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Unusual buzz on 5th string: asking for help

James Owl Smith

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I need some help from my fellow guitar players that use this forum just like i use to do.

Recently, i noticed quite an uncommon problem when playing one of my guitars in open G tuning: there's an important buzz on the A string when i play this string open. This strange phenomenon never happens on any other string played either open string or not. I mean it's really a buzz of a kind, nothing to do with sympathy resonance. The strings i use are Martin light gauge "Eric Clapton's choice",  and what i hereby did my best to describe occurs even when brand new strings are used. Besides and that's not a bad joke, that damned thing happens with my Martin D28 only; needless to say that such a thing didn't ever  happen with my Gibson Hummingbird by the way.

Can anyone help me, please?  Either a good piece of advice or an explanation would be much appreciated. Thanks very's for your time.

God bless you!

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I assume you are tuning the A string up two frets (to be a B).   And, that when you fret the returned string, it does no longer buzzes. If so, it likely is the nut hanging up a bit. If it buzzes when you fret the retuned 5th string it could be your saddle is slightly too low.  But, if the retuned 5th string only buzzes in it’s open position, try loosening the string and seeing if there is any small burr in the nut slot making the string hang up or rattle that you can quickly/readily file away.  I’ve also heard some say smalso try using a pencil to add a bit of pencil lead into the nut slot to making it a bit smoother in the a lot to prevent a string hanging up.  Worth a try.  I’ve never tried it, as I’ve just taken a very small file to Just quickly remove a burr if one occurs with one slide of the file.

Another alt is of course as Leonard McCoy said to simply bring it to a luthier who can probably readily fix it.

Keep us posted.

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff


Edited by QuestionMark
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2 hours ago, docr said:

How about open G with a A string tuned down to G (and E string to D) - then the lower string tension could cause the buzz?

With open G with an A string tuned down to G, buzz is present and quite awful.

When E string is tuned down to D, buzz is sometimes present though not always.

When 1st string is tuned to E, no problems would occur.

When 5th string is tuned to A, no problems either.

If the lower string is the actual cause of that buzz (and you're right on that basis for sure), what should i do in order to remediate to this damned  thing? Being kept in mind that my V-shaped neck set up is not supposedly fitted to Medium strings tension. Thanks for your post docr my Friend; much appreciated.

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