#1
on my acoustic guitar, action at 12th fret is 3/16 of an inch. many times i find it hard to bar those higher frets. is that action too high? how do I lower it?
#2
Yes, it's way too high.

You should shoot for no more than an 1/8 of an inch, (.125), and no less than a 1/10" (.100). Most decent guitars, (but not all), will handle a 1/10 without fret buzz.

You lower the action principally by lowering the bridge saddle, either by removing shims under it, or by sanding the lower face.

Mr. T.H. Becker has posted this excellent guide for acoustic guitar set up, it's a great read: http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html
#3
Thats not too bad for an acoustic, definantly playable. If it was an electric, then no. But for an acoustic, especially on the 12th fret, its not bad imo, Id play it.
Oasis nut
Gear: Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Ej-200, Peavey Studio Pro 40, Digitech RP55, Boss ME-20. Too many pedals to list.
Latest additions: epiphone ej-200, boss me-20

Quote by DAiMIteHan

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#4
Quote by Josh01993
Thats not too bad for an acoustic, definantly playable. If it was an electric, then no. But for an acoustic, especially on the 12th fret, its not bad imo, Id play it.
I find, especially with cutaway acoustics, that with an action such as the OP is describing, it is difficult to maneuver at the higher frets. To me, it seems like your fingers, "fall too deep in the string pile".

I further understand that there are valid reasons for higher action, such as people who are really heavy strummers.

The 1/8" height that I suggested, should prove a decent balance between the two extremes.
#6
Quote by Lord Kamina
My classical has .20 (4/20) inches; IMO you just gotta get used to it.
OK listen, ".200 is actually about 3/16" anyway. (.1875).

With that being said, it really doesn't make a difference what the action height of your nylon strung classical guitar is. It really isn't germane to a discussion of what the action of a steel string guitar should be.

The OP is already complaining about the action height. He doesn't have to "get used to it, since most steel guitars will play well with 1/8" at the 12th fret.

As I understand it, nylon strings have much lower tension, and much greater excursion than do steel strings. Hence, they're easier to play in the first place, and the action must, of necessity, be higher.
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
OK listen, ".200 is actually about 3/16" anyway. (.1875).

With that being said, it really doesn't make a difference what the action height of your nylon strung classical guitar is. It really isn't germane to a discussion of what the action of a steel string guitar should be.

The OP is already complaining about the action height. He doesn't have to "get used to it, since most steel guitars will play well with 1/8" at the 12th fret.

As I understand it, nylon strings have much lower tension, and much greater excursion than do steel strings. Hence, they're easier to play in the first place, and the action must, of necessity, be higher.


Yeah it so happens I still sometimes read Acoustic as "Classical", also I'd never actually measured it before this came along so I wanted to say it.

Plus, it wasn't so much a "Get used to it, wimp!" as a "Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't grieve over" deal
#8
Quote by Lord Kamina
Yeah it so happens I still sometimes read Acoustic as "Classical", also I'd never actually measured it before this came along so I wanted to say it.
The action height of a classical guitar adds, (IMO of course), adds an extra degree of difficulty for the artist. Your fingers have to " wade through the strings" at the higher registers. This of course runs contrary to what, "shredder wannabes" think the action should be. Back in the day, Carvin used to guarantee "1/16" action at the 12th fret" in their electrics!

Quote by Lord Kamina
......[ [.....as a "Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't grieve over" deal
I got an enormous chuckle out of this. It flies so directly in the face of another more often quoted adage, "it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all".
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
The action height of a classical guitar adds, (IMO of course), adds an extra degree of difficulty for the artist. Your fingers have to " wade through the strings" at the higher registers. This of course runs contrary to what, "shredder wannabes" think the action should be. Back in the day, Carvin used to guarantee "1/16" action at the 12th fret" in their electrics!

I got an enormous chuckle out of this. It flies so directly in the face of another more often quoted adage, "it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all".


Well, I like that one very much too. I don't really see how the two are mutually exclusive, though.

P.S. In case you hadn't noticed I'm highly caffeinated right now.
#10
This approach suggests confronting an emotional situation....
Quote by Captaincranky
....[ ]... "it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all".


While this approach suggests avoiding an emotional situation......
Quote by Lord Kamina
"Eyes that don't see, heart that doesn't grieve over" deal


I don't know about mutual exclusivity, but together they make one hell of an antithesis....

(Don't look now, but I dare say we've strayed far afield of the topic)...
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
This approach suggests confronting an emotional situation....

While this approach suggests avoiding an emotional situation......

I don't know about mutual exclusivity, but together they make one hell of an antithesis....

(Don't look now, but I dare say we've strayed far afield of the topic)...


Can we be blamed for having a philosophical chat when we're the two blokes awake at almost 3 am?

From a certain perspective, I guess you are right; to be honest, I'd never really thought about your adage like that. I always took a more literal approach to it in the sense that it's better to regret doing something than not doing it.
#12
Quote by Lord Kamina
Can we be blamed for having a philosophical chat when we're the two blokes awake at almost 3 am?

And speaking of time zones, I never realized that a good portion of the west coast of South America is actually east(!) of the east coast of North America...!!

(You're @ 70 west longitude, I'm in Pennsylvania @ 75 west longitude).

Even Atlantic City NJ, smack on the coast, is 74 west longitude...

You made me feel guilty 'cause it's only 1:00 AM (EST) here....
#13
Well; depending on DST for both zones, we can range from 2 hours apart to overlapping (god, this was kind of a nightmare on a Role Playing group (via IRC) I used to be a part of!)

Either way, I'm not really sleepy and kind of getting some really good practice out of playing/singing along, especially since nobody's awake to tell me how bad I'm murdering the songs...

Edit: And... I'm going to bed. It's probably a good idea to stop playing when you cannot feel half your fingers (and the other half hurts)
Last edited by Lord Kamina at Dec 20, 2011,
#14
Quote by Lord Kamina
Either way, I'm not really sleepy and kind of getting some really good practice out of playing/singing along, especially since nobody's awake to tell me how bad I'm murdering the songs...
I hear that, (pun not intended). While I was away from the keyboard I committed multiple "songicides" myself. My neighbors moved a couple of weeks ago, so I'm completely unencumbered by inhibitions, mores, stigma, or sanctions.

Here's a hint thought, kill really old songs from the early 70's. Nobody can tell if you're singing Dylan off key. It actually sounds more authentic if you do....
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
I hear that, (pun not intended). While I was away from the keyboard I committed multiple "songicides" myself. My neighbors moved a couple of weeks ago, so I'm completely unencumbered by inhibitions, mores, stigma, or sanctions.

Here's a hint thought, kill really old songs from the early 70's. Nobody can tell if you're singing Dylan off key. It actually sounds more authentic if you do....


Hahaha; like this arts teacher I know (specializes in writing and poetry, but he does some guitar too)... sometime ago he was introducing a course, so decided to get cute and sang a Dylan song but replaced two entire verses of lyrics with a fragment of Hamlet.