I was playing my classical guitar yesterday and noticed that whenever I played any string on the first fret, it would like sound dead, idk what’s going on, I’m new to this. Any help would be appreciated :)

  • 2
    Is there any buzzing, or does it sound completely muted? For buzzing, this question may help; for muted, perhaps this one? – Time4Tea May 22 '19 at 15:25
  • 2
    Has it always been this way? Did you change out the strings recently? – Carl Witthoft May 22 '19 at 15:30
  • If second fret and further sound o.k., it may be the fretwire is too high (2nd one), or the action has dropped due to neck movement. – Tim May 22 '19 at 16:11
  • The action can also drop at the face due to strut/construction problems. – Alphonso Balvenie May 23 '19 at 4:15

From your description the most probable cause is that the second fret is higher than the first fret and blocking the strings from vibrating freely. This can be caused by the first fret being too low compared to the other frets or the second fret installed too high or coming out of the fret slot.

It is also possible that your action is too low on the entire guitar. If it only has the problem with the first fret and not any other fret up the neck, then it a problem with those first two frets. If your strings are buzzing or having problems voicing up the neck then your action may be too low at the bridge.

While you can examine the guitar and make some modifications yourself depending on your comfort level with tools, the easiest thing to do would be to take it to a Luthier or qualified guitar tech and have it evaluated for an action adjustment or fret level.

  • 1
    Easy check of fret heights with the edge of a ruler. Not measuring! – Tim May 23 '19 at 15:50
  • @Tim good tip, by using a ruler or straight edge you can tell if a fret is high if the ruler rocks back and forth on the top of the fret. – Alphonso Balvenie May 23 '19 at 18:43

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.