Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Buzzing Noise When Not Touching Strings

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by zyx345, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. zyx345

    zyx345 TDPRI Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Northern NJ
    I recently installed a new bridge pickup in my Baja Tele and I've been noticing on high gain sounds, if I take my hand off of the strings I get a buzzing noise. Its on both pickups. Its not the normal 60 cycle hum from the single coil neck pick up either. If I touch the strings or the volume knob it stops. Also if I activate the noise gate on my POD XT it stops as well.

    Could this be a grounding problem? Bad solder joint on the ground connection?

    I was careful to make sure that my solder joints were good when grounding to the back of the tone pot.

  2. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    No, you've just got normal tele thangs happening there.

  3. woodman

    woodman Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free + Supporter

    Nov 28, 2004
    Mint Hill, NC
    Doublecheck all your grounds just for drill ....

  4. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    Is your bridge plate grounded ?


    Does the new pickup have a metal base plate ?

  5. Staggered Mag

    Staggered Mag Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2008
    New England
    I also say normal.

  6. neocaster

    neocaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 26, 2006
    Chester County, PA
    Bridge plate needs to be grounded in one of two ways:

    1. ground the plate at the base of the bridge pickup. (short length soldered to the brass plate, through the bridge wiring cavity into the control cavity. Solder the other end to the pot with the rest of the black wires already soldered to it.) As long as the screws that hold the pickup in the plate are conductive, it will also ground the bridge.

    2. Ground the bridge itself. Some Teles have channel drilled so that a wire can be run from under the bridge plate to the control cavity, where it can be soldered to ground (usually the housing for the tone pot).

    If the hum goes away when you touch the strings, it's usually a sign that the bridge and strings have no path to ground until you become one. Not dangerous, but annoying. Best way to test fast and easy is to slip a snipped piece of B or E string (from the last/next time you restring) under the bridge and the control plate. If it stops buzzing, you want to install that ground.

  7. zyx345

    zyx345 TDPRI Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Northern NJ

    Not sure if my bridge plate is grounded. A good guesstimate is no.

    My pickup does have a metal base plate. Its a GFS Lil' Puncher.

  8. sjtalon

    sjtalon Poster Extraordinaire

    >My pickup does have a metal base plate<

    O.K. your good to go there. The bridge plate (and strings) would be bonded to the pup base plate via the pickup mount screws, and the base plate would be connected to ground via one of the pup wires.

    Sorry,Fezz may be right, just your everyday buzz. Some pickups just love being antennas too.

  9. Thisisricha

    Thisisricha TDPRI Member

    Feb 1, 2010
    Hmm everyone seems to say its normal so maybe thats it...but I do know that that happened on my strat and i redid all the grounds and it went away...

  10. fezz parka

    fezz parka ---------------------------

    If he take his hands off the strings and gets buzz, he's grounded just fine. My guess is he's playing with a ton of gain. That's why the buzz is so loud to him.

  11. SamBooka

    SamBooka Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 19, 2007
    I have a theory that I havent been able to prove yet.Maybe someone can help (and help to OP as well)

    I have a Jazzmaster which is the noisiest guitar on the face of the planet
    (IMHO). I went waaaay overboard shielding it. Gibson-style braided shielded wiring everywhere. Shielded PU covers. This on top of the stock shielded PG and factory paint.

    In single pickup mode the guitar is STILL noisy. When using both pickups (RWRP) it is dead quiet. Ok, so I guess it is the nature of the single coil beast to be noisy unless you live in a farady cage. What I DID notice is that after doing all this shielding ther is no change in hum when i take my fingers off the strings.

    My old-school (80s) understanding was that by grounding the strings you ground your body. When you do that your body acts as a shield. If you have your guitar reasonably well shielded it will be quiet and adding the extra body-shielding (i.e. touching the strings) adds a negligable amount of shielding.


  12. Radspin

    Radspin Friend of Leo's

    Mar 7, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    Single coil pickups are noisy by nature. Try this--stand with your single coil guitar buzzing and then move around from left to right. You'll hit a spot where the hum is minimized. It's just the nature of the beast.

    A lot of two pickup, single-coil-pickup guitars are wired where you get hum cancelling when both pickups are on. A lot of Strats also have a RWRP middle pickup so you get hum cancelling in the 2 and 4 positions.

    It's normal for guitars to buzz when you're not touching the strings, and for the buzz to stop when you touch the strings.

  13. zyx345

    zyx345 TDPRI Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Northern NJ

  14. stlthinkin

    stlthinkin Tele-Meister

    Jul 20, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    single coil hum.

    with a noisy outlet or noisy room (rf-wise) hum can be very annoying. Single coils with high gain and some outlet noise or regular rf noise will sound like powertools.

  15. Nate443556

    Nate443556 TDPRI Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I'd say it's normal tele stuff. I play mine with the volume way up because I do a lot of tapping so I notice the buzz a lot. It can get worse depending on things from lights to weather to where it's plugged in.

  16. Trex

    Trex TDPRI Member

    Jan 20, 2012
    I had the exact problem with a Fender Lite Ash telecaster made in Korea.

    The guitar is properly grounded. I also tried to test this:i ran a wire from the bridge to the jack socket (ground) and it made no difference.

    The guitar is not at all shilded (no paint no foil no nothing). I didn't find any copper foil so i used just plain supermarket aluminium foil to shield all the cavities (a bit of work with no adesive but it seams to work great).

    The guitar is now quiet as a mouse it doesnt matter if i touch the strings or not!

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.