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When playing an acoustic guitar, where/how should you place your fret fingers to eliminate the buzzing sound? Answered

I'm beginning to learn how to play guitar and I am using a regular old acoustic guitar. However, when I try to play chords, the notes seem to buzz. Where and how should I be placing my fingers to eliminate this buzz?

6 Replies

planes123Best Answer (author)2010-04-01

I have been playing for about 5 months so I am no expert but I can tell you what I have done from a beginners viewpoint.
Like some may have said here is learn the open chords.  The ones that "don't" require a barre.  Barre is when you lay your index finger from the high e to the low e to cause your index finger to become the nut.  The white plastic piece at the start of the frets.  This is done to cause the guitar to start its scale from a higher octave. 

You learn these open chords A B C D E F G in their major and minor forms.  Just keep playing them until they sound clean with no buzzing.  While practicing them take time to check your fingering by holding the chord and pick each string to make sure the strings sound clean then strum it so you know what it sounds like.  Just keep doing this and practice switching from chord to chord.

In the process you fingers will get stronger.  Don't be concerned with how hard it is to do or how slow or uncoordinated your fingers feel.  It's likely you will feel dorky in the beginning and many times the chords will sound wrong.  But just keep at it and make sure to practice switching between chords.

Personally, it took me about 2 months of practicing 1 to 2 hours per night to be able to switch from chord to chord with ease.  5 months later I am playing pretty fast between chords.  But you will find as you play songs new chord progressions will pop up that are hard for you.  For example, a recent song I was learning which would be considered intermediate, was causing me some problems.  I had to switch from e to b to a pretty quickly.  I had to take a night or two and just keep playing this progression over and over.  Now it is pretty easy to do.

Another point that may be more important than everything I have written so far.  That is scales.  I can not stress enough how important scales are.  Look for the tabs for the diatonic scale.  This is a scale of whole notes.  You will find it very difficult at first.  You may even have to move one of your fingers with your strumming hand just to get it in place.  But keep going.  You may be surprised at how good you get at it.  Then learn different modes of scales.  There is the dorian, pentatonic and  four others.  I have these modes downloaded as an image which I refer to over and over again.

I have spent an hour a night just playing scales for the first two months.

By concentrating on the above for at least an hour per night and slowly adding songs to my skill level, my playing ability is at most others who have been playing for a year.  Yes, a little bit of a self serving statement but it also may show how fast you might go.  Others may be faster and slower in learning-each at his own pace.

One final note.  You can learn all the notes on the frets by memorizing the open strings and how whole and half notes appear on each fret.  I might also search the web for the term CAGED for helping you to learn.

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iamdan (author)2010-01-13

make sure ur playin w/ the tips of ur fingers (don't be laying down ur fingers unless it is a bar chord u r playing)

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octopuscabbage (author)2009-11-05

Right behind the fret. not to close, not to far. A lot of times buzzing, especially with open strings, is the guitar not you. Also a lot of times its you not pressing down hard enough. it takes time.

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dab2000100 (author)2009-04-23

its not youre fingers you just need to tension the bow in the neck of the guitar

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landmanhall (author)2009-02-08

Try putting them directly behind the fret, pushing the string slightly down into the space between the next lower fret. If you still have a buzzing sound , you may have an uneven fret or two.(all of the frets should be even when a straight edge is placed on the neck. Also a loose tuning may cause the sound as well as overly hard picking. Just experiment to see whats right for you. Everybody plays a little different. Practice EVERY DAY at least a 1/2 hour. Pick easy parts from songs (AC/DC Back in black intro, Scorpions Rock you like a hurricane intro, Judas Priest Breakin' the law etc. They are fun and easy to play while making your fingers tough and strong. There are tons of free tabulatures on the net!!! Have fun!!!!

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Chicken2209 (author)2009-02-08
3 solutions to get rid of buzzing

  • Your fingers need to be in the middle or on the lower part of the fret. If its near the top, your not getting a good amount of pressure on the string.
  • Even though your fingers may hurt a little bit, you'll grow a tolerance to it. With that, you can push down harder which will get rid of a bit of buzzing. When I started it buzzed but 2 months later it faded away
  • your action may need to be adjusted. During seasons, the neck can bend and warp. On the head of your guitar, theres a panel that hides a screw to adjust it. To check if your action is good, hold down the 2nd fret (i think), and around the 12th fret (i think), there should be enough room for a business card

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