I plug my bass in and it starts buzzing right from the start, it plays, and sounds great, but buzzes...I tried different cords, and even different amps, same results..I plugged another of my basses in, and no buzz!!!

  • It's likely a dirty or corroded jack. I've been told that TV tuner cleaner will help but I have no idea where such a substance can be obtained.
    – Don Hosek
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 3:08
  • 2
    Can you give more details? Is the buzzing loud or quiet? Is it 60 cycle hum or something more distressing? Does it change when you touch the strings, wiggle the cable, turn the knobs, rotate your body left to right? Does it go away if you select both pickups together? Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 4:42
  • 2
    Need much more detail.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


I believe you’ve isolated the problem to the instrument itself. Has it always been this way? It would help to at least know the instrument and pickup configuration. If it is a single coil pickup (or two pickups and you’re only using one of them) you will get a hum or buzz like @luser droog mentioned in his comment. This type of hum can be fairly loud but not as much as a live instrument cable unplugged from an amp. If it is that loud then you need to check the internal electronics for dirt and loose connections as well as the jack like @Don Hosek said. If the jack is just dirty some alcohol on a Q-tip might do the trick. If it’s corroded then the corrosion needs to be scraped off or the jack replaced.

You can also pick up interference from lights and other electric and electronic devices if the instrument isn’t properly shielded on the inside. Turn the instrument in different directions and move around the room. If the intensity of the buzz varies adding foil tape inside the cavity might help.

  • A cheap cable can also be the cause. a lot of times, people confuse a speaker cable for an instrument cable.
    – S. Imp
    Commented Sep 1, 2020 at 19:03
  • 1
    @S.Imp cheap cables and using a speaker cable instead of an instrument cable can lead to problems like you say but I don’t think that’s the case here since OP said he tried different cables and that the sound with another bass was clean. Commented Sep 3, 2020 at 5:03

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