String Buzz


The Usual

I live in Ontario Canada, and we just got hit with a major heat wave. Now my A, E and D strings are buzzing. The A string is really bad. I am assuming that the heat/humidity are the culprit. When I raised the bridge, however it didn't make any difference. Any advice? Oh yeah, the guitar is a '92 les paul studio.
Thanks in advance


if the strings are buzzing when played open, then it's more likely that there's something going on with your nut.

I would check the bridge saddles, too.
It's a tune-o-matic, isn't it?

But first of all, have you tried a fresh set of strings?...


John Phillips

If it was OK before and the climate has changed, I'd take a bet it's none of those things.

It will be the neck having moved backwards due to the changing temperature and humidity so it's now too straight, or even bowed back.

Hold the G string down at the first fret and the 17th, with the guitar in the playing position. Look at the gap between the string and the 7th and 8th frets - it should be about half the string diameter, but my guess is that there will be no gap at all on your guitar now.

You can adjust it with the truss rod; you need to loosen the nut (counterclockwise looking from the head end) until the relief is about right, then just give it a little tweak back tighter again to (hopefully) prevent the neck continuing to move. Check it again after a day or so, and if necessary readjust.

This is quite normal BTW, especially with mahogany necks.

It's also possible that the neck has developed a twist (which may be why you're finding the problem only on the low strings) but I hope not, since that's really a lot more difficult to fix...


I'm having the same issue with one of my Melancons. (I posted a question about it on his forum.) I've yet to change the strings, if it persists after I do, I'll try adjusting the truss rod.

The Usual

Thanks John. I think that was exactly the problem. I found some decent articles on line regarding truss rod adjustments and I backed off about 1/4 turn. It's much better now. The only string buzzing at all is the A, and it is minimal. I also did the intonation while I was at it, and the whole thing sounds better. It's amazing what you can learn when your guitar guy is on vacation. Here are the links I found, and if you are new to this like me, read the warnings about the hazards of messing with a truss rod.

And one more thing I learned after making a wasted trip to the hardware store. The device used to turn the nut is not an allen key, but rather a socket that goes around the outside of the nut. I tried a bunch of keys out that just didn't fit in the middle before I realised that I was supposed to be using the nut, well, like it was so obviously designed, as a nut. I know, I know. In the end a 8mm socket and a hand driver worked like a charm.

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