How to Fix Fret Buzz


Fret Buzz is Annoying!

Fret buzz is one of the most common problems to effect guitars. If you are experiencing it, you’re not alone. As a full time luthier and shop owner, I’ve probably fixed several thousand cases of fret buzz. In this article I’ll share the top 8 causes of fret buzz and I’ll also share the secret that I’ve learned about fret buzz (a secret so obvious that most guitarists completely overlook it).

The Top 8 Causes of Fret Buzz

1. Back Bow in the Neck.
2. Forward Bow in the Neck.
3. Action too Low at the Nut.
4. Action too Low at the Bridge.
5. Your Picking Attack is Off.
6. Using Alternate Tunings.
7. Uneven Frets.
8. Any Combination of the 5 Possible Causes Above.

The “Secret” About Fret Buzz

The secret about fret buzz is that it’s usually caused by mechanical or structural problems with the guitar or bass. More specifically, fret buzz is usually the result of a bowed neck or low action. The good news is that these problems are easily fixed by running your instrument through a setup. The bad news is that most guitarists don’t know how to fix these problems.

The Number 1 Way to Fix Fret Buzz

The number one way to fix fret buzz is to run a guitar through a setup. It’s that simple. A setup will correct mechanical and structural problems in a guitar or bass. Among other positive effects on your instrument, a setup can straighten a bowed neck, raise the action to the correct level, improve intonation and, overall, make a guitar a whole lot easier and more enjoyable to play.

How to Do a Setup

Doing a setup is pretty easy. It only requires, desire, knowledge and a few common tools. Now that you know what a setup can do for your instrument, and playing, you probably have the desire to get your guitar or bass setup.

Find a Luthier

A luthier is the name of someone who works on stringed musical instruments (some luthiers build them too). There are many talented luthiers who will do an excellent setup for you, but finding one can be a big hassle. If you can find a professional luthier to do a setup for you, it will cost you between $50.00 to $100.00 to get a professional setup done. Of course, if you’re not happy with the results, you’ll either have to haggle with the luthier or just except the results you get. Also even though there are some standards in a setup, every guitarist has certain preferences for how their instrument is set up. It will take some time for a luthier to become familiar with your personal preferences.

DIY (Do-It-Yourself!)

As a counterpoint to paying someone to do a setup for you, you can also do one yourself. An electric guitar or bass setup is five steps. An acoustic guitar setup is just three steps. The first time you do a setup it might take you an hour or two (compare this to taking your instrument to a shop and waiting 24 to 48 hours for a setup to be done). By setting up your own instrument, you’ll learn how to do it in such a way as to suit your own preferences as an individual player.

Each time you do a setup you’ll get better at it and become more competent. Chances are, before too long you’ll have your guitar humming and playing like never before.

Learn How

Now back to the problem: knowledge. If you’re still reading you definitely have the desire you’ll need to be able to learn how to setup a guitar or bass, but you might not have the knowledge you need. If this is the case then you’re in the right place. This website is full of information on how to setup a guitar or bass from start to finish.


Most people are visual learners. Watching a DVD is one of the best ways for you to learn how to do a setup. Books tell, videos show and tell. For that reason, we’ve put together a couple of DVDs which will teach you the entire setup process from start to finish. The DVDs are full of insights which I’ve gathered over my thirty plus years of setup experience, (plus a few added bonuses and extras). In these DVDs I’ll show you how to get rid of fret buzz, straighten a guitar neck and set the intonation, action and pickup height properly and much much more.

Each one of these DVDs will individually cost you less than the cost of a having a professional setup done.

Electric Guitar and Bass Setup and Maintenance DVD–>

Acoustic Guitar Setup and Maintenance DVD–>

Free Setup Tutorials

Click the Links Below for Free Setup Tutorials: