#1
So, I'm generally new to playing guitar, about a year and a half now, and today at a lesson my guitar teacher put a pick between the bottom of the neck and the top of the base of my Fender strat. I think he did that to straighten out the neck/give it a slight, slight downward angle. He told me the pick wasn't big enough (he used a Medium) and told me to go home and add a Heavy sized pick (.88mm). I did that and none of the frets would play as the strings were laying flat across all frets.

So, I raised the bridge of the E(6th) and A(5th) string so that those strings eventually became playable. I then tried to do the same with the D(4th) string, but I can not raise the bridge anymore and the 7th through 21st frets all either have a vibration or won't play.

I need some advice on how to get my guitar back to "normal" so that I can play it again, preferably leaving the pick in like he instructed. I would call him and ask, but he's gone all week, so hopefully you guys can offer me some help. Thanks.
#2
first of all, using a pick as a shim? ew. just ... EW!

I dunno why you need a shim in the first place unless you couldn't get your bridge low enough or smth. A pick won't "straighten out the neck". I'd suggest taking it out completely unless you just can't lower the bridge far enough. If that's the case, make a proper shim rather than use a pick.

If for some strange reason you decide you MUST use a Fender Heavy as a shim and can't raise the bridge saddles far enough, you could use longer height screws. But it seems senseless to me.
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#3
so you're basically shimming the neck up at the joint? This I have never herd of.

I'm no expert but this doesn't sound good to me. In fact it sounds like it could be detrimental to your tone and sustain. I would just put it back to normal.
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#4
Thanks for the replies. So I removed the pick, and tried readjusting the bridge to wear it was before. However, I can't quite get the same sound the guitar used to get.

Is there any advice anyone can give me on readjusting the bridge to its original position?
#5
Did you intonate it? Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question, just that you didn't mention anything about it.
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#6
i attempted to make a floating bridge by taking single coil pickup covers and cutting out the middle pieces of them (with the holes for the pole pieces) and used themfor a 6-screw strat bridge to make it somewhat "floating". you could try that, maybe. but i don't see why you would need to shim the neck . . . . unless you put a floyd on there or something.
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#7
So why did he do this?

Is the action high or something? This is pretty much the only reason on a Strat that you might want to induce neck angle, but is not really the way to do it.

Did he tell you why he was doing it?
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#9
Well that's not the way to lower it in most cases (certainly not with a crumby pick). For a strat style guitar you only need to lower the saddles with a small allen key and maybe sort the nut out. While I've shimmed necks before, that was only because the bridge itself was high off the face of the guitar (tune o matic style etc).

Can you tell us what doesn't sound quite right? Does it sound out of tune? Or is there fret buzz etc?