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Lowering Your Guitar’s Action

Lesson ID: A0058

When you’re first learning how to play guitar, it can really hurt to press down your guitar strings. The majority of guitars straight out of the box from the factory come with high action which means the strings are far away from the fretboard and tough to press down. To fix this, you can have your guitar set up by a guitar tech — they can lower your guitar strings by lowering your saddle, adjusting guitar neck relief, etc. This can make a cheap starter guitar feel like an expensive high quality guitar.

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Tyler12 (@guest_205)
8 years ago

Thanks again for all the beginner lessons!

Mark (@guest_206)
8 years ago

I think I’m going to try this. Thanks for the tip!

robert runninger
robert runninger(@robertrun4172)
7 years ago

fortunately for me i have a good friend who is a luthier and has taught me a lot of things. devin is absolutely right about having your guitar(s) properly set up. however you can make a big mistake when purchasing a guitar, especially low end guitars like me. take the time to learn things like humidity, belly up or down, and how to check neck relief. it can save you hundreds of dollars. a neck reset can cost big bucks! even martins will have trouble over time. learn how a guitar is set up!

robert runninger
robert runninger(@robertrun4172)
7 years ago
Reply to  Devin

i just purchased a tool called a fret guru. its pretty slick. about 30.00 on amazon. it checks the nut, the string height, and the frets. plus its got 64th, and 32nd increments. its a lot better than dealing with feeler gauges, and dial calipers. its also has conversion charts on the back. it also has an optional leather case for it. its laser cut, and etched. very high quality. keep up the good work bud! and thanks again!

5 years ago

Thanks, had my Martin set up and its awesome!

3 years ago

Good advice, thanks Devin!

3 years ago

I watched all the videos Randy made while working on your D-18, man those frets have some miles on them. Like a dirt road! He sure loved your guitar! Thanks for the links! I think I found CGO through Randy’s vids. I can’t remember for sure how I found your site but I’m glad I did. Thanks!

3 years ago

Very helpful Thanks.

2 years ago

what’s the song in the intro? is there a lesson on that one?