I’m quite new to playing the bass guitar and I’m hearing a lot of buzz. I mainly play with my thumb. Could that be contributing to it? I do play somewhat hard and I’m trying to calm down with it, but is there anything else that might help?

By the way, I have a Schecter Stiletto Extreme 4.

  • If it is fret-buzz that you are experiencing, you may need to play closer to the frets. It takes less pressure and is generally easier to fret notes when your fingers are closer to the fret you are playing.
    – user39614
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 6:19
  • 2
    @DavidBowling - 'play' closer to the frets ought to be 'press' closer. Play to beginners translates as pluck. You're correct, of course!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 1, 2018 at 9:16
  • Where is the buzz coming from? What sort of buzz? When does it happen? Impossible to answer this question without knowing these things.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 21:36

2 Answers 2


Seems like the action may be a bit low for your style of playing. When the strings are close to the fingerboard, they will rattle against it when played hard, as the vibrations are large, causing them to touch the other frets between where you press and the bridge. It may only be a couple of those fretwires - test by playing every note on the neck, ascending and descending, to ascertain if it's worse on particular frets. The neck may not have enough relief in it.

Another cause is not pressing hard enough, or close enough to the fretwire. Pressing on the fret close to the bridge direction makes a better angle for a cleaner sound.

A slight possibility is that the strings are too loose for the open notes - for example if it's downtuned a fair bit, you may need to up the string gauge to regain the tension needed for that particular scale length.


Assuming there's not a problem with your setup as described by Tim, Try listening through headphones... you're ears are very close to the instrument but what folks will hear is coming from your amplifier. If you listen via headphones you'll put yourself more in the position your audience will be in.

Your buzz won't be as bad as it sounds to you.

I also wouldn't focus(obsess) on it, you'll adjust your technique naturally over time and it will go away. For example, when I was learning drums I bought a toe stop for my kick pedal because my foot would slip off. After about 2-3 months I never got close to that toe-stop because my foot was just naturally keeping the right place on the pedal.

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