So I have a Fender Jazz Bass and I was playing it the other day and once I got to the 5th fret there was buzzing, and past the 5th fret (depending on what I was doing) there was severe, sort of, clunking? I was playing “So What” by Miles Davis and the part that I really noticed it was during the first run on sixteenth notes in the beginning. The EQ settings on the amp were all equaled out and there was some overdrive. I was using the bridge pickup with the tone control turned all the way down. The strings were changed sometime in January if that is of valuable information. After researching the problem my initial thought process is maybe it could be an action problem? As far as I can tell it is fairly high. Help!

  • 1
    This question needs way more detail to be able to analyse the problem. Jun 4 '20 at 23:30
  • I don’t really know what else to say. For example, I played an open A then F on the A string, back to open A and then an E on the A string at a very fast pace. There was a clacking/clunking nose at the expense of playing each note that wasn’t open. It’s like that from the 6th fret up, I’d say. From the 5th fret and below, buzzing is very common if that helps anything.
    – alex
    Jun 4 '20 at 23:50
  • 1
    On all strings? Only on which frets? What tuning? What strings? Is it there unplugged? More info. please.
    – Tim
    Jun 5 '20 at 7:01
  • Sorry for the late response but it is on all of the strings but most apparently on the A string. The clacking/rattling is still there unplugged. Standard tuning. Buzzing is from frets 1-5 and rattling from there on to the 12th fret. Please let me know if I can be of assistance to any more questions, thank you so much.
    – alex
    Jun 6 '20 at 19:09

If the sound is noticeable when you play the instrument with no amplification it is probably time for a truss rod and action adjustment. Changes in temperature and humidity can affect instruments and cause buzzes to start creeping in. Judging from where it’s buzzing your neck probably has a little back bow and you need to have some relief, or a slight concave curve added to the fingerboard by loosening the truss rod. There is a fine series of 4 videos by John Carruthers that explain the process of performing your own setup, here is the first one:

I recommend not trying step 3, adjusting your nut, it is a delicate process and requires special tools and more experience but the other three are doable with some care and a little experience with basic tools.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.