I was given an acoustic guitar by a friend; it produces an annoying sound when the strings are vibrating (any string, although it's loudest with the low strings), quite similar to feedback on an electric guitar. Nothing is loose; my best guess is that the sound is caused by the front face of the guitar body vibrating.

The problem seems to come and go week to week; if anyone has any suggestions on how to eliminate it I'd be very grateful.

  • Buzzes from acoustic guitars can be very difficult to track. I've had one recently which took around six months to figure out, including a few trips to the luthier that made it! Often the difficulty comes from the sound being 'thrown' from one part of the guitar to another. With mine, there was sympathetic vibration causing back-buzz at the low frets, but due to a resonance in the body it appeared to come from the bridge. Check the height of the strings from the fingerboard at various positions. You might get rid of the buzz by simply raising the strings by <1mm with a new saddle or nut fret.
    – user40739
    Jul 23, 2017 at 17:39
  • If the problem seems to come and go from one week to the next it could be related to humidity as well, although this is a long shot and unlikely to be the only cause. If you get serious about trying to fix this instrument then get a hygrometer (~£10 from Amazon) and measure the humidity in the case and see if the buzzing correlates with high or low humidity. If it does, you can keep some desiccant or a humidifier in the case to stabilize it (usually to a value between 40 - 50%).
    – user40739
    Jul 23, 2017 at 17:42
  • Take it to a luthier or tech and get a setup done. It could be that the truss rod is simply not adjusted properly, or the guitar could be ruined in some way, or something in between. Oct 30, 2017 at 10:37

2 Answers 2


You're holding back on info., is it open strings, certain frets? Try tapping the body of the guitar. It should produce a wooden ring rather than a dull whack. Try it all over the front, sides and back. If it all sounds 'sound' then the wood is probably o.k. Next suspect is the struts and purfling inside the body. My guess is that some of it has come unstuck. When you tapped the body, there may have been a rattle from inside. That's going to need strings off, and a hand inside to find the loose part. Glue is the next item needed.

If the dull thud was apparent, then there may be a crack in the wood of the body. That's a lot more difficult to remedy, and needs a trip to the guitar doctor - a luthier. Or the tip...

  • Lol anyone dropping off guitars too the tip can drop them at my place, I'll salvage them them drop them too the tip.
    – user30646
    Oct 30, 2017 at 10:30

I think it is a problem with the closeness of the strings to the fretboard. Check this. This can cause a sort of buzzing similar to what you describe. this buzzing can change week by week because it can be affected by humidity and temperature changes. If this is the case, I would suggest that you take it to a guitar technician, or if you are game,try to change the action (distance of the strings from the fretboard) yourself. I have done this on a guitar which had the opposit problem where the strings were too high, the only problem is that I dropped the strings too far :( .

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