Is there such a thing as picking too hard?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by jonyorker, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. jonyorker

    jonyorker Tele-Meister

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    Since I've been practicing a lot lately, and getting much better than ever (for me anyways) I noticed that I've got some buzz going on that I think has to do with me picking too hard...

    For example, I'm playing Tennessee Whiskey, chording away, no buzz or anything. Move up the neck to do the solo part, and I've got some buzz going on.

    If I lightly pick, no buzz, if I play the way I "normally" would, I get buzz.

    Is this me picking too hard? Is there an adjustment to the guitar I need to do such as neck relief/string height?

    Thanks!
     
  2. corliss1

    corliss1 Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    Could be both - could be picking too hard and still need a setup tweak. If you've got a local shop you trust they can check it out. Only takes them about 5 seconds to tell if a neck needs a tweak.
     
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  3. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    Yea, sounds like a setup issue.

    I only say that because I can really dig in on any of my guitars and not get an inordinate amount of buzz.

    The harder you hit a string, the wider and faster the elliptical motion. So if you are picking as hard as required and its buzzing badly I'd say there's definitely a setup issue.
     
  4. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you've got a string gauge it's relatively easy to check the guitar as Fender has really nice specs on setup:

    https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us...ow-do-I-set-up-my-Telecaster-guitar-properly-

    The only thing with their instructions is they act like the nut is not a factor... seems like almost all guitar companies do and they definitely don't set up the nut on anything except the super high end stuff.

    You don't even say what kind of guitar it is though.

    My MIM Tele has a spot midway up the neck that seems to be the limiter for how low I can set the action.. it starts getting buzz in that area. (example E5 or F5 power chord as 7th/8th fret on 5th string) My guess is some fretwork would help, but that might be expensive. I don't really need it. My only other guitar is a Taylor acoustic and it doesn't exhibit any similar symptoms.. however because it's got heavier strings some of the stuff up the neck is just inherently harder to fret.
     
  5. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

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    Ditto to the prior posts. Another factor my be what gauge strings you're using. It could be that as your playing has improved, you're hitting the strings a bit harder and could benefit from using a higher gauge string that accommodates harder picking. I used to play 12s for exactly that reason.
     
  6. Old duck

    Old duck Tele-Meister

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    Different players like to have the string height set up higher or lower, depending on their playing style. There isn't really a single "correct" setup for everyone. I have arthritis in my hands, so I setup my guitars up with the action lower than most folks because it's easier for me to play. The low E and A will sometimes buzz, but you can't hear it through an amp.
     
  7. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Pick incredibly hard or play low action buzz-free. Choose one.
     
  8. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Also (I'm sure most of the above is right), hard picking sometimes calls for a change in your usual "attack", the angle and slope at which the pick contacts the strings. If there's any lifting or plucking action in your attack, hard picking could cause the strings to snap back against the frets, there's your buzz, when they don't do that when you pick more lightly.
     
  9. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    One more option that hasn't been mentioned yet is you can turn up the volume and have a lighter touch with the pick.

    Adjusting string height isn't rocket science. You might want to look up couple of YouTube videos on how to do it and give it a shot.
     
  10. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a friend who spent a lot of time playing but never really improved. He'd scratch the bejesus out of any pickguard on any guitar he played. Like digging grooves; big ol' channels. If he didn't hit the actual guitar finish you were lucky. Regular pick too, Fender Medium just like I used. Not sure what was up with that, but I stopped letting him play my guitars after he did it to two of them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  11. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    When you're doing your setup, or having it done, make sure it's done with your preferred string gauge (preferably on a new set) and preferred pick. Obviously, the harder you pick, the more buzz you're gonna get. There may be a point where you expect to get buzz, and you should be set up accordingly.

    There are lots of points on the guitar that produce buzzing- bridge, saddles, nut, frets, etc. If you get a pro to set it up, make sure you test it before you take it home and fix whatever might be the problem. The technician should have already checked all of those things... that's what you're paying him to do. Of course, you're also paying him to set the intonation. If he makes a truss rod adjustment, it should be rechecked up to 24 hours later.
     
  12. '64 Tele

    '64 Tele Tele-Holic

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    This ain't no acoustic at no hootenanny
    Finesse.....:rolleyes:
     
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  13. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    If your nose starts to bleed - ease off.

    That booger ain’t goin’ nowhere , take it easy , use your pinky, finesse it !
     
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