I don't know why, but when I play the note A anywhere on the fretboard, it sounds horrible, especially on the 6th string. I'm not sure how to describe it but it sounds almost like if you played to the right side of a fret. This thing only happens when i use my fingers, when i use a pick every fret sounds fine. I don't know when it started, but the guitar was fine until a few days ago

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    Given that it only happens when you play fingerstyle, i suspect that it has more to do with your technique than with the actual guitar. Try picking the string at different places (i.e. closer to the bridge, closer to the fretboard etc.) and see if it's the same everywhere. Also consider how you are actually plucking the string, it may be that you're using too much force or something like that. Could you perhaps describe your plucking technique in some more detail? It might help in working out what's happening.
    – user57228
    Feb 14, 2019 at 20:26
  • So A on the 5th fret of the 6th string and 1st string and the A on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string all sound bad. As well as the 12th fret on the 3rd string? But the A flat right below those sound fine? I could see if it was both 5th fret As but all the As??
    – b3ko
    Feb 14, 2019 at 20:55
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    I've had this guitar for a couple years now, and this just started a few days ago, so i don't think it's related to my technique. And it only happens with this one so i'm pretty sure it's not about me. I tried picking at different places and it's the same, except when i pick extremely close to the bridge. I also tried using more and less force while playing, and it's the same. And it's exactly at every A note, on every string, that's the weird thing about this and i really don't know how or why this happened
    – Dario
    Feb 15, 2019 at 0:24
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    Can you post a video or audio of what you are hearing? Is it possible something is rattling and the sympathetic resonance vibrations only make it rattle on the A note?
    – b3ko
    Feb 15, 2019 at 2:54
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    @b3ko That's what I was thinking too; could be a crack or even a loose brace. Maybe he could play an A and press a few fingers down on different spots on the top and see if the "awful" sound goes away, to locate the problem? Feb 15, 2019 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


One possible explanation is that something had gotten loose in the guitar, even at an almost microscopic level, and when it vibrated its natural resonance frequency was that of an A, possibly 110 Hz or 55 Hz. (That's A2 or A1, two or three octave lower than A4 = 440 Hz).

In this way, when you played As, that "something loose" resonated, creating the unpleasant result in the sound.

Removing the strings and putting them back had the effect of making that "something loose" settle again, therefore removing the sympathetic resonance effect.

That "something loose" might have been in the bridge, or perhaps in the machine heads, both things being in direct contact with and under tension from the strings. But it could also have been in the pickup, truss rod, or somewhere else.

If it happens again, try to listen carefully to different points on the guitar, and see where this sound really comes from, that will give you a clue.


so what i did was taking out every string and putting them back. I'm pretty sure that's not something I should do, but it was the only thing that came to my mind, and it actually worked! I don't know why or how, but it solved the problem.

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    You didn't actually solve the problem -- you managed to eliminate it. Help desks refer to this as "cannot reproduce the error" . I'm glad you're back to normal, but I'd recommend deleting this question since your answer won't help anyone else. Feb 15, 2019 at 18:14

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