#1
Sup UG.

Quick acoustic guitar question: is the string action so goddamn high on all acoustic guitars? I've only played 2 in my life and they both had ridiculously high string action, especially compared to my Epiphone Les Paul.
And as far as I can tell, high string action seems to have absolutely no benefits =/

Also, can you bend notes easily on standard acoustic guitars? Or would I need to buy a special type, ie classical guitar?

TL;DR do all acoustic guitars have a high string action?
Quote by firestarter12
does any1 know where I can get a fender les paul? i always only see 1 or the other but i want one thats both.

#2
Many inexpensive guitars are shipped purposely with the action "too high", knowing that picky players will adjust (or have it adjusted) to their preference.
It's a lot easier to lower the action than it is to raise it...

An acoustic guitar must develop enough energy to "drive" the top of the instrument; to make it vibrate enough to make sound. Electric guitars don't, they just have to excite the magnetic field produced by the pickup.
So, a certain amount of mechanical energy must be involved, and that means heavier strings, more tension, and higher action.
Still, there's no reason an acoustic can't be properly adjusted to be quite comfortable to play, especially if the player invests enough time to develop some callouses.

Bending notes on an acoustic just requires a bit more effort. Most players can manage a whole-tone bend on the higher strings.
#3
most acoustics( good ones) have adjustable actions. many come very low already. you just need to experience more of them.bending notes is just a little more difficult, but still pretty easy.
#4
You can adjust the truss rod but other than that take out the bridge saddle and file down the back of it, you can also raise it quite easily with shims which you can get from most guitar parts places. You don't want it to low though, it totally kills the volume but you can bring it down a touch. If you buy a reasonable guitar too it still sounds fine with the likes of 10's on but anything to cheap and nasty will sound crap.
#5
high string action, which i don't like, allows for a guitar to be played harder with no buzz, and that means more volume. the first thing i do when i buy a guitar is to lower the action and often put on lighter strings. btw, the truss rod is not for adjusting the action - lowering the action is done at the nut and saddle.

keep in mind that chances are the strings are also thicker, which will make a difference in how hard a guitar is to play. i use extra light acoustic strings, which are 10's and so are much more comfortable than the 12's or once in a while 13's that you'll find on most guitars new.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
Quote by patticake
high string action, which i don't like, allows for a guitar to be played harder with no buzz, and that means more volume. the first thing i do when i buy a guitar is to lower the action and often put on lighter strings. btw, the truss rod is not for adjusting the action - lowering the action is done at the nut and saddle.

keep in mind that chances are the strings are also thicker, which will make a difference in how hard a guitar is to play. i use extra light acoustic strings, which are 10's and so are much more comfortable than the 12's or once in a while 13's that you'll find on most guitars new.



Higher action makes the accoustic guitar louder anyway wether you hit it harder or not, don't know the science but it's definitely true. Also heavier gauge strings help with the bass and are also louder. If the truss rod is badly set up so there's to much bow in the neck then adjusting it will affect the action too. I've been trying out various things with mine and also playing other peoples guitars to find this stuff out for myself. I play a lot of accoustic with a lot of other noisey musicians and have learnt a fair bit from the experience lol. I've ended up at a happy medium at the mo but I'm going back to 13's soon, the guitar just sounds so much fuller and projects so much better I find. These are my conclusions anyway after over 20 years of farting about. Man I feel old
#7
A great deal depends on how you play. A comparatively delicate fingerstyle player can get away with a much lower action than say a bluegrass picker who really "digs in" with the flatpick.
#8
I can bend fairly easily on my acoustic, but it has 10s and I'm pretty sure it came with a heavier gauge when I bought it. Bending in a classical guitar is almost impossible IIRC Often you want a slight vibrato at most when playing classical.

Higher action, like everyone else here has already said, reduces fret buzz and allows you to play louder without buzz. I don't know how high the action is on my acoustic, but I'm pretty much used to having around 4-5 mm (never measured properly) at the 12 fret, since my electric buzzes like hell with a low action and I'm not much of a shredder anyway. So I don't really mind a high action
Professional lurker since 2009.