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12

TL;DR The short answer (thanks, @RockinCowboy!) is that usually you want your action as low as possible, without hearing any fret-buzz, especially if you are just starting with guitar. Now the longer answer... There are advantages to both a higher and lower action on a guitar. In fact, it is often appropriate to have a higher or lower action depending upon ...


12

The lower the fret action, the more buzz you will get. Your ideal height will be based on what you need. Unamplified, many of the really fast guitarists have fret buzz all over the neck. Personally, I use a reasonably high action on most of my guitars (about 3mm at 12th fret) because I dislike buzz and have quite a hard picking action. I do have two guitars ...


12

Optimum bridge position is all tied up with the position of the sound post (which can be moved) and the bass bar (which can't). There's also the matter of getting used to playing a fiddle with non-standard dimensions, which may be counter-productive. A new bridge isn't expensive. Treat the violin to one, and a set of standard weight strings.


12

Producing a sharp angle for the string over the fretwire makes for a clear, clean sound. So just behind the fretwire will be a good place. It also means not having to press down on the fingerboard so hard - keep the same pressure on and move a finger around on a fret - lower, wider frets will show better, and you'll find more pressure is needed for a clear ...


11

The top string is a little too low, so as you get to the dusty end, it's catching on the fretwire of fret 20. If that's the only problem, raising the saddle on the the string should be enough to get it sounding past fret 17. There's a faint possibility that the fretwire itself is just too high - check using a ruler - not to measure, but as a straight edge. ...


8

The proper place to fret a string is close to the fret wire. Your finger should be right behind the fret. You should not have to apply a lot of force to depress the string. A lot of beginners make the mistake of thinking that you can place the finger anywhere between the frets with the same result since the fret defines where the string stops but this is ...


6

Fret buzz isn't necessarily a sign of a poor setup, because some players want low action and can accept some fret buzz. A guitar tech should discuss this with a player before doing a setup. Having strings fret out when bending is more serious and I would expect a tech to make sure this isn't happening, unless a player said they don't do string bending and ...


6

Your guitar may need to be "set up" properly. This means getting it into its best playing condition, and in particular, it includes adjusting the height of the strings above the fretboard (called the "action"). If the action is too high, the strings will be difficult to press down, just as you are experiencing. If the action is too low, the strings will buzz ...


6

Put a new set of light gauge strings on it and adjust the truss rod accordingly to give just a bit of neck relief. It needs adjusted from time to time especially if you change string gauges. It may have had heavier strings put on at some point—which are great for tone but harder to play if you aren't used to them—or the neck just got out of whack over time. ...


6

Many folks think it's a rather simple operation of just tightening the nut on the truss rod, but actually it is recommended that the neck be clamped in a jig that causes the neck to be bent backwards the desired amount and then tighten the truss rod in order to hold it in the newly desired position. Many a truss rod has been ruined by trying to force the ...


5

Tuning up will increase the tension on the neck which can affect (i.e., increase) the action. This is, however, no big deal because it can be corrected by adjusting the truss rod. This also means that basing your decision on the action of the guitar is not such a good idea because the action can be adjusted rather easily on any decent guitar. You could ...


5

Your guitar appears to be a nylon-strung classical guitar, and as such may not have a truss rod. However, it's worth going on to answer the question in general: Unless you have a very unusual guitar, a truss rod tool is either a hex key or a hex socket. These are common fittings in all kinds of fields, not just musical instruments: bikes, self-assembly ...


5

Well, you have two choices I guess. 1) Use a pair of calipers to determine the precise size wrench needed for the specific guitar you own right now. Or find out through some other means (e.g., by contacting the manufacturer and asking what wrench size is needed). 2) Buy a multitool which will have the right size for now and also probably for any other ...


5

I see now in the comments that the OP has now mentioned a specific, special guitar, and @leftaroundabout has answered with the appropriate information for that guitar. This is answer is applicable to most conventional electrics, but is probably not to relevant to the actual guitar in question.) You don't have to take them off, but you should loosen the ...


5

That's far too high, even for an acoustic guitar (which would typically have a higher action than an electric guitar). You can look up recommended guitar actions for acoustic guitars online, but off the top of my head I think it should be between 2-3mm (depending on the string) on a standard steel string acoustic.


4

The benefits of higher action go to lack of buzz. You can pick harder, which is nice for certain musics. I think it helps harmonics a little. I suppose there's some "You gotta want it, Rocky!" aspects, but really, yeah, high action is mostly something that'll keep beginners from moving forward.


4

Normally the bottom of the saddle would be sanded down to lower it. The challenge is sanding it down evenly and squarely. The technique I've seen for this is to fix or hold down the sandpaper on a flat surface and run the bottom of the saddle back and forth over it. You might consider buying an extra saddle or two and working on a spare so you can keep your ...


4

Most fret buzzing is a result of the vibrating string contacting another fret as it vibrates in an oscillating arc. There are several things that commonly cause this to happen. Neck does not have enough relief or has a back bow. The vibrating/oscillating string must clear all the frets between where it is fretted and the bridge. If the neck is ...


4

It depends. How high is high? And what is the cause of the high action? If it is an improperly cut (too high) nut, it will make barré chords in the first few frets difficult, and open chords will be out of tune. If it is too high because of a bridge that is too high, or too much neck relief, it will be increasingly difficult to play the higher up the neck ...


4

The strings buzz quite consistently but not enough to be heard through an amp Strings buzzing not only puts you off playing but it will prevent the string from resonating for as long and lower your tone quality. In my opinion nobody should create fret buzz when you ask them to lower your action. One thing you could try is a higher gauge string, but that ...


4

There is nothing you can do, assuming you stay with concert pitch tuning. Since the new strings will be 10-15% lighter, with less tension involved, there may be some relaxing in the neck.So, nothing will break, the bridge won't be torn off, but you may find that the bow in the neck is too small, and the strings will rattle against the fretwires. Or not. If ...


4

There is an excellent, reliable, time-tested way to find out all about the action (and other important elements) of a guitar before you buy it: you play the guitar. Yes that does present a challenge when buying online. When shopping online you have three options: Make sure you buy from someplace that has a great return policy and you have the interest and ...


4

Those strings look like .011s or .012s. Not only that but 10 years too late being changed ! Put some .009s on first, and feel the difference. If that doesn't solve all the problem, check the action, and the relief in the neck - they're related, and in old guitars often need adjustment. Don't bother with finger strengthening - playing is the best way to get ...


4

You say it's heavy/stiff. Which? If the action is well-regulated, there's probably little that can be easily done about the weight. But a piano technician can do something about 'stiff'. We can't diagnose this online. Call your tuner in to advise.


4

The instrument’s action may need a treatment with a proper lubricant to resolve the problem. A more experienced technician will know what to use: a liquid called Protek CLP (cleaner, lubricant, protectant). This magic substance can flush out the bad oil and leave the pin and bushing refreshed and lubricated, freeing the key action.


4

There are many useful YouTube videos about setting up a guitar, but here are the basics: Checking neck relief Press each string down on the first fret, and press the other side of the string down on the highest fret with your other hand, and then look at the height of the string above the frets around the octave; if the string touches the frets, or if ...


4

If you are interested in more information on this, check out Charles Rosen's book, "Piano Notes". In short, in conjunction with a local provider, concert pianists pick a piano to play at the venue where they will be performing and the piano technician adjusts the piano to the liking of the performer. I have played pianos that are generally "in good ...


3

Fret buzz is not only not necessarily bad, but actually a part of the guitar tone. The guitar is partially a percussive instrument, and one percussive aspect of that (in addition to knocking or tapping on the body of an acoustic guitar or hollow-body electric) is the snap produced by string-on-fret action. Slap guitar technique in particular exploits this ...


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