Is my guitar action too high or is the bridge too high?



Asked by: Sandra Clark

If your guitar’s intonation is out or the guitar feels awkward to play compared to other guitars, the action may be too high. High action can throw off your guitar’s intonation because you need to push the string further to reach the fret. The distance you push the string causes the note to bend out-of-tune.

How do I know if the action on my guitar is too high?





If the intonation is off, the action is too high, the guitar buzzes when you fret a note, strings stop vibrating and buzz as you bend them, frets feel sharp, or neck appears warped, then your guitar definitely needs a set-up.

How high should the action on my guitar be?

Measuring at the 12th fret (as in the photo), the action height should be 2.6 mm for Steel String Acoustic guitar, 1.8 for electric, 2.0mm for bass and 3mm for a Classical.

How high should the bridge be on a guitar?

For acoustic guitars, our recommendation bumps up to 7/64th of an inch (2.78mm) on the bass side and 5/64th of an inch (1.98mm) on the treble side.

How high is too high action?

String Height at the 12th Fret

Low Action Medium Action High Action
Low E: 1.6mm (.063”) High E: 1.5mm (.059”) Low E: 2.5mm (.098”) High E: 2.4mm (.094”) Low E: 3.5mm+ (.138”) High E: 3.4mm+ (.134”)





How do I know if my guitar action is too low?

If the action is too low, then the strings will rattle against one or more of the frets as they are played. Because the strings and the guitar neck do not follow a straight parallel line, this problem is sometimes more apparent on one part of the guitar neck and the other. Some players prefer a very low action.

Does tightening truss rod lower action?

Turn the truss rod nut clockwise to counteract this condition. TRUSS ROD TOO TIGHT: When the truss rod is too tight, the neck bows backward. This lowers the string height and increases string buzz. Turn the truss rod nut counter-clockwise to counteract this condition.

How high should the bridge be on an acoustic guitar?

In general, the ‘ideal’ is a 11/32″ bridge and 5/32″ saddle, resulting in a 1/2″ string height above the top.

How much relief should a guitar neck have?

between 8-10 thousandths of an inch



How much relief should a guitar neck have? The amount of relief for both electric and acoustic guitars should be between 8-10 thousandths of an inch. This depends on how hard you play and if the strings buzz against the frets. If they do, consider increasing the amount of space between your strings and the frets.

How do you get low action without fret buzz?

4 Tips To Getting Low Action Without Fret Buzz

  1. Use higher gauge string.
  2. Adjust neck relief.
  3. Go for fret dressing.
  4. Improve your fretting techniques.




How do you lower the action on a guitar?

To lower the action on your acoustic guitar, find the truss rod screw, then use an allen wrench or nut driver to adjust the action. Alternatively, loosen the strings and take off the lower 3 strings to remove the saddle from the bridge.

What is considered low action?

If so then in my opinion, something around 1.5 mm (= 1/16″, = 4/64″) is generally considered “low”. Now with a poorly set up nut and poorly set neck relief, this sort of action can be both buzzy up the neck and miserably difficult to play in positions near the nut.

What is considered high action on an acoustic guitar?

Ideal Action For an Electric Guitar

mm Electric Acoustic
Low-Med 1.50 2.00
Medium 1.65 2.30
Med-Hi 1.75 2.50
High 1.90 2.80

Is a high action guitar harder to play?

Ease Of Play: High Action Vs Low Action



You need less pressure and there’s less travel. That said, doing bends or slides is harder with a low action string. You have to be careful and precise, otherwise you will get a lot of fret buzz. High action string is harder to play and will slow you down.



Why would you want high action on a guitar?

The main advantage to having high action is that your guitar will generally be free of that nasty buzzing I mentioned above. It also allows the notes to sustain freely and naturally, since the string is unobstructed. With high action, having your guitar set up by a pro isn’t as critical.

How much should I lower the action on my acoustic guitar?

An action reduction of 1mm is often all that is needed to make a guitar go from bad to good playability. You can also adjust your action in steps if you aren’t sure how low to go or how low of action your guitar can handle without getting fret buzz.

Is 3mm action too high?

3mm at the 12th fret is quite acceptable and I certainly wouldn’t be too concerned with it. Keep up the practice, get a few songs under your belt and don’t take too much notice of what you read in guitar forums. Remember – A little knowledge can be very dangerous. Good luck.

How do I make my string closer to my fretboard?

But by turning the knob. You can lower the string. Get it much closer to the fretboard. And that way make it much easier to play.