired of handling me as a customer at this moment. When holding lets say a Am-chord - I have problems with placing my middle finger closer to the fret - because I can't put it across or above the ring finger.

I went to the local music store and played on several classical guitars... None of them had this problem, not even the ones for 100 bucks :? ...

Is it just me who got bad luck or is this kind of buzz something you have to tolerate when buying new guitars?

Tarbaby (1953 - 2016)

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Tarbaby (1953 - 2016) » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:16 am

Hi Gabosho, and welcome!

I'm sure some of our members will be along soon with some advice for you. :)

In the meantime, may I invite you to tell us a bit more about yourself in the "Introduce yourself" section here? In an effort to help thwart spammers, Mr. Delcamp now requires an introduction from newly registered members:
The accounts of new users who have not introduced themselves within a few hours of registering are deleted, and they will need to register again.
You will get a proper welcome and some tips on how to get the most out of the Forum.

Have fun!

Alan

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ashworth
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Location: Athens, GA

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by ashworth » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:45 am

Hi Gabasho! Welcome to the forum. What you are describing is a common problem that I and several others on the forum have experienced. I'm still dealing with it on a Cordoba I recently bought. A string change has helped.

Here's some reading material to get you started. :D

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=57112&p=624005&hil ... et#p624005

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=84164
- Donnie

Gabosho

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Gabosho » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:08 am

Thanks for your replies! Okey but is this a issue you have to accept or can you complain about it at your music dealer until he brings you one buzz free guitar?

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Les Backshall
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Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Les Backshall » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:34 am

Gabosho wrote:...When I play the guitars with my finger close to the frets it doesn't buzz, but when I place my finger in more at the middle it starts make annoying buzz noises...
The fact that the buzzing occurs when the finger is away from the fret, suggests that there is insufficient downward pressure to stop the string 'bouncing' or vibrating laterally along the fret top. This indicates that the frets may be too low; and buzzing will likely be worse if they are not crowned or finished properly.
Technique also plays a part, and buzzing is more likely if your plucking action tends more towards the lateral than vertical and your right hand is over the sound hole.
This type of buzzing on the bass strings is a common enough feature on guitars with poor fret jobs.
If you play other guitars which don't have this issue, then get one of those.

Les
Lester Backshall, Guitar Maker - Aylesbury UK

Gabosho

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Gabosho » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:56 am

Les Backshall wrote:
Gabosho wrote:...When I play the guitars with my finger close to the frets it doesn't buzz, but when I place my finger in more at the middle it starts make annoying buzz noises...
The fact that the buzzing occurs when the finger is away from the fret, suggests that there is insufficient downward pressure to stop the string 'bouncing' or vibrating laterally along the fret top. This indicates that the frets may be too low; and buzzing will likely be worse if they are not crowned or finished properly.
Technique also plays a part, and buzzing is more likely if your plucking action tends more towards the lateral than vertical and your right hand is over the sound hole.
This type of buzzing on the bass strings is a common enough feature on guitars with poor fret jobs.
If you play other guitars which don't have this issue, then get one of those.

Les
I was also suspecting low or unproperly made frets because it doesn't really matter how hard I push down the string on the middle of the band, it still buzzes, sometimes when putting more pressure to it, it sounds even worse. I know I can play with my fingers closers to the fret to avoid it but this is sometimes a problem, when playing lets say a Am or Em chord - I can't really put my midfinger across my ringfinger to get closer to the fret... This is something that really annoys me.

This really sucks, it shouldn't occur among guitars for 600 bucks when there's 80 bucks guitars that don't face any of these issues. It's a shame. The guitars I want are not available at my local music store, I order them through internet so I can't really try them out :/

fisjon
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Location: Caerphilly, UK

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by fisjon » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:33 pm

Hi Gabosho,
I have this problem on my Admira Soledad, the odd thing is that it was not audible when I first got the guitar. It developed when I changed the saddle, the original being a very loose fit. The natural thing to do is to put the original saddle back on which I did but the buzz was still there. I think that the problem is as Les has said, poor fretwork, but perhaps something else happened when I wound the strings down and back up that accentuated the problem.
It can be very annoying and spoils the enjoyment of playing. I think some guitars are like thoroughbred racehorses, a bit twitchy, one slight change of weather or perhaps a change of strings and that's it, if I had a shotgun I would make a pile of firewood.

(Just read with some interest a post from Steven D'Antonio, worth a read)
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=57112&p=624005&hil ... et#p624005
Yamaha C70. Brilliant!
Admira Soledad. Slowly maturing!

simonm
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Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by simonm » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:34 pm

Gabosho wrote: When I play the guitars with my finger close to the frets it doesn't buzz, but when I place my finger in more at the middle it starts make annoying buzz noises... The last time I contacted Thomanns customer support they told me that; "you have to play with your fingers closer to the frets" -
What Thomanns customer support said is exactly what my teacher would say. :mrgreen:

You should be playing with your fingers almost on top of the fret. If you play with your fingers half way between the frets, it is just bad technique. Get a few lessons from a good classical teacher and the problem will soon be solved.

dory
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Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:29 am
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by dory » Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:50 am

When I was shopping for a guitar I had no idea what to look for. I just sat there like an idiot watching my husband try the guitar out. Then I realized that there were specific things to look for, and that checking for them would save grief later. One is buzz. I almost bought a quite nice little Walden guitar--good for an intermediate player like me. It was fine the first time I tried it, but when I returned a day later, it was humid, and two of the strings--I think the 5th was the worst, buzzed badly on certain frets. I didn't get it and came up with a different solution irrelevant to your situation. I think a lot of trouble with buzz can be avoided by doing the following in the store. Go up each string from the 1st to the 12th fret (or higher if you really want to) playing each note withnan aggressive rest stroke. Don't skip a fret. Don't buy the guitar that day unless it is a really good deal and you are almost sure it will be gone and try it again before buying. That sounds paranoid but as you noticed it is easy to get a guitar with a buzz. If you already have a guitar with a buzz take it to a good repair shop and have an experienced person look at the action and the frets. I don't think customer support will help unless they let you send your guitar back for repairs.

P.S. There is another very surprising (to me) thing I recommend doing if you are buying a low to mid range guitar. Play each string open and on the 12th fret. You would be surprised. This, of course involves not buzz but intonatiom. I was looking at guitars in the $800-$1,000 range and found a lot of problemstic guitars. Buy carefully. I also would never buy a guitar sight unseen at this point, although I know that in many cases people have to.
Dory

fisjon
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Location: Caerphilly, UK

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by fisjon » Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:22 pm

simonm wrote:
Gabosho wrote: When I play the guitars with my finger close to the frets it doesn't buzz, but when I place my finger in more at the middle it starts make annoying buzz noises... The last time I contacted Thomanns customer support they told me that; "you have to play with your fingers closer to the frets" -
What Thomanns customer support said is exactly what my teacher would say. :mrgreen:

You should be playing with your fingers almost on top of the fret. If you play with your fingers half way between the frets, it is just bad technique. Get a few lessons from a good classical teacher and the problem will soon be solved.
Some of us have short fingers and can't stretch far enough to get 'right on the fret'. :!:
Yamaha C70. Brilliant!
Admira Soledad. Slowly maturing!

rakhmathidayat

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by rakhmathidayat » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:40 pm

Dear friend,

Fret buzz problem is very essential aspect esspecially in buying new guitar.
so in my experience when I buy a new guitar, I always try all the fret in all the string.
no matter the guitar with the expensive or cheap price.

Fret buzz could happened because the climatic condition (temperature and humidity) not good maintenance.
So in keeping the guitar please be aware to store in special room or case.

I do hope this will help in buying and maintenance of the guitar.

Thanks
Rakhmat Hidayat

simonm
Amateur luthier
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Würzburg.

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by simonm » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:35 am

fisjon wrote: Some of us have short fingers and can't stretch far enough to get 'right on the fret'. :!:
Length of finger and ability "to stretch far" enough are two different issues. One of the very first things my guitar teacher did with me was gave me a couple of simple stretching exercises for my fingers. I believe that similar exercises are used by pretty much every professional instrument teacher. Splaying out your fingers is not something we normally do day to day to exercises are quite important.

My teacher also showed my how he goes up the fretboard when he is testing a new guitar for a student. Exactly what Dory said.

Professor Ding Bat

Re: Fret Buzz - on 4 guitars in a row...

Post by Professor Ding Bat » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:15 pm

I have had the exact same issue as Gabosho. I am now on my 4th brand new guitar that I has had fret buzz. The common culprit is the D string which has buzz in positions 1-8, but other strings also have buzzes which vary between guitars. The price range of these guitars is in the $3-4,000 category, and so you'd think that if you were paying that much for an instrument you could get one that was designed and set up properly. I also would like to respectfully submit that I do not think this is a 'technique issue', but rather it is physics. If you are fretting a string midway between two frets in the lower positions with proper pressure, given optimum fret height, shape, and all other frets level and good saddle conditions...a properly set up guitar will not buzz. I am amazed at the lack of quality control I am seeing in the guitars I have been auditioning, two from Taylor, one from Cordoba, and the latest one from an unknown luthier in China. Due to my geographic location, the only reasonable option I have to find 'the' guitar is to order them on the internet and try them out. My local luthier is also amazed a the shoddy workmanship of these guitars. I guess I'll just have to keep trying, but it sure is frustrating.

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