Modulation signal bispectrum (MSB) analysis is an effective method to obtain the fault frequency for rolling bearing, but harmonics make fault frequency dense and even frequency aliasing. Carrier frequency of bearing is generally determined by its structure and inherent characteristics and changes with the increase of the damage degree, so it is hard to be accurately found. To solve these problems, this paper proposes a sparse modulation signal bispectrum analysis method. Firstly the vibration signal is demodulated by MSB analysis and its bispectrum is obtained. After the frequency domain filtering, the carrier frequency is computed based on the characteristics of energy concentration at the carrier frequency on MSB. By shift-frequency MSB (SF-MSB), the carrier frequency is moved to the coordinate origin, the entire MSB is shifted for the same distance, and SF-MSB is obtained. At last, the bispectrum is shifted to the frequency zero point and diagonal slices are performed to obtain a sparse representation of MSB. Experimental results show that sparse MSB (S-MSB) method can not only eliminate the interference of harmonic frequency, but also make the extracted characteristic frequency of fault more obvious.