High E (1) 0.36mm, 12 fret: .063" Measure the distance from the top of the 12th fret to the underside of the lowest (fattest) string. You didn’t specify what kind of guitar you have, but it’s safe to say that with action THAT high you need a proper setup. You did the right thing by putting it back where it was. Going to insert it and then see. What is a “high action”? They’ll adjust the truss rod, deepen the nut slots (if necessary), and shave the bridge. If not, you’ll need to sand the saddle a bit. So, watch that page, or join my email list to be notified as soon as it’s available. If I fret around the 18th fret with the D string it buzzes hard, even deadens quickly. Relief: .002" at the 12th fret Since I’m not quite at the recommended .2.5 or 3 millimeters open string spacing, yet have barely any clearance at the first fret when I press the string down at the third fret, what approach should I take? I recently bought at Yamaha F335 to learn to play. I’m here to teach you how to work on and maintain your own guitar and show you what the best tools and products are, but also let you know when you really should take it to a pro instead. Tip: Do your best to hold the ruler level on the top of the fret while you measure. Zacker, you’re correct. Here’s a video that gives an overview of the technique, but please heed my warning above before you try something like this yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8egzm_Gwuyc. Here are the things I use to measure string height (useful for other guitar measurements too): String action gauge in millimeters or inches. It’s normal for the string height to be a bit lower under this string: Reading the height on the high E string can be a little tough. Second question: If I can’t go lower the only option is to remove the whole bridge and sand it down (of which personally I am not cable) or is there anything else I can do? The action … In other words, you’ll have to take the saddle out of the bridge and place the paper shim underneath it–and you’ll want it actually under the high E string (the far end of the shim), not under the B string, otherwise the saddle might rock like a seesaw. You’ll take this measurement at the 12th fret with the strings open (unfretted). Hi Harry. what about the 4 middle strings…..I’ve just bought some nut files and was thinking of lowering them, could I use the 3rd fret method and lower them all so the are a whisper above the first fret when I am pressing the string down on the third fret? When you lower the saddle, even if done right you might get some string buzz depending on how good your fretwork is (or the general condition of your frets). So, according to what you see here, the string height of my low E is roughly 2.1mm. I’ve just bought an action ruler and at the 12th fret both my Low and High E’s are at 3.5 mm, and 0.75mm at the first fret. Just because it’s a “spot” job doesn’t mean it’s for the average DIY-er, and you can royally screw it up if you don’t know what you’re doing. Some measure action by first placing a capo at the 1st fret before taking their measurement. Never adjust a guitar just for the sake of adjusting it if nothing’s actually wrong. Steel-string acoustic guitar How to Clean and Polish Guitar Frets [Step by Step], Action! I’m wondering if I have either a Low fret at the 17th or a high fret at the 18th, and mostly only on that spot either at the 17th or 18th around the D and G strings… or if this is correctable without a fret-job but something else instead? .... you can click on most of the assembly photos on this site to enlarge them for a close look? When I was a beginner I had the same exact problem and it discouraged me from wanting to learn guitar. However, I definitely think you could get by with a spot level, so push for that instead. Measure from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. Also, there are no absolutes with guitar work–referring to “ideal measurements” and tolerances. .090" It sounds like you’ve either got: 1) a slightly high spot on the 19th fret, or 2) a low spot on the 18th fret. Relief: .002" at the 8th fret Low E (6) 2.30mm Do not measure string height with the guitar on its back, because gravity will bend the neck just enough to make your measurement inaccurate: Always make such measurements with the guitar upright in the playing position. The action for the rest of the strings is adjusted proportionally between these. To your other question, nut height mainly affects action in the lower registers. To be clear: you’ll sand the bottom (flat side) of the saddle. However, there’s a hitch… those spots. Carefully slide the ruler up to the low E (6th) string so that it touches the string but doesn’t move it. The wear shows up on the first 5 frets of the thinner strings. My question is: Is it ok for a beginner to try to lower the action? Yes, all that stuff about the nut still applies so you have to be very aware of this.


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