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Guitar Action

Guitar action adjustments are not hard. It does require a small hex wrench and some concentration. It will assure that it feels good. This is usually not done well in the factory so it’s incumbent on the guitar owner to learn the process. The action is the height of the string from the fret and ultimately how the guitar feels. If the strings are too high, they’re hard to press down and conversely, if they’re too low, an annoying buzzing occurs.

What is a guitar string saddle? The saddle of a guitar refers to the part of the bridge that physically supports the strings. It may be one piece (typically on acoustic guitars) or separate pieces, one for each string (electric guitars and basses).

While there are reasons to raise and lower your string saddles and since comfort and feel is the key. What reason would you need it done? Comfort is the goal.

Increase comfort by decreasing pressure on the players finger tips
Eliminate or decrease buzzing. Improve sustain and tone
Improve intonation by reducing the distance (sharpness) of string travel to the top of the fret.

Most importantly, if you could make adjustments in action yourself, you won’t have to take your guitar to the shop for small incremental changes. The action is usually set at the bridge. Guitar action is how a guitar plays, specifically the distance of the strings to the fingerboard. If the strings sit too high, they’re hard to fret; if they’re too low, buzzing occurs.

Guitar action needs are very personal. Adjust the action to your parameters and what feels good to you. To adjust the action, you need to raise or lower a part of the bridge known as the string saddle. Each string has one. See below.

Image electric guitar bridge saddles
Electric guitar bridge saddles

Raise or lower the saddle by turning the 2 hex screws with a hex wrench. Turn the screw clockwise to raise the saddle and turn it counter-clockwise to lower the saddle. If the saddle has two hex screws, turn them so that the saddle is always level. try it and see for yourself what a positive difference it can make in your playing comfort.

Image result for guitar string saddle adjustment
Guitar action is adjusted here
By | 2021-11-13T11:57:09-05:00 July 30th, 2020|A Guitar Neck Profile, Guitar Action, Guitar Education|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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