I've changed my guitar strings gauges recently from .09 to .10 and I feel like the Fender style bridge is a little bit higher.

I used to use .10 gauges most of the time and there was no problem at all but only one time I changed from .10 to .09 because the local store did not have .10 gauges.

Now I'm back to the .10 gauges but it feels like the bridge is a little bit higher on E standard tuning.

I tune D standard most of the time and the bridge was always settled on the body but now it's not. It's a little bit higher.

I don't know anything about setting guitar up and I just want to know if I should be worried about this. The guitar stays in tune and everything works fine. What do you think?


3 Answers 3


A Fender floating bridge (tremolo) might have adjusted a little higher with the lighter gauge strings. If it is a tremolo bridge, did you adjust the spring tension at all? Normally working the trem bar will get bridge back to a neutral position. If the intonation is good and it stays in tune then mechanically you're ok. The action feeling higher becomes a matter of personal choice, whether to lower the it or not.

To verify, use a feeler gauge it will tell you. Put a capo on the first fret and measure at the seventeenth (between the fret and the string). Do it with a set of 10's and set of 9's (same brand as you have been using). Specs and setup instructions are on the Fender site.

Fyi: a friend recommended D'Dario 9.5's, I've been using them ever since. Good luck.


Since you've switched to a thicker string which requires more string tension, you probably need to tweak your truss rod to counteract that additional tension. Although you describe this as "upset my bridge", I suspect that the additional tension has increased the neck bow and consequently raised the action.

Any time that you switched strings and change the tension on the neck, you may need to visit the setup basics, which include the truss rod. For a similar answer and good related comments, see Does 12-54 to 13-56 gauge change require a re-setup?. While I have addressed overall tension, Todd's comments concerning nut slots are also applicable when moving to a larger diameter string.


Is it a strat style guitar (or bridge) ?

If so, there are some springs in the panel on the back of the body whcih counteract the tension of the strings, and you can adjust the springs according to how tight (hard to push) the tremolo should be. It's a taste thing: there's no right answer, but I guess your bridge had settled to a level that you're used to. note that the number of springs varies : I've seen two, three, five springs. My strat has three.

If you went from .10 to .090 then back to .10 again, I'd expect the point where the bridge settles not to move much or maybe not at all, but if you want it set back to how it was, you can just tighten those springs again using the large screws which hold them into the body of the guitar. You don't need to move them much to make a difference.

It;s a bit of a surprise that it hasn't just gone back to how it was originally with .10 strings though. However given the sequence of events, it can almost certainly be accommodated with adjustment (a guitar tech can do this easily if you're concerned about doing it yourself). I really doubt there's any damage.

One further thought: It's not just that there's some muck stuck under the bridge, is it?

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