When pressing an individual string at lower frets on the fret board, I sometimes miss the string with my pick due to its height in relation to the other strings. In other words, I feel like the difference in action between the strings I hold down and the other strings is too great.

I'm guessing this is something that I will learn to put up with over time but my question is, should I have to? Or would an adjustment to lower my guitar's action all together alleviate this difficulty? I don't wish to sound like a whiner--I've been thoroughly enjoying my guitar so far! For reference, I'm a about a month/ 10 full man hours into my time with my guitar, averaging about 40 minutes of practice a day.


  • Sounds like your action is too high.
    – Tim
    Oct 27, 2015 at 20:04
  • @Tim: Agreed; I tried the "quarter on the 12th fret" measurement and there was definitely a lot of action. I'm wary as to what I should do--a lot of people I've read online say that mileage may vary if I take it to Guitar Center for a setup, but I definitely don't want to do anything myself that would render my guitar unplayable.
    – akappel
    Oct 27, 2015 at 20:08

2 Answers 2


Whether you do it yourself or have a professional do it (recommended) I suggest that you start by lowering the action. As a beginning player, you want to do everything you can to make your guitar as easy to play as possible.

The action on a steel string acoustic guitar can be lowered by sanding the saddle to lower it's height (not for the inexperienced) and/or by adjusting the truss rod (often a combination of both). On most electric guitars - the string height for each string is adjustable at the bridge. On most electric guitars, the intonation is also adjustable at the bridge and might require adjustment if you change the string height.

But you will still experience a more pronounced difference in relative string height as you fret higher up the fretboard (closer to the body). One thing that will help with that is simply more practice. The more you play, the less problematic that will become.

One other thing I might point out is that if you pick the strings closer to the bridge, the string height difference will be less pronounced.

Good luck and enjoy your journey as you learn to play one of the most versatile musical instruments ever invented.

  • Wow, thanks for the info! I'll definitely have to work on picking closer to the bridge.
    – akappel
    Oct 28, 2015 at 15:23

Adjust the 1th sting on the 12th fret to : 1.0-1.5mm

Adjust the 6th sting on the 12th fret to : 1.5-2.0mm

After adjusting the strings play all notes on the to verify that there is no buzzing (especially on the 4th fret) if so you'd need to adjust the truss rod‬‏.

Also make sure to fine tune the octaves (although it will never be 100% accurate due the fact that all frets are straight. As far as I know there is only 1 guitar model that manufactured to solve that issue with non straight frets)

You can purchase one of these :

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Good Luck!

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