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Set Up Guitar Action

Set Up Guitar Action

Action of guitar refers to the distance between the strings and fretboard. Action is important to the playability and intonation.
Good guitar action should:

  • Increase playability by decreasing the fingertips pressure on the fretboard.
  • Avoid string buzzing
  • Improve guitar intonation
  • Improve guitar sustain

How to set up guitar action?

First, adjust saddle height to a proper action. The measurement is the distance from the top of the fretboard to the bottom of the strings at 12th fret. There is no identical set up for all guitars. Different guitarists set up action differently. Normally, the common action of 12th is 3/32’’ to 7/64’’ on the 6th string or the low E string and 2/32’’ to 5/64’’ on the 1st string or the high E string.

Next, modify the height of nut to set up nut action. The string at the nut should be low enough but not cause open string buzz.
Finally, set up proper neck relief. Relief of guitar is measured by bow created by the string tension. Too small and too much relief will have negative impact on the guitar tonality.