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"Fretting out" question

newswede

Member
Messages
1,236
Hi there!
This pertains to an Eric Clapton Stratocaster. I'd been noticing a slight buzz when I go up top and bend the high E string. It started to get more pronounced but I didn't think too much of it. After taking a 2 week break from playing (vacation) my hands just seemed weak so I changed from 10s to 09s...feels great and I didn't really have to even adjust the intonation. Problem is, from the 13th fret up (only on the high E) when I bend 1 step it buzzes real loud and 1.5 steps it frets out! Only on that one string. Any ideas on what I can do other than not bend the E more than a step?

Sorry for the long story everyone...just thought I'd explain it all. lol Thanks!
 

newswede

Member
Messages
1,236
Thanks Jackson! I guess I'll try that. It seemed too low with the 10s (I had a hard time gripping it) but with the 09s I had no problem. I'll give it a shot.
EDIT: If only I could find my allen key!
 

Keyser Soze

Member
Messages
1,472
Going to the lighter gauge strings, with resulting lower string tension, you may have lost a little relief in the neck, or your trem may be resting a little lower on the body.

Raising the action or slightly tweaking the truss rod should get you back where you were. I'd start with raising the action a little bit. If you can't get clean notes at an acceptable action height then consider adjusting the neck.
 

newswede

Member
Messages
1,236
I'll keep that in mind and try to raise the string first. The bridge is tightened down and the tremolo is blocked, so no movement there, but I'm sure there was some truss rod movement. Seemed to be a little higher action but nothing worth adjusting unless I had to - since I plan on putting 10s back on when my fingers get a little stronger. I strum pretty hard and like the extra tension, but for now am enjoying the ease of vibrato and bending while building up my calluses again.


Going to the lighter gauge strings, with resulting lower string tension, you may have lost a little relief in the neck, or your trem may be resting a little lower on the body.

Raising the action or slightly tweaking the truss rod should get you back where you were. I'd start with raising the action a little bit. If you can't get clean notes at an acceptable action height then consider adjusting the neck.
 

Mike Fleming

Member
Messages
1,228
Neck relief is always changing a little on guitars, so I'd have a look at that too and adjust it (truss rod) if it's higher than you usually have it - or if it's too low. Then once the relief is set, adjust your action. Low action with incorrect relief can exacerbate fret-out.
 

fumbler

Member
Messages
1,471
Your location says "the Arctic" so I'd guess that you are currently experiencing extremely low humidity. This will cause your neck to backbow as will your recent change to lighter strings.

You should definitely adjust your truss rod first. Then saddle height if necessary.

Good luck.
 

newswede

Member
Messages
1,236
Thanks everyone. Raised the string height on the E and am going to see how it goes. Wasn't planning on adjusting the truss rod if I could get away with the current action, because I'd like to go back to the 10s soon. As for the humidity level - true, Sweden has its ups and downs. My place is probably overly dry, but it'll alway be a battle. I do have a humidifier and am thinking of firing it up this week.
 

Mike Fleming

Member
Messages
1,228
Thanks everyone. Raised the string height on the E and am going to see how it goes. Wasn't planning on adjusting the truss rod if I could get away with the current action, because I'd like to go back to the 10s soon. As for the humidity level - true, Sweden has its ups and downs. My place is probably overly dry, but it'll alway be a battle. I do have a humidifier and am thinking of firing it up this week.
Just fyi, I adjust the truss rod more frequently than anything else. when the relief goes a little too high or too low everything is affected. Often you find yourself adjusting action to make up for incorrect relief, which will actually decrease the playability and performance of the guitar.
 




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