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I'm taking advantage of the lockdown to learn to play electric guitar. When I play an F on the first string by pressing it near the first fret, I notice a weird sound (like a buzz) after I release the string. I am not touching the fret with my finger. The issue is also that the string is still vibrating after this, so an E is also played.

Is it normal? Does the string have to stop vibrating when it's not pressed anymore?

Sorry if it's a basic question, I am self-taught.

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One possibility is that you are releasing the string too slowly, so at some point, when the string is no longer pressed firmly against the fretboard, but not yet completely released, it buzzes against that fret.

A similar buzz will happen if you are fretting a whole chord, but some of the strings are not pressed properly against the fretboard

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If you only want to play the F, you have to stop the string from vibrating when you want the sound of F to stop. When a string is vibrating, it takes a few seconds to stop and if you release the note you are holding, it's quite understandable for the open string note to sound, because most likely the string won't stop vibrating! In addition to this, you might be releasing the string in a such a way that causes the string to vibrate even more.

So, you can use either one of your hands to stop the string from vibrating and thus to prevent the E note from sounding. What I usually do is to release the F (which I press with my first finger) and using some of the free fingers of my fretting hand, I mute the string.

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As I understand the question, you play a chord or a note, and when you lift your finger/s it causes an open string to vibrate straight after.

You might have sticky fingers, which will pull the string as you let go.

You might be inadvertently doing a pull-off, and moving a finger slightly sideways as it comes away from a string.

In very slo-mo, do what you do, and watch and listen carefully. What you could do to eliminate it is to release pressure, so all strings are muted, then remove fingers from the string/s.

It appears to only happen on one string? Thick or thin E - they get confused name-wise!

With either, the above is likely to be to blame. What note are you playing next? Could you actually release pressure on the offending stringfret and leave it damped? Another solution may be to mute with the palm of the other hand, momentarily, although that can get tricky.

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  • No, it happens with all the strings. Here I am talking of the first string ( thin E ). If I play a G after the F, I get G, open string vibrating ( E ) and then G. It's definitely not the expected result – user1482030 Mar 29 at 15:45
  • But after playing 1st fret, why not finger 3rd fret (G) straight away? There's no need to take fingers off. – Tim Mar 29 at 16:00
  • I see, I will try that. – user1482030 Mar 29 at 16:03

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