I have a problem with my guitar. I play on an acoustic Larson Bros guitar, which is a hand-made quality guitar, but I have a "buzz", or better, a "dead note" on the second fret of the d-string. I had several luthiers diagnose the problem, but none of them could help me. After searching the internet for similar problems, and after trying several guitars, I found out that this seems to be a problem in most guitars: the second fret on the d-string (or the g-string). In some guitars you barely hear it, but in other guitars (usually "better" guitars), the problem is more outspoken. I have read treads where luthiers explain the dead note as a result of interference with the natural frequency of the guitar body. However, when I turn down my strings (f.e. 1/2 step down), I STILL get the "buzz" on the SECOND fret. And more, I have this on EVERY guitar. It's always that second fret, even if I turn down (or up) the tuning of the instrument. I am absolutely sure that I'm not the only person who's got this problem, and I would to know if anyone has a sollution, or a suggestion to diminish the buzz.


My own sollutions are:

1) adapt your playing style. I play with my fingers (when playing with my fingers, I hear the "buzz" better than with a pick), and every time I have to play that second fret, I try to play it a little softer.


2) Use a thumb pick when the attack on this note has to be more pronounced. As I said, by using a pick, the buzz is less noticable.


3) Add weight to the body of the guitar by glueing things inside the body. This way, the natural frequency of the guitar changes. I have tried this, but unfortunatly it didn't work...


Any other suggestions are welcome. I want this problem to be finally solved, not just for me, but for everyone who's bothered by this horrible note on the d-string.

Tags: buzz, d-string, dead, note

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Never heard of this on a guitar. Problem is well known on 3rd fret of bass guitars on the low E string, but not on guitars.

Would you please try to put an A string or G string instead of a D, and tune it to A or G, to see if you still got the problem.

I assume set-up is perfect and frets are perfect too.

The setup indeed is perfect. I did what you suggested - I changed the D and the G string, but I still had the buzz, now on the G-string (so, I have a buzz on one position on my guitar, and apearantly it has nothing to do with the tone I'm playing: both the mi and the la are messed up in that position).

It's not a fret buzz, since the buzz seems to come from inside the body of the guitar... it almost souds as if the screw of my truss rod is vibrating, but it's not.

Any ideas?

I replied too late to see this new post.

Maybe you have a loose brace?

I'm pretty sure I don't have a loose brace. I let several luthiers inspect the guitar, and they didn't find anything...

Hi Philippe,

 Does anyone else hear this buzz when you play? I have a very good ear and I don't recall this problem on any of the many guitars I've played.

I used to know a man that had a similar issue with every guitar he played. We, that is, all of his friends that play, decided that it must be in his ear and that, perhaps, there are resonate frequencies that cause the bones in his ear to buzz. In any event, last time I heard, he was still looking for a guitar that didn't buzz. 

Yes, and I also hear the buzz on records, so it's not my ear :)


Firstly, take good care of that Larson, there are not many out there.

Do you have a pic?

As to the issue at hand.

I have not heard of this problem either.

To me the second fret on the "D" string is one of the most important notes for playing "E" blues or rock.

I have personally never had this problem. I have also never heard of this from a customer.

If there is significant difference between "picking" and plucking with fingers, then it's not the guitar.

It must be the angle of your picking.

Personally, I like to pluck with my fingers. This gives me LESS buzzing than picks do.

I would suggest that if "better" guitars are more pronounced then those guitars are telling the "truth" (so to speak) more than the cheaper guitars.

Logically speaking, if you are personally experiencing buzzing/dead notes on ALL guitars that you play, then it must be your playing style.

I could be very wrong here, but that's where MY logic takes me.

Don't get me wrong, I play harmonica and for the first year I had a hard time believing that there was NOT something wrong with my harps.

But then again, I had someone tell me early on that if I had buzzing on my guitar, the first thing to suspect was myself.

So whenever I heard buzzing or dead notes I immediately looked at myself and what I might be doing to cause it.

Then, look at the guitar for faults.

The truth is, most excellent guitar players (not myself) can sound fantastic on just about ANY guitar.

But if it's my playing style, how come I only hear it on that 2d fret? I have no buzz on any other note I play, except there... If you want I can send you a pic :)

Could it be at the nut if not enough dn/tension to a tuner..or a loose tuner?Too large a slot for string?






My tuners aren't loose. Is there a way to know for sure if the slot is to large? I'm not a technician myself, but a luthier told me my nut is perfect... so I guess the slots are fine? Also, if the problem was at the nut, wouldn't I get the buzz only when I play open strings?



Check everything mechanical for looseness (tuning machines, pick guard, strap buttons, truss rod cover, etc). It is possible the truss rod itself is rattling, even though the adjusting nut is snug. Also, check to see if the string is ratting against the first fret.

Another thought: Some of the Larsen guitars had laminated braces. It's possible a lamination is loose, even the the entire brace is still affixed to the top.



Hi Joshua, nothing is loose. And the truss rod is also fine... I checked for lamination on the braces, but they're just wood. I removed the Larson sticker inside the guitar (who knows?), but the buzz is still there...


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