Guitar Repair Help Please

Strat makes doubled notes on 15 fret

I have a 79 Strat with whammy bar that makes a funny doubled note on the low E string only on the 15th fret and higher. It is almost as if there is another note being played as well but not in the correct key. I am told it might be a sympathetic vibration but I can’t find it. Pehaps the springs.

Have any of you experienced this? Any ideas?

I know it is off topic but I can’t record if the guitar doesn’t sound good.



Old guitar…needs new frets perhaps?

It doesn’t seem to be the frets. They look and feel good. The string is not hiting the other frets and it even does this on the very last fret where the string can’t hit anything else.
Thanks for your reply.


two things to try.

1. Is the string behind your finger (toward the nut) ringing

2. Jam some soft foam foam rubber under the trem springs. My strat needed this to stop spring ring.

Hope this helps


Is it other strings ringing that you need to mute with your palm or fret hand? Certain notes may cause them to vinrate sympathetically.

It may be that you need to get your guitar serviced and they can see whether you need a fret redress or your neck adjusted.


I’m with Rich on this one.
My local guitar shop charges me 20$ to put new strings on, set the intonnation, ajust the neck, and tune it. It stays in tune for about a month after that!
Well worth the money IMHO. Based on the post info I’d say it’s the bridge. The shops probably gonna tell you you need a new bridge, or springs and such. Don’t fret though bro, you can find all kinds of used parts for these classic on Ebay!
Just be careful, if you don’t know what your doing you can do more damage than good.

keep shinin’ and try to stay positive. :blues:


Do you have a Guitar Center near you? Did any of you know that they have a guitar "station’ set up at all of them where you can take your guitar in and have the “string height, intonation, etc,” set up every year (recommended) and be out the door in a 1/2 hour? I just did this, and the kid doing it knew exactly what to do, and had me out the door before I was ready.

I would recommend this, and hope you get a young kid that actually knows his stuff (I was fortunate at the Glen Burnie, Md site).

Weird stuff should always be gone over with guitar repair professionals before doing anyting else man.

How old are these strings? This could be a critical item. If the strings are old or have been played a lot in within a few weeks, they could be worn out. Change the strings and see if it still occurs.

Are you hearing the other note when the guitar is amplified? If not, I wouldn’t worry about it. It may be that you are hammering these particular notes when you don’t mean to. You may even not be aware of it.

Pickups to close to the strings can do it, too. It’s mostly with pickups that have strong magnets. The pull of the magnetism acts as a bit of a bridge right where the pickup is, so you can get these odd overtones. It doesn’t have to be the active pickup, but any pickup close to the strings. Fretting higher on the neck may bring the strings closer to the pickups than fretting farther down the neck, and the lower notes are farther away in pitch of the phantom harmonics produced so it’s not as obvious for two reasons. The fix is to lower the pickups or go to pickups that have little magnetic pull, like Lace Sensors since this is a strat.

But it could be the tremolo springs, just like TrackGrrrl mentions. They will ring a lot more when the notes played are close to the springs natural resonance. Check that first. I bet that’s it.

I’m with phoo on this one.

I’ve found that the strings are generally tensioned to a point that would prevent any buckled spring in the bridge or whatever resonating. Worth checking over though. I had 3 springs out, for example, in an old Westbury (Gib copy) that I hadn’t noticed (for years probably).

Being thicker and less tensioned, the bottom strings will vibrate to a greater extent than the top strings. This is where you need to check the height setting of your pick-ups. In theory you are working the string at the point it is most likely to come in contact with a pick-up

I had just picked it up from the guitar technician yesterday which prompted my post. He put on new strings, intonation, bridge adjutments, etc… and thought he had solved the problem, and it is better, but not gone. It is not that often that I play the E string down that far on the neck. So not sure how long it has been doing this.

It is not any of the other strings ringing. Not the strings from the nut to the tuners. The pickups were lowered some and so that appears not to be it.

The same notes played on the A string do not produce the sound so tonight my plan is to play the notes on the E string with a slide, if it still does it then it is not the frets for sure and must be the springs. I will try the foam and or hold them to see if that is it.

Also it may help to go to a smaller string gauge. I am using 10’s, perhaps 9’s would be better.

I played another 79 strat at the shop and it did it too a little. That one did not have a trem so I was thinking that it could be something that old strats did.

thanks for the help