I bought a Cordoba F7 Paco classical guitar last week and a few of the frets were slightly buzzing on the D string frets. After the tech setup my guitar, he said it's because of my form/technique and that I need to push as close to the metal bar as possible...and this got rid of the sound. But all the other frets sound fine by playing them in the middle, why should I play these few frets differently?

After playing the guitar for a week, I asked myself 'why don't the other frets buzz like this'? So...is there any way to fix this? or should I return the guitar?

Here is some audio i recorded of the sound:

I have normal tension strings on the guitar and the D string is 0.74 mm.

Any advice before I exchange the guitar for something else.

  • 1
    Oh yeah, I only fret in the middle of a fret when I physically can't get my finger right behind the fret because of an awkward chord. I try to have my action pretty low so I can keep my hand relaxed, that means positioning behind the fret is pretty critical for me. You definitely want to learn ideal finger positioning because it will improve your tone and your playing. You'll play faster with less effort and you'll be able to make more difficult chords sound clean. Dr. Mayhem has got the right answer. As much as techs can be self-serving, I think this one is right. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 5:33
  • Dr. Mayhem has offered great advice on playing technique & it's all valid & true. But it's easier to use proper technique with a properly set up guitar. Less pressure on strings is good technique as Dr. Mayhem said. But if you are already getting fret buzz, less pressure will make the buzz worse. So if you don't get the buzz out of your D string, it will be harder to lean proper technique because you'll be pressing down on the string harder to try to reduce fret buzz. Learning proper technique is important. A guitar that is set up to buzz on ONE string will will inhibit your technique. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 19:53
  • Thanks for all the responses. I went from a .029 to 0.030 D string ...hard tension. it brought me closer to the sound I need. I really liked this guitar and the action on it and was going to be sad if I had to bring it back. So thanks for letting me keep. I think a .031+ D string will sound perfect
    – Kamilski81
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 22:32
  • @Kamilski81 It warms my heart that you were able to use my suggestion to solve your issue. Keep working on improving technique as well though. Enjoy your new instrument. Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 3:29

4 Answers 4


While @RockinCowboy's points are all good, in reality you do need to play close to the fret - playing your finger in the middle between frets is not going to work.

Your fingers should all be tight up against the back of the fret. If you ever try playing a scalloped fret guitar, you will see just how badly wrong it can go, but this holds true for all guitars.

Because all strings will have a slightly different action and height above the frets, it is not surprising that one string buzzes more than the others.

If you get your technique right, you'll also find you need less pressure on the strings which will help you with speed and stamina.

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    Thanks for acknowledging the validity of my points. And I agree with yours as well. But the fact that the buzzing only manifests on one string indicates corrective action to the guitar (if in addition to improved playing technique). Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 23:51

Ahhh the old "it's your faulty playing technique" response from the guitar tech who did the set up. I've heard that one before too - but did not fall for it. You should not have to alter otherwise proper playing technique to get your guitar to play buzz free. Sometimes positioning of certain phrases you play will necessitate placing your finger farther away from the fret. All strings should be equally buzz free.

If the fret buzz is isolated to the D string, then most likely the set up was in fact done almost properly.

Fret buzz occurs when the vibrating string (which actually oscillates in a circular pattern vs. only back and fourth or up and down) contacts the fret creating a buzz. This can be a result of action that is too low, a fret that is too high or an anomaly in the neck that causes certain sections of the fretboard to end up closer to the strings than others (twisted neck or warped neck or bump at the neck body joint).

But if any of these things were going on - it would likely cause fret buzz on more than just the D string.

So I believe that your guitar has most likely been set up with the action as low as you can get without all the strings buzzing. Yet for whatever reason, you are getting a buzz on the D string only.

If you otherwise like the guitar, before you take it back, try these ideas.

Try a different gauge string. A slightly larger diameter (heavier gauge) string would be less prone to buzzing and it may solve your problem. A slightly heavier gauge string will require a tad more tension to tune to pitch. Moving your fretting finger closer to the fret also stretches the string a tad more than fretting in between two frets. Since that seems to take out the buzz, my guess is you don't need anything more than a very slight increase in tension to eliminate the buzzing.

You might also try a different brand of string on the D string of the same gauge you have now. If the string is made with a denser composition, it may require just a bit more tension to tune to pitch. I have personally done this with one of my guitars on the G string and changing brands took out the buzzing. You can order individual strings from Just Strings - Single String Page

If you prefer not to use a heavier gauge string for your D string or don't want to try a different brand, you could go back to a guitar tech (perhaps a different one) and have them adjust the set up for a slightly higher overall action to take out the buzzing on the D string. Your guitar appears to have a two way adjustable truss rod so it should be possible to make the needed adjustments to eliminate the buzzing.

Be sure to get the issue solved to your satisfaction before the return period expires. Your guitar should be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, not frustration! Good luck.

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    As Tim notes in another comment, nut slot depth would not affect fretted notes. Also, I didn't notice until just now you seriously beat me in getting to 10k (yes there was a little race going on in my head). Congrats! Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 5:35
  • @ToddWilcox Thanks Todd. I'm just trying to catch up with you on the merit badges - lol. I'm going after the fanatic gold merit badge or whatever they call it when you log in 100 days in a row. Consequently I end up seeing more questions that I feel compelled to take a swing at. Yes you are right about nut slot. That is a good point. In fact it warrants an edit to the answer. Thanks for your help on that. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 9:29

If the string is pressed down all the way to the fretboard, it should not buzz. Not just right behind the fret in question but anywhere (right after the previous fret is a bit theoretical since it's rather hard to go all the way there so it's a bit of an irrelevant point).

That's the basic balance between fret height and fingerboard. If it doesn't buzz when played right next to the fret, then it means just that the frets viewed by themselves are properly arranged.

Now it may be that the setup is in a state of "if you want to fix this, you need to rip the fret out and start over", or "a truss rod adjustment would be needed, followed by setting up everything new" or "the fretboard would need to be sanded slightly. To do that properly you'll need to remove the frets and laquer up afterwards".

So it may very well be that your technician is brushing you off strategically because the fix would entail a lot more than just fixing the D string setup. However, it could well be that a workable fix could be done by just refitting another nut.

Maybe get a second opinion.

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    The nut isn't going to affect anything except the open string. Once the string is pressed on fret one or above, the nut has no effect.
    – Tim
    Commented Jan 30, 2016 at 23:32

work your way down the neck on the string that you have the buzz on so you can find out which fret or frets buzz. This will give you an idea if the relief on your neck is the culprit. As someone else pointed out it also may be due to a nut that is slotted to deeply. try loosening the string and a small piece of something like paper in the slot to raise the string. If that stops the buzz then you will know that your answer is in the nut slot.

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