Fret Slide Screeches

by Rookie
(San Diego, CA)

How can I reduce the ear-piercing screeching that occurs when I slide my fingers (calluses) from one fret to the next while playing my acoustic guitar?

Hi, Rookie--

First of all, the string noise is not all bad and is even sought after by some guitarists. That said, it must be bothering YOU, so here are some observations.

New strings tend to be noisier because they have not yet absorbed the oils of your hand. Also, strings that are set low tend to be easier to play but noisier.

So--what can you do? First, I DO NOT recommend using the commercial preparations that are designed to be sprayed on your hands. They just gum up your strings and fret board.


Some of the noise can be controlled simply by improving your technique in switching between chords. Try lessening the pressure on the strings as you move to the new chord.


Try filing down your calluses just a bit. They are there for protection, but oftentimes they become thicker than necessary.


This is a very simple solution: Get coated strings. They tend to eliminate noise. Here are some examples:

Elixir 80/20 Bronze Anti Rust Polyweb Medium Acoustic Guitar Strings

DR Strings EXR-11 Extra Life Clear Coated Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Guitar Strings

Hope this helps. Check out Absolutely Free Guitar Lessons.


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