Help please. I’m trying to play Leaving on a Jet Plane with the Rock G but no matter what I do, I’m getting buzz from 3rd and 4th finger on 5th and 6th. It’s actually been an issue of mine since I first bought the guitar two months back. I may have already brought it up here….not sure. Memory isn’t what it used to be. The two thinnest strings, 5 and 6 sound so tinny irrespective of attempting a chord or not. I’ve wondered if I should take it back to where I bought it to see if they’re laying too flat of the fretboard or whether it’s just me and I’m lousy at this chord and every other one using those strings. I’ve even put the guitar away and come back the following day, all refreshed ready to try again but nope….it’s still buzzing. Any tips would be gratefully appreciated

Thank you


Hello Cate,

Any chance of posting up a quick video of the problem? Bit hard to offer suggestions withour seeing/ hearing exactly whats happening.
Do the strings buzz on frets either side of the 3rd fret, or any other frets?
Do any other chords containing the B and e strings buzz? ie D, Dm, C, A
Do any other syrings buzz at all?

If you’ve been experiencing it for 2 months, we need to help you get it sorted, whether it be a guitar problem, or a technique problem.:+1:

Cheers, Shane


Okay, so when I bought this guitar, it was when I first started learning so a lot of what you’ve said is first, so appreciated Shane, thank you……but double dutch. However, I did just go up and down the board on 5th and 6th and yes, they’re a little buzzy/tinny. Just not a pleasing sound at all. I realise those strings aren’t going to produce a rich sound but definitely not pleasant. It’s not an expensive guitar Yahama APX600, which was all I could afford when I first started in January but the chap said they’re a good beginners so I’m hoping he’s right.
As for a video, I’d probably have to wait until my son gets home from work to film anything…sorry. The ol ‘tech challenge’ is one of my fortes.

Sorry if none of that makes sense Shane but super grateful for your reply


Yamahas are good quality guitars, so you should be fine there. Have you queried the shop you bought it from? Im assuming its new from a guitar shop? They should be only too glad to help you out if its only a couple of months old.

Cheers Shane

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Thank you Shane. It was brand new and the shop owner was really helpful and lovely. They’ve been in business for years with a great reputation, which is why we went there (my brother, also first timer, bought himself a fender dreadnaught). I’m going in on the weekend to buy a hard case so will take it in and ask him what he suggests. Again, it may just be me but I’ve not had issues with the other chords I’ve picked up so far, excluding the horrid F. In the meantime, I’ll keep practicing again tonight.

Thank you so much again Shane

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Hi Cate, this sounds like the key point from your first post. I take it that it is the same just trying either of the 2 strings on their own at that third fret? Do they happen to also do the same at higher frets too? It does sound, to me, like it’s more a guitar setup issue, especially as you say you’ve not had issues with other chords. But I would also say that something like this should be a really minor tweak to your guitar setup that your store can sort for you.

One really minor thing to also correct you on, is the string numbers work up from the thinnest string, so the thinnest (high E) is string 1, second thinnest (B) is string 2 etc. Not wanting to come over pedantic with it but Justin will start referring to strings by numbers during the course and it might cause confusion otherwise!!

Hope you can get the buzzing sorted asap, happy strumming! :slight_smile:

Hi Mark

Thank you for perhaps remembering from my initial post about this issue, which was a few weeks back….maybe. The twang issue I raised somewhere. And re the string numbers, I went to write 1 and 2 but then questioned myself. Thank you. Definitely not pedantic at all. If I’m going to learn more about the guitar, I need to know the right terminology. I’ve tried the 3mm test for fret height and it’s definitely not lying that high. I measured some cardboard with a measure tape and I was lucky to get 2mm thickness to slot in so like you say, a simple tweak from the shop could perhaps raise the nut (?) or whatever it was to help lift the strings a fraction. The other strings aren’t so bad however, when I give my brothers dreadnaught a go, I love the warmer tone it has compared to mine. I realise two diff guitars and I know they’ll produce diff sounds but mine is a little two twangy. Hopefully it’ll get sorted on the weekend

Thank you so much Mark


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Ah yes, now that comes back on your earlier topic Cate!! I suspect it might just be a minor truss rod adjustment from your store to sort it rather than the nut.

When I started to learn again a couple of years back I was using a very old guitar that had sat in my loft for ~20 years that I needed to do some tweaks myself at home with, hence why I bought that string ruler thingy I mentioned before. The action on the guitar was shockingly high which I got to a usable state with truss rod adjustment. But at one point I took it too far and brought the action too low, resulting in a similar experience to what you’ve described hence my suspicion. I think what happened there was whilst it was easy to fret, the action being too low was buzzing off other frets higher up the neck. Of course I’m definitely no expert, your shop most definitely will be!!

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That’s right, you were the one suggesting the ruler that you bought from Amazon, if my memory serves me right?
F because of not having one, I improvised with cardboard and a standard measuring tape. I then used a pick, measured the thickness of that and it’s able to stay there and it’s about a mm In thickness so hopefully it is something simple that they’ll be able to fix….if of course it’s not me.

Thank you so much. Really appreciate your help Mark


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Hi Cate

There’s a whole series on JG on guitar setup that I’ve just been through:

This is for electric so if yours is an acoustic then there is less possibility to adjust the bridge end but to me your problem sounds like the nut. There is a video in Justin’s series which shows how the guitar tech, Charlie Chandler, checks the nut. If the nut slot is too deep then that will mean a new nut which is about 30 mins work for a guitar tech.

For anyone interested, as I’ve been googling this myself in setting up my own guitars, the ‘neck relief’ recommended for both Gibson and Fender electric guitars at the 8th fret is 0.100 inches or 0.254mm. Charlie says 0.0100 in the video so that is spot on. On my Fenders the ‘string height’ spec at the 17th fret is 1/16 inch about 1.6mm.

I’m just off to buy a feeler gauge now…

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Thank you so much Peter. I’ll go have a search for it. Just then I was playing with a bit of classical picking with chords E and C, so no touching the 1st string (as in using it in a chord, just the string alone) and it was super ugly on the ears. Hopefully they’ll be able to sort it when I pop in tomorrow because I have no clue how to fix nor want to try or I’ll end up wrecking it.

Thank you Peter


@CateB You might just want to check the nut. Hold the first or second string down on the third fret. If the string is already touching or in contact at all with the first fret, then the nut is cut too deep. You should just be able to push the string down onto the first fret a tiny bit whilst fretting the third fret. If it’s a big push down then the nut slot needs cutting deeper…

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With the 3rd fret, there is a push. Quite a decent space between string to fret yet 1st fret, almost lying on it. Does that make sense? I’m thinking it’s just me perhaps. Not sure but when not holding the string down it’s still got an awful ping to it.
You have to forgive my extremely limited knowledge. Complete novice

I really don’t think a beginner should be filing nut slots. And if you’ve got a friendly guitar shop down the road where you bought it, that’s an easier way to get the truss rod adjusted properly.

Buzzing vs tinny sounding strings are two different things. Your guitar is quite a good beginner one btw.

Buzzing first. That’s either technique or guitar setup. Easy way to check. Fret your G chord and strum just the two thinnest strings. Buzzing? Now stop the G, and use your strong fingers, index and middle, to fret those two thin strings on the same fret (third fret). Buzzing? If it buzzes with both, you probably need the truss rod adjusted. If just the first, it’s technique.

I noticed from your earlier posts you’re in Brisbane. So am I. It’s quite humid here. Your guitar is wood, and it will have adjusted to our climate and changed shape. Truss rod adjustments for new acoustics are quite normal, and necessary.

The other thing. Tinny sounding strings. You probably just need new strings, and best go to a decent kind. If you want warm rather than tinny (quite common) go with Phosphor Bronze strings. You would want coated strings. Either Elixir or D’addario XS would be my recommendation. The guys in the guitar shop can help you out with those too.

It’s best to do truss rod after changing strings, not before - as different brands of strings have different tensions.


I never suggested the OP should file the nut slots. I was trying to identify the problem and what the solution might be that a tech would undertake. By the sounds of the recent replies, sounds more like truss rod and there are ways to check this as previously described. I apologies again if all this is OTT.

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I think I knew what Peter was suggesting re the nut perhaps needing adjusting and definitely not by me. I’ll be taking it into the Guitar Centre in the Gabba where I bought it and see what they think. Super nice guys in there. I did what you suggested re the G using the index and middle and it’s definitely warmer, which leads me to thinking it’s most likely technically me but there is still a slightly tinny or twangy unpleasant tone to it, without fretting it at all. Just a slight bit too harsh on the ear. Mostly the E. It definitely has been humid but because of being at home most days, and ouch to recent elec bill, I’ve had the air on virtually every day so it has been living in a nice environment, albeit costly. As for the strings, for my birthday recently, my son (god love him) went into the Valley to a music store there and bought me a guitar case (huge dreadnaught one despite telling them I have an APX) so that will be going back but he also picked up some strings for my….Elixer Phosphor Bronze 11/52. So I’ve got those that you’ve suggested and thank you regarding the Yamaha. I’m notorious for buyers remorse and was worried I bought a dud guitar although for just over $600, I felt it should be okay for a beginner and so far, it’s great. I love it. I do love the sound of my brothers, as it’s a nicer warm tone but I’m 5”1. He’s 6”3. I really struggled with the size of the dread. The APX suits me fine. I only bought it on 4/1. I’ll take it into the guys at the Gabba and they can either adjust it, change the strings or deflate my confidence, telling me it’s just my technique…or lack thereof :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Thank you so much. Grateful for all the helpful feedback

No Peter, all good. I knew you weren’t suggesting I do it. Not at all. :slightly_smiling_face:

No problem. Snow on the ground here this morning. Good luck with your guitar…

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I wish. :hot_face::slightly_smiling_face:

AC reduces humidity, which may cause the wood in guitars to shrink.

Central heating also reduces humidity…here in Canada it’s quite common to need a truss rod adjustment at the start of the winter heating season.

I had to loosen my truss rod early this winter, because…wait for it…my e string started buzzing. :wink:

It’s a very simple adjustment that only takes a minute. If that turns out to be the solution, try to get the tech to show you how it’s done, so you can decide if you want to tackle it yourself in the future.

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