#1
I have a question, how much of low action do shred guitarists like Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani have? Are they really low? And if so, is it possible to achieve this low action on any guitar? Or only on some? I really need to know if these guitarists have such low action to be able to bend like they do, vibrato etc, because I've seen videos and it looks like their strings have no tension making it easy to bend etc.

Because a few months ago I had my guitar lower it's action to what's possible, and the guitar technician said he lowered, but couldn't lower it more on my guitar because it would buzz. But my guitar isn't THAT low action, the strings are sometimes to hard to be able to bend, and vibrato takes much more effort than it does on guitars I've tried with incredibly low action. Why does my guitar have a limit?
By the way my guitar is more than 6 years if that has to do with anything. (I've been playing for 3 but it was passed down to me by my older brother)

Thanks a lot.
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#2
low action doesn't necessarily make you play faster, it just makes playing more comfortable. kirk hammett of metallica play with resoectable speed, but he has thick strings and high action because the struggle to play allows him to throw more emotion into the music.
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#3
Perhaps it's your string gauge? I dunno, SRV's Strat had gauge 13 strings and he could bend and vibrato like a monster.

I'd assume that shred guitarists would have low action so as to fly across the fingerboard as they do but some prefer high action; it's all a matter of taste, I suppose.
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#4
You could probably do with getting the frets dressed.

Malmsteen plays with a high action.

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#5
Quote by Volta_91
You could probably do with getting the frets dressed.

Malmsteen plays with a high action.

but he plays with 8's tuned to eb and a scalloped fretboard
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#6
Lowering the action dosent really give any major advantage besides it might be a little easier to fret and a little bit faster than a higher actioned guitar. It dosent really change how you bend or anything, thats just the guitar player. Vai can bend like he does just because hes Vai lol. Theres a limit on the action because when it starts to get to low, your strings start touching the frets and it starts to make a buzzing sound, which sounds like shit lol. Dont worry about it to much, its more important to have better intonation than a perfect action. Just get it low enough so it feels comfortable and you should be fine. Your guitar might have a limit depending on what kind of bridge you have. Floyd rose's are generally more lower than fixed bridges. It all really depends how your guitar is build i guess.
#7
Quote by XxLloydxX
I have a question, how much of low action do shred guitarists like Steve Vai, John Petrucci, Joe Satriani have? Are they really low?

generally really low

[qupte] And if so, is it possible to achieve this low action on any guitar? Or only on some?
depends on the quality. If you've got a precisely made Prestige Ibanez with perfect frets and everything you're going to be able to get a really really low action.... on some chinese Squier you're probably going to get some horrible fret buzz and dead otes if you try and go past a medium action


I really need to know if these guitarists have such low action to be able to bend like they do, vibrato etc, because I've seen videos and it looks like their strings have no tension making it easy to bend etc.

most are on pretty light strings, 9s most of the time, I don't think any of the shredders use anything more than 10s in standard tuning (Yngwie used like 8s and he was even tuned down a half step, he doesn't really have a low action though, and the scalloped fretboard makes it even higher)
low action means you can play really lightly with your left hand, especially for long legato runs and tapping. Bending and vibrato... IMO there isn't that much effect (and higher action would probably even give you more options)

and after playing guitar for 30 years you'll have developed some notable finger strength
#8
I use reasonably low action with guage 12's on my Ibanez S520ex

but i am tuned to Drop A#

That helps
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#9
i personnally believe you should try to get your action low as possible because its less strain on your fingers and i find it much more easier for sweeping but then again if your action is to low it will make a terrible buzzing sound from the strings ringing off the frets so be carful when your messing around with stuff like that!!
#10
My brothers guitar (Fender American Deluxe Strat) has very low action and 9's, and I find it hard to play. It's been said so many times before: Much of it is preference. My Gibson has thicker strings and higher action but I think it's easier to play.
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#11
Quote by Jammin'
the struggle to play allows him to throw more emotion into the music.
Now that idea didn't work out too well, did it. :P