Topic: Hummin' Strings

Hey, y'all crack me up on these discussions!  Loved the one about the slipping picks!  Thanks for the chuckle!

I have a new Jasmine steel 6 string that I've "upgraded" from an old Fender nylon that for the life of me, I can't remember how I got it.  I'm very new to playing...just been 6 weeks...but I've been singing country, gospel, bluegrass practically all my life so I'm not new to music.  Strumming is all I'm doing so far and have enjoyed ALOT of songs from this site but I get frustrated when the strings keeps humming or don't quite sound on key.  I'm always double checking the tuning which sounds good until I play some chords.  All I'm playing are easy chords and I thought my trouble was the wider neck on the Fender, hence the new Jasmine.  I'm a girl with small hands and thought this would fix my problem but the steel strings hum even more.  Would changing the strings help this problem or am I just still too weak to press down the strings enough?  I read about the Elite strings here and thought that might fix this....

Open to suggestions.

Thanks for the help!

Re: Hummin' Strings

Welcome to Chordie, Newbie.

I'm only guessing, but the strings probably aren't the problem. There are a couple things that may be causing the "humming" or "buzzing". First, you may be touching extra strings with your fingers. A narrower neck may actually make this problem worse since the strings are closer together. It will just take practice to get it right. Keep in mind that you need to push straight down with your fingertips. If you have short fingers, it may be more difficult to come straight in on the string (again, practice). I think this may be your problem since you mentioned it got worse when you played chords.

Another thing you could do is make sure that you are playing as close to the frets as possible. This will help ensure that your string make contact with the fret and it will play the right note without humming. Once you develop more hand strength that won't be as crucial but it's definitely a good habit to get into. Again, practice, practice, practice. You've only been at it for six weeks, you'll get the hang of it after awhile.

You could try new strings as well. I would suggest going with light or extra light gauge (lighter gauge strings don't sound as good, but they are easier to play). I think you may be talking about Elixer strings which are expensive but good. They're what I use (polywebs). But keep in mind that if you change the gauge of your strings, you will change the action of your guitar (how far the strings are from the fingerboard). Take it into a shop and figure out what gauge strings are on it and if you're going to change the gauge, have the tech change the strings for you and set it up for you at the same time.

I know this was a long answer but I hope this helps.

"Do or do not, there is no try." Yoda

Re: Hummin' Strings

Like crowellb said, the best habit to be in is make sure you're fingers are as close to the frets as possible. Sorry I can't help you more, but I have no experience with nylon string guitars

You have to forget about what other people say; when you're supposed to die, when you're supposed to be lovin'. You have to forget about all these things. You have to go on and be crazy. Craziness is like heaven.
                                                        -James Marshall Hendrix

Re: Hummin' Strings

Or take it to your local music shop for a basic set-up.