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Funky Dunky

harmonics at 9th fret

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I don't know if this is a gear issue or a technique issue so mods, feel free to relocate this to the appropriate forum.

Whenever I play, the harmonics at the 9th fret keep sounding, regardless of where on the neck my left hand is fretting.

My Squier VM PJ has a pretty high action - it hasn't had a set up yet because I don't have fifty quid to spare right now lol. Is my issue related to this, or simply something to do with bad technique?

Edited by Funky Dunky

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Well this is the thing - the nut seems like it may need filed down. I'm no expert, but the action seems very high there. I'm terrified to touch the truss rod, and don't have the tools to file down the nut. I would rather a pro did the first set up but as I say, skinto....so that's out. I'm scared I make it worse or damage it and cost myself more money in the long run. Watched some videos on setting up the bass but I'm only confident enough to tweak the saddles.

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390654617' post='2347953']
Well this is the thing - the nut seems like it may need filed down. I'm no expert, but the action seems very high there. I'm terrified to touch the truss rod, and don't have the tools to file down the nut. I would rather a pro did the first set up but as I say, skinto....so that's out. I'm scared I make it worse or damage it and cost myself more money in the long run. Watched some videos on setting up the bass but I'm only confident enough to tweak the saddles.
[/quote]

Tweak that truss rod. It's easy. Do it a quarter turn at a time. The tighter the truss gets the straighter the neck will end up and the lower the action will be. When you loosen the truss rod it puts a bow in the neck, and your action gets higher. The trick is never to use too much force and overtighten the truss rod. As long as you follow that rule, your bass will be ok.
You can then fine tune your action, via the saddles at the bridge, if need be.

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Don't forget to detune before you tighten the truss rod. If you don't you have a much higher risk of stripping the thread. Apart from that it's easy, just don't force it if it feels tight.

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390654617' post='2347953']
Well this is the thing - the nut seems like it may need filed down.
[/quote]

Have a butcher's at these:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HOSCO-Nut-Slotting-Files-Bass-Guitar-/151153507703?pt=UK_Guitar_Accessories&hash=item2331737d77

Best £65 I ever spent - it's amazing how much of a difference a little bit of nut filing can make to the playability.

Oh, and best of luck with the truss rod - I've always been fearful of adjusting that one myself!

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Those harmonics you're hearing might be sympathetic resonances coming from your open strings - you might try a fret wrap (hair scrunchie) behind the nut as a dampener - I'm using some velcro cable ties as cheap fret wraps - I bought a pack of 10 from Asda, 10"/25cm straps just about wrap double around the neck/nut area.

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I will try the scrunchie. Seen Guthrie Govan with that on his guitar, genius idea.

I attempted the truss rod, a quarter turn at a time. I have made the action significantly worse. I then tried tweaking it back in the other direction and it's still somehow worse. I will just have to sell.a kidney and get it done by a pro. I ain't fooking with it any more. :-(

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390660541' post='2348045']
I will try the scrunchie. Seen Guthrie Govan with that on his guitar, genius idea.

I attempted the truss rod, a quarter turn at a time. I have made the action significantly worse. I then tried tweaking it back in the other direction and it's still somehow worse. I will just have to sell.a kidney and get it done by a pro. I ain't fooking with it any more. :-(
[/quote]

In the short term, it's probably the best option. But seriously, learn the basic adjustments you can make and lose the fear. Once you understand how it works, you can make your bass life much more pleasant without extra expense.

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390665861' post='2348112']
I'm in Beith sadly, about 18 miles from Glasgow. Thanks for the offer though, I appreciate it. I'm a novive bassist so I'm a bit out of me depth.
[/quote]

well, if you're coming to Edinburgh in the near future I'm sure someone here can have a look. I know a thing or two, and know another BC member here who knows a lot more and builds his own instruments that he may be able to help too. ;)

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DON'T adjust your trussrod for this! (especially if you don't know what you are doing or why)
The tr's is job has very little to do with the symptom you describe. The intonation may be out (and probably is) but you said you have a weird noise no matter where you play. This strongly suggests the permanently fixed points : ei. your nut or the saddles. A single string issue indicates a saddle problem (or a duff string). 2 or more strings narrows the culprit down to the nut (given a regular configuration). 8 times out of 10 this sort of pain in the arse anomaly can be attributed to the nut not being set correctly. It could be alleviated by dampening the string beyond the nut but it doesn't address the main issue that's causing it.

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[quote name='Ou7shined' timestamp='1390668222' post='2348157']
DON'T adjust your trussrod for this! (especially if you don't know what you are doing or why)
The tr's is job has very little to do with the symptom you describe. The intonation may be out (and probably is) but you said you have a weird noise no matter where you play. This strongly suggests the permanently fixed points : ei. your nut or the saddles. A single string issue indicates a saddle problem (or a duff string). 2 or more strings narrows the culprit down to the nut (given a regular configuration). 8 times out of 10 this sort of pain in the arse anomaly can be attributed to the nut not being set correctly. It could be alleviated by dampening the string beyond the nut but it doesn't address the main issue that's causing it.
[/quote]

Ah, now this is very interesting! Thanks for sharing this information, most helpful for diagnosing future problems.

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As I'm nowhere near you either, here's a link to a good tutorial:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te44eWXd9pc

Keep us informed about how it goes

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Yeah I went with that one before I did the adjustments. It didn't go well. I haven't the tools to do the nut filing and I don't have feeler gauges either. But the truss rod adjustment seemed straightforward enough. All I've done is make it worse. Now my neck is bowed and my action is higher than ever.

I loathe myself.

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390672069' post='2348217']
You a dons fan chief?
[/quote]

If I had to choose then yes.... but I'm more a F1 nut

[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390675386' post='2348270']
....
I loathe myself.
[/quote]

It's not your fault mate..... but I did warn you. :ph34r:

Message [url="http://basschat.co.uk/user/236-7string/"]this[/url] guy. He's down your neck of the woods and does (or did) good setups and should be able to get you out of this.

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Hey Dunky! Don't take it bad, mate. It will all be alright in the end.

If it is not alright, then it is not yet "the end".

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[quote name='Funky Dunky' timestamp='1390665861' post='2348112']
I'm in Beith sadly, about 18 miles from Glasgow. Thanks for the offer though, I appreciate it. I'm a novive bassist so I'm a bit out of me depth.
[/quote] almost played a festival in Lochwinnoch that our singer was involved in organising.

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