I need some technical advice please

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by Yukimajo, May 13, 2020.

  1. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I have an issue when playing on the higher frets which is the nasty buzzing sounds that you can hear when I play a note. Please excuse the playing on the video, I am recording acoustically so yu can hear the noise and am not trying to be melodic. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

    To give some background to this noise:

    It is the picking hand that is causing it,
    It isn't fret buzz or a set up issue (was set up by Hugh Manson's team)
    It is more prevalent on the higher frets
    It is worse when plugged in, especially with a little (11 o'clock) gain.
    It's not string degradation as I have had a new set of strings on and it still happens.

    I know why it's happening, it is the pick coming into contact with a string that is already vibrating and it is the noise of the string vibrating against the pick as I go to play a second note. The problem is I have no idea how to stop it. It happens on my Les Paul as well, but I don't recall it happening on my Grestch G5420T when I had that (which I sold to get the Strat) I use a Jim Dunlop 1mm nylon pick, but I have also tried a celluloid, metal and wood one and all have the same result. I have tried using a .6mm pick and it is better but still there. I am wondering if the noise didn't occur on my 5420 because I had 11s on it and the Strat has 9s (the LP has 10s) but this is really clutching at straws.

    I have tried the pick as flat as possible, coming down at an angle rotating the pick and nothing. Still the same chuffing noise.

    In the video I play in the middle, closer to the neck and closer to the bridge. It is worse closer to the neck but the tone next to the bridge just isn't appealing. Can anyone help please?

     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
    GOOBALL JEFF likes this.
  2. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    394
    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    If it’s really a pick issue, try holding your pick differently. Use the pointy end and turn it 45 degrees so you get a sharper attack.
     
    GOOBALL JEFF and Yukimajo like this.
  3. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    Thanks for the response. Sorry I should have said, I have tried the pick as flat as possible, coming down at an angle rotating the pick and nothing. I will edit the post to mention this as well.
     
  4. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    If it is what you think it is, I think the velocity of the picking, if the pick hits the string quicker, there is less time for it to buzz on the string. That would likely force picking closer to the tip of the pick.

    Think strike, strike, strike.

    I kind of like your picking, it is even and seems effortless. You have a slow pendulum motion. I was looking at my picking last night, it is more chop, stop, chop, stop. The volume control is either in how much pick hits the string or how firmly the pick is gripped at the moment it strikes the string.

    Another thing you can do is mute the string with your fretting hand. I think you start doing this naturally, or maybe after playing a lot of funky music, but you just slightly lift that fretted finger up and put it back down before you pick the next note. It's all over in a fraction of a second.

    Do you get the same thing strumming?

    I hear fret buzz.

    I can't tell but for sure, but I feel like you press pretty hard on the fretboard, because I hear the notes bend up a bit. Try to fret with the minimum amount of pressure possible, just enough to make a clear note. This takes a long time to master, and you will continue to do it for years when you play with emotion, so you need to be mindful of it and try to intervene when you notice it. You will play the same, really you will, just you wont damage your hands and you will be faster and freer.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
    new6659 and Yukimajo like this.
  5. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    There was a bit of fret buzz as well I agree, but it is interesting what you say about the picking speed, I'll give going faster a go and see what happens. I'll also try to get used to fret hand muting. It's odd, I had no trouble doing it on the bass, but the Strat is giving me all sorts of grief.

    Strumming is fine because by the time the string is getting hit again the vibration has calmed down. And yes I think I do tend to press too hard on the frets, comes from being a bassist! I am trying to be gentle.
     
    Hammerhands likes this.
  6. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    Winnipeg
    By picking velocity I mean downstroke faster, stop, upstroke with more velocity, stop.
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  7. Gibbsy

    Gibbsy Gretschie

    145
    May 6, 2020
    London, UK
    Have you asked Mansons about it?
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  8. Jelly Roll Horton

    Jelly Roll Horton Country Gent

    Nov 10, 2017
    Portland, OR
    At my skill level (low intermediate), I think I would go back to my luthier and play the instrument for her or him to demonstrate your concern, if this is possible in your location. It seems like it might be some minor adjustment of instrument or hands that is easily addressed. Good luthiers know this stuff. If your luthier set it up, they want you to be happy.
     
  9. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    I have had a chat with one of the technicians at Manson's and he said it's called 'pick squawking' and happens all the time, especially on single coil guitars, the only way he knew to prevent it was to never play above the 12th fret. Helpful.

    I think I am just going to have to practice different picking techniques and eventually a couple of different guitars. I want to risk my shoulder hurting and have a go on a 5420t to see if it happens on it and I never noticed.
     
  10. Gibbsy

    Gibbsy Gretschie

    145
    May 6, 2020
    London, UK
    Can't say I've ever noticed it.
    Then again, I rarely play past the 12th fret - don't like getting my hand dusty!
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  11. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    The chap I spoke to didn't seem to grasp that I had the issue as well on a Les Paul and that is was there when playing acoustically, so I really didn't see the relevance of it being more prevalent on a single coil guitar. I guess getting out of the habit of playing that far up the neck would be a good thing anyway, I have huge hands and it's aways a bit of a squeeze down (up?) there.
     
  12. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I do find thin string gauges like 9s have a somewhat uneven amplitude compared to heavier gauges, making them sound buzzier if your playing is a bit ham fisted.
    How that would apply to your situation I’m not sure...
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  13. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Synchromatic

    Age:
    41
    667
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    it's going to sound worse on a strat i think, there is something about the space under the pickguard which causes a banjo like quality to the sound unplugged, i have heard this on some guitars before usually strats, to my ears with the headphones on that guitar resonates weirdly and i think its a combination of maple fretboard which has a glassy sound and the cavities under the pickguard and the pickguard it's self plus a bit of fret buzz, i think? but your picking technique is unusual not in a bad way of course! use a heavy pick i hate flimsy picks
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  14. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    Thanks for the response, I didn't realise the Strat was such a noise box!

    No offence taken, but out of curiosity, what makes my technique unusual please? I was using a 1mm pick in the video, which is my preferred size, but the .6mm that I have started using seems to lessen the noise (although the strumming noise is greater).
     
    GOOBALL JEFF likes this.
  15. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Synchromatic

    Age:
    41
    667
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    just the way you hold the pick, i got my girlfriend to take a quick pic (babies have nothing to do with picking technique) you hold pic with you fingers clossed in like this kinda thumbnail_IMG_2184.jpg i hold mine like this which gives more control thumbnail_IMG_2185.jpg
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  16. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    Thanks for the photos. I think it's a hang over form my first guitar teacher, he was a jazz/classical player and it kinda stuck. I'm glad it's not the baby thing, I haven't got one of those laying around!
     
    GOOBALL JEFF likes this.
  17. GOOBALL JEFF

    GOOBALL JEFF Synchromatic

    Age:
    41
    667
    Oct 1, 2019
    london
    haha! i'm sorry if i made no sense lots of other people here who will probably know much better than me. exeter is beautiful by the way one of my favorite places in england, i stayed in porlock for a couple of weeks too which is such a lovely town, do you know it?
     
    Yukimajo likes this.
  18. lathoto

    lathoto Synchromatic

    656
    Apr 23, 2020
    Ohio
    Have you ever tried a Dava pick? The design concept is that you can vary the pressure in your grip to change the stiffness of the attack. I am an advocate of different picks from time to time. On another note, "all the money is in the first five frets."

    https://www.davapick.com/
     
    GOOBALL JEFF and Yukimajo like this.
  19. jetbunny

    jetbunny Electromatic

    85
    Mar 29, 2017
    NYC
    Sitar/Banjo/whatever we call it, it's there.

    I echo everyone said here—your technique needs improving. You fret too hard and pick harder too, add a low action and it will drive you nuts, guaranteed.

    Ask a more advanced player to play the guitar (as is) for you. See if the problem disappears.
     
    GOOBALL JEFF and Yukimajo like this.
  20. Yukimajo

    Yukimajo Gretschie

    Age:
    51
    441
    Nov 4, 2018
    Exeter UK
    Not tried the Dava picks yet, but I'll try anything once! I am beginning to be remonded of the old classic:
    Patient: "Doctor it hurts when I bend my arm this way"
    Doctor: "Stop bending your arm that way then"

    If I am getting irritating noises past the 12th fret, don't go there seems to be the simplest answer! I'll still check out eh picks you mentioned though.
     
    GOOBALL JEFF likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.