Early blues guitarists who played in both slide and fretted styles did not have the luxury of traveling with two instruments or of constantly raising and lowering their string action. My nylon string classical Takamine TC132SC guitar, as expected, has much higher string action than above. This thickness in thousandths of an inch. A must-have for every guitarist's toolkit, the Dunlop String Action Gauge provides the precise measurements you need to set up your instrument for optimum playability. Adjusting string action requires raising the guitar’s saddle by inserting shims, or lowering it by planing, filing and/or sanding it. Also, they are difficult to use for measuring action on the treble E (first) string on the 1st fret – a nut blocks the gauge from moving to the right (closer to the headstock – see the picture above) when the action is higher than usual. The company is focused on using new materials in guitar parts, and it worked for me quite well. Even with that, it’s considered relatively low for classical guitar, mainly because I don’t play pure classical music and non-plugged acoustic concerts where it’s necessary to project clear loud sound without any kind of amplification. One such tool is a combo gauge created specially for guitar. Saddles are usually quite easy to install and remove, so you might try all of them and decide what works for your the best without being scared of breaking the last saddle. On the most basic level, displacing a string by a greater distance (be it horizontal or vertically) requires more sustained force, so higher action will be inherently more challenging for beginning players who have not built up much finger strength. Bob Colosi is a well-known person in guitar world. Verify proper scale by measuring the one inch calibration bar (at right.) String Action Gauge. How to determine string action with the String Action Gauge. String action has a number of more subtle effects on both playability and sound, however. In order to measure the height of your guitar’s strings, you should have either a ruler, a feeler gauge, or a specialized string action gauge. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using lighter/heavier gauge strings. This thickness in thousandths of an inch. When describing gauges, guitarists typically omit the decimal, and speak only of the number (they will say an "eight" when referring to a string gauge of .008). In order to measure the height of your guitar’s strings, you should have either a ruler, a feeler gauge, or a specialized string action gauge. For electric guitars, in our opinion, a good default string height at the 12th fret is typically about 6/64th of an inch (2.38mm) on the bass side and 4/64th of an inch (1.59mm) on the treble side. As with all aspects of guitar setup, however, what ultimately matters is what feels right and enables players to get the sound they want. Add Jazzy Chords and Progressions to Your Tunes. Action on my steel string Taylor 416CE-LTD (2011) is approximately two times lower than the one from StewMac. As a guitarist, I often have to adjust strings height (action) and other kind of settings on my guitars. They came very well packaged, with superglue and detailed instruction explaining how to sand the shims to the size of the bridge slot and the saddle. This is critical adjustment for easy playability. The larger the gauge, the heavier the string. The following is a list of the standard string gauges included with each set of electric guitar strings. The problem is that such tweaks are often a matter of 1/64th of inch or so… I definitely love Stewart-MacDonald, they have a tons of neat tools but it’s often too expensive, especially if you are not in USA. Understanding some of the factors that influence the pros’ preferences can help you zero in on the right string action for your playing style. Laminate (optional) and cut out gauges with an X-acto knife or sharp scissors, being sure to closely follow contours. Most new electric guitars tend to ship pre-strung with "super light" guitar strings. Many acoustic guitars come equipped with "light" gauge acoustic guitar strings. To understand relief, imagine holding a straightedge along the length of the fretboard. Listen, for example, to Robert Johnson’s “Phonograph Blues” or “Come On in My Kitchen.” To this day, there are acoustic blues specialists who protest that raising the string action of one’s guitar to facilitate slide use is “cheating.”. While the core of wound strings is almost always made of steel, different materials are used in the windings surrounding this core. Many guitar setup reference guides will suggest a standard action for steel string acoustic guitars of 3/32” (0.09375”) on the bass side of the neck and 1/16” (0.0625”) on the treble side, measured at the 12th fret. This is probably a good place to start - if you are a heavy strummer and find yourself breaking strings often, you may want to consider buying slightly heavier gauged strings. The action will and should be slightly higher on the sixth (bass E) string than on the first (treble E) string. To mitigate these two issues, I decided to try a feeler gauge used primarily in the automotive industry for measuring the gaps in the spark plugs. I used shims from Bob for raising action on one of my guitars. All guitar strings are either "unwound" - a single solid strand of wire or nylon used on the high E, B and sometimes G strings, or "wound" - a core with a winding-wire wrapped tightly around it. It begins with no-name blank saddles from eBay and Amazon, then goes to luthier-focused companies such as StewMac and LMII, and ending by specialized companies as listed below. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Acousticguitar.com, Checking and Adjusting Saddle Height, Beautiful Diversity: Acoustic Guitar Body Shapes and Sizes, Acoustic Guitar Scale Length: What It Is and Why It…, USB-Powered Mini Pedal Board for Acoustic Guitar, Blues-style” vibrato (rapid micro-bending of string) is difficult to generate and can sound “pixelated.”, • Easier to generate “all at once” ringing of a chord strummed with thumb or pick, • Chords can sound “muddy,” without clear articulation of individual notes.