#1
Okay, so basically, I have this really cheap acoustic, first guitar I ever got, and it actually isn't that bad. The only problem is, even with my well-developed callouses, it still kills me to play it, the strings are so far from the fretboard? How can I fix this? I know you can sand it, but, is there any other way? I sort of have a problem sanding, and possibly ****ing up the first guitar I ever had.

Also, I know I should probably a new one as well, but that's not exactly doable at the moment. I'm building a custom electric guitar (Sorta, kinda, really expensive), and I'm also looking to buy a new amp for that, so yeah.

Any advice at all is appreciated.

Thanks.
With enough money saved you will buy a new straw skirt and coconut bikini, a airplane ticket back to civilization and a large Mesa Boogie amp and a Gibson Explorer and shred the faces off with METALLICA!


#2
Just take the plastic bit out of the bridge and sand it a little (making sure the sanding stays parallel to the original cut). Do it like half a millimetre at a time and play it like that for a while. If you want it even lower, take off another half a millimetre and then play it like that etc.
#3
Quote by grantjames
Just take the plastic bit out of the bridge and sand it a little (making sure the sanding stays parallel to the original cut). Do it like half a millimetre at a time and play it like that for a while. If you want it even lower, take off another half a millimetre and then play it like that etc.

I've been wondering whether I should do that, I just might now because my guitar is the same.
#4
Do you mean the bridge pins? Or the saddles? (Thats what the plastic part the strings go across are called, right?)
With enough money saved you will buy a new straw skirt and coconut bikini, a airplane ticket back to civilization and a large Mesa Boogie amp and a Gibson Explorer and shred the faces off with METALLICA!


#7
Before you start grinding away, make sure the neck isn't out of line. If you sand first and then adjust the neck bow, you're likely to make it worse. Set it up as well as you can before you do any surgery.
#8
you can actually buy really cheap 2-10 dollar bridges (that's what they're called) for acoustics and just slide it in, in place of the other one. And of course you can get them in 100 different shapes and sizes and materials or whatever, but you may have to worry about sanding down your frets, which is not something you can really do yourself.
#9
Quote by JesterShred
you can actually buy really cheap 2-10 dollar bridges (that's what they're called) for acoustics and just slide it in, in place of the other one. And of course you can get them in 100 different shapes and sizes and materials or whatever, but you may have to worry about sanding down your frets, which is not something you can really do yourself.


No no no, the bridge is a permanent fixture on the guitar. The little white pieces you're referring to are called "saddles," and they almost always need fine tuning if they weren't specifically made for his guitar model. Also, the poster has no need to sand his frets, because the frets are irrelevant to his issue. The above posts we're talking about sanding the base of the saddle.
#10
Okay, how do I know if the neck is or isn't out of line? And if it is, how do I fix it?
With enough money saved you will buy a new straw skirt and coconut bikini, a airplane ticket back to civilization and a large Mesa Boogie amp and a Gibson Explorer and shred the faces off with METALLICA!


#11
Quote by GC Shred Off
Before you start grinding away, make sure the neck isn't out of line. If you sand first and then adjust the neck bow, you're likely to make it worse. Set it up as well as you can before you do any surgery.


This.
I would also like to add; If you know of a store that has a guitar technician or someone who actually knows how to properly set up a guitar, I would take it to them. Or if your scrap for cash, just read a book.
#12
Quote by Sublime_Dude
Okay, how do I know if the neck is or isn't out of line? And if it is, how do I fix it?


I'll try to explain what you're looking for, but the easiest way to do it would be to walk into a guitar store and see if someone can show you.

Here is how I do it...

First, on the low E string, push down the 1st and 14th fret (or if not 14th, whatever fret is the first on the actual body of the guitar). With both frets pushed in, you can eyeball the height in the middle (probably around fret 7 or so). Though people have their preferences, the height off the 7th fret should be somewhere around the width of a mechanical pencil's lead (0.7mm). If the string is touching, it is likely that the neck is bowed too far away from the strings. If it is too high over the fret (which could be your issue), the truss rod is too loose and the string tension is pulling the neck away, towards the strings. If it looks at the right height, your neck is probably alright.

Another way to do it is to hold the guitar violin style so you can sight down the length of the neck.



It should be very close to straight. If you see a curve in one direction or another, some adjustment is in order.

If these don't make sense, don't start cranking on your truss rod. There are many more in-depth descriptions on the internet. Search around.

If your set up is good, then you can potentially start sanding the saddle, but I'd leave that to a pro. Good luck with it.
#13
How old is this guitar?

If it's really old, there is a chance that the neck has shifted, pitching up, which raises the strings higher off the fretboard.

If that's the case, you might be able to lower the action by sanding the saddle, if someone hasn't sanded it already.

Remember, though, the lower you shave the saddle, the less downward tension from the strings. The less downward tension, the weaker the guitar will sound.

If it is just playability you want, go ahead and sand the crap out of it. Most small music stores carry saddles, nuts, pins, etc in bulk. Might only cost you a buck, or less, for a replacement plastic saddle.

If it is a new guitar, and the neck hasn't pitched up, then you should get ok results by sanding down the saddle.

It's fairly easy, and I think everyone should give this a go, at least once.

Here's what I would recommend. First, go to the music store and get a replacement saddle. Take your old saddle out, and shape the new one to the same size as the old one.

The reason for this is you can always get back to where you started by simply putting the old saddle back in. See, now you can experiment without fear!

Also, many saddles have the top radiused to compensate for string thickness and fingerboard radius. If you shape the new saddle to the same shape as the old one, then you keep those compensations correct. Then, when you sand off the bottom, the action is lowered correctly.

Materials: sandpaper, one piece, medium grit. Sharpie pen. Flat counter top (don't try to freehand it...)

Loosen the strings on your guitar. In many cases, you can take out the saddle without removing the strings. Remove the saddle.

Place the sandpaper grit side down on the countertop.
Holding the saddle vertically, place the bottom of the saddle on the upside down sand paper.
Taking the point of the Sharpie, place it in the corner where the saddle and sandpaper meet. Draw a line down each side of the saddle.
Now, you should have an equal line running down both sides of the bottom of the saddle. That is your reference line to let you know if you are sanding it off evenly.
Turn the sandpaper over.
Start sanding the saddle down, until the reference line is reduced by half.
Put the saddle back in the bridge, tighten up the strings.
Do you like the results?
If not, remove and repeat.
If you sand it down until the reference line is gone, draw a new reference line on it, and repeat.