I keep reading and hearing abt "high action" and "low action". Will someone please explain just what the hell these terms mean???
It's basically how close the strings are to the fretboard. The lower they are, the lower the "action" is. Higher they are, higher the action is said to be. A lot of people, especially shredders like relatively low action on their guitars.
Yeah high action is basically strings quite far apart from the fretboard, low action is when they're close.

A Les Paul has typically high action, whereas say an Ibanez RG would have low action.
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Quote by jimm, ey?
Is there a general rule for this? Like... millimeters=action sort of thing

Not really, it's really based on what you're most comfortable with.
lower action usually lets you play faster easier, but can cause buzz if it's too low...
higher action allows for easier bends, but can cause some intonation problems...
Quote by heminder
higher action allows for easier bends,

Not really, I bend much much easier on low action. I guess it's just personal preference.

Higher action brings longer tone duration, and you can pluck the strings harder without getting buzz, while low action allows you obviously to play faster. If you want to play metal, I suggest having a low action.

If you actually want to measure, go to the 21th fret and measure the space between the end of the fret and beginning of the low E string. If it's 3-4mm, then the action is set low.
I posted some specs for action on my photobucket. There are a few in there that are nice to know, such as the ibanez factory settings, and a few famous guitarists settings.


Few examples:

Sorry for the poor quality. I had to take them with my camera and then upload em like that.
High action = harder to play fast, easier to do large bends. Near impossible to tap on.

Low Action = Easier to play fast, but harder to do wide bends without making noise. Also easier to tap.
Quote by jimm, ey?
Is there a general rule for this? Like... millimeters=action sort of thing

Action is all about feel and personal preference honestly you can measure if you want but it may not feel right to play for you.
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If you start with the recommended manufacturers setup for your guitar and then you can adjust as you see fit. If you get alot of buzz then your action is a bit low, otherwise just see what suits you.