Problem With Buzzing Base String

ZeeAviatrix
ZeeAviatrix
@zeeaviatrix
4 months ago
5 posts

 

[/quote]

That can sometimes be attributed to a string that is not tight enough for the note it's being tuned to. With a slightly too slack string, your finger pushes the string right down to the wood much more easily, bending/pulling it to sound a bit sharp.  Also a slightly slack string will much more likely hit the frets when it's vibrating.  Again, for both these issues, I suggest you put on a wound bass string that is not so thin as your current .022.    Try a .024 wound.

[/quote

I see.  I will definitely try that.  Hope it works and will let you know! 

 

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 months ago
1,667 posts

ZeeAviatrix:

@ Kusani

Thanks, what's weird is that the string is in tune when played open, but sharpens when you use the frets.  That doesn't make sense to me.

That can sometimes be attributed to a string that is not tight enough for the note it's being tuned to. With a slightly too slack string, your finger pushes the string right down to the wood much more easily, bending/pulling it to sound a bit sharp.  Also a slightly slack string will much more likely hit the frets when it's vibrating.  Again, for both these issues, I suggest you put on a wound bass string that is not so thin as your current .022.    Try a .024 wound.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
ZeeAviatrix
ZeeAviatrix
@zeeaviatrix
4 months ago
5 posts

@ Kusani

Thanks, what's weird is that the string is in tune when played open, but sharpens when you use the frets.  That doesn't make sense to me.

ZeeAviatrix
ZeeAviatrix
@zeeaviatrix
4 months ago
5 posts

[quote="Strumelia"]

"I suggest you try a new bass string, and try one that is just one size thicker-  like a wound .23 or .24 instead of your .22 . That will increase the tension a bit so it won't buzz against any frets while vibrating. 
Also, the windings on an old string may have flattened out a bit at the nut or bridge area, slowly lowering the string by just enough to start creating buzzes.... a new string would solve that as well.  

Wound bass strings tend to be the first string to age and start sounding 'dead' anyway- so it's a good thing to replace the wound thick string on your instrument if it's getting old."

Thank you, Strumelia!  I will try that as well.  The strings are new since last August but I really don't know how long strings are supposed to last.  I play every day for a good 30-60 minutes, so they're getting a pretty good workout.

 

ZeeAviatrix
ZeeAviatrix
@zeeaviatrix
4 months ago
5 posts

[quote="Skip"]

I suggest  you check the string height first. Try sliding a dime under the strings right next to the 1st fret. It will probably drag or not fit if the slot in the nut has worn a bit. Call the Dulcimer Shop for advice and order another nut also. The bridge should also be checked by sliding a nickel on top of the 7th fret. 

 

Thank you, Skip!  The nickel fit, the dime did not.  I definitely think the strings are too close to the 1st fret and some adjustment will need to be made.  The string is definitely buzzing off the 1st fret.  Thanks for the tip!

 

Strumelia
Strumelia
@strumelia
4 months ago
1,667 posts

I suggest you try a new bass string, and try one that is just one size thicker-  like a wound .23 or .24 instead of your .22 . That will increase the tension a bit so it won't buzz against any frets while vibrating. 
Also, the windings on an old string may have flattened out a bit at the nut or bridge area, slowly lowering the string by just enough to start creating buzzes.... a new string would solve that as well.  

Wound bass strings tend to be the first string to age and start sounding 'dead' anyway- so it's a good thing to replace the wound thick string on your instrument if it's getting old.




--
Site Owner

Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Skip
Skip
@skip
4 months ago
236 posts

I suggest  you check the string height first. Try sliding a dime under the strings right next to the 1st fret. It will probably drag or not fit if the slot in the nut has worn a bit. Call the Dulcimer Shop for advice and order another nut also. The bridge should also be checked by sliding a nickel on top of the 7th fret. 

The toothpick effectively shortens the VSL.


updated by @skip: 05/16/19 09:10:11PM
Kusani
Kusani
@kusani
4 months ago
123 posts

By slightly raising the string you have increased the tension ever so slightly which could cause it to be 'slightly' sharp down the entire fretboard. Retune that one string and see what happens. 

ZeeAviatrix
ZeeAviatrix
@zeeaviatrix
4 months ago
5 posts

Hello,

I bought a custom McSpadden dulcimer about one year ago, after deciding to learn how to play, and I have really enjoyed it.  It has a wonderful, mellow sound and has been a pleasure to play … until now.  Within the last few days, my base string has started buzzing in an annoying way.  It looks to me like the vibrating string is hitting the first fret.  (It might be my imagination but I believe the melody string is starting to sympathetically buzz as well, as of today.)

I have read every Forum Discussion on buzzing strings on this site.  Someone suggested using a toothpick to raise the string slightly.  Well, when I did that, the buzzing stopped but every note down the string was off key (slightly sharp), which doesn't make a lot of sense to me since the adjustment is right up to the nut. The base string is original and is a wrapped .22 string.  I read where someone said a newer string might buzz more than an older string in one of the forums, so I don't think the age of the string is a factor.

I play my dulcimer every single day and I am wondering if I have already worn something out!  Is it possible for a nut or the grooves in the nut to deepen?  I feel nervous about having someone work on it because I am wondering how they are going to fix it without messing it up.  

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated since I am fairly new to the dulcimer world.

Many thanks!