View Full Version : guitar action
11-10-2002, 02:26 PM
Yes hi everyone.
I was wondering how i would go about lowering the action on my squire stratocaster (yes i know its a crap guitar). what do i need to tweak to make the strings lower to the fretboard? While im at it whats the deal with the harmonic thing. the note played on the twelth fret is supposed to be the same as something or something. i dont know i guess im just stupid. Anyway i just found this site and it is amazing. ive been looking for a site like this for a long time. and please help me with my action deal. thank you.
11-10-2002, 03:25 PM
Don’t feel stupid, no one is born knowing how to set up a guitar !
This is the height of the strings off the fret board.
First get a cappo and put it on the guitar over the first fret. You lower the height of the strings in several ways.
1) By shaving the nut, this is a difficult job and I’d leave it to a professional
2) By adjusting the bridge. On a Strat there are two alan wrench (nut) type screws that rise and lower the action on the bit of metal that holds the string in place (the saddle) mounted on the bridge. You want to lower the string (whilst the guitar is tuned to pitch) until the string buzzes (is touching a fret) when you pluck it normally. Then raise the string until the buzzing stops.
It is possible to get a lower action on a guitar with a bit of relief (or curve) in the neck and this involves playing with the truss rod. I’d leave this one alone until you are a bit more familiar with the guitars setup.
Intonation is the harmonic thing you were asking about. This keeps all the notes in the right place and is also adjusted at the bridge. The screw that moves the saddle back and forward alters this. This alters the scale length and will make the harmonic over the 12 fret move. The pitch of the harmonic wants to be the same as the note you fret (at the 12 fret) and also directly above the 12th fret.
Best of luck
11-10-2002, 03:27 PM
The action is set by adjusting the the height of the bridge saddles. You may find that the neck relief needs to be adjusted as well. There are threads on this site that explain these things more fully, (use the search icon at the top of the page), but I strongly recommend that you get a guitar tech to do this for you. (S)he can explain what needs to be done and how it works. You can seriously mess up a guitar by not knowing what you're doing.
As for 'the harmonic thing', the twelfth fret is at the mid-point of the string, so the note there is one octave above the open string note. The harmonic played at this point should match the note played at this fret. If it doesn't, then the intonation needs to be adjusted. This also involves adjusting the bridge saddles, so the tech can look after that while they're lowering the action.
Don't worry about what people might think about your guitar. It may not be the best in the world, but its the best one you've got, and for now, thats good enough. My first few guitars weren't as good as your Squier, so relax, learn, and enjoy.
11-10-2002, 11:24 PM
wow. I posted that initial tread this afternoon and Im reading relplies the same day. I am really impressed by this web site and would like to thank you people for replying to my message. thanks alot!
11-17-2002, 06:22 AM
yeah - and now toss over some money! *LOL* (jk)
11-17-2002, 10:30 AM
I dont know why people are so down on Squire guitars, I had one in about '84 for 2 years and it was fantastic (compared to the OKs, the Hondos and the no name strat copies Id been playing before that). I flogged it for a really good price and got me an acoustic 12 string (Woooow real Fender !!!!) and spent he change on beer. Id love to catch up with that axe now and see how it plays !!!
I got my wife a squire P bass last year and it is a really good starter.
[Edited by Dr_simon on 11-17-2002 at 10:33 AM]
11-17-2002, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by Lordathestrings
... My first few guitars weren't as good as your Squier, so relax, learn, and enjoy. I started playing in the late '60s, learning on cheap Japanese knock-offs. (Anyone remember Guya guitars? :rolleyes: ) I had to learn how to set things up, purely out of self-preservation! My first 'real' guitar was a 1967 Yamaha SG-2 Strat copy with two single-coil pickups and a tremolo bar. I played the hell out of that axe for years!
Your Squier is OK. You will probably move on to something else later, as your skills and your preferences develop, but you will always have a special place in your memories for that that first guitar.
Enjoy it! :D
11-17-2002, 12:27 PM
Humm I would be interesting to compare it to the PRS CE24 / Calif strat / USA made Jap strats I have at the moment
11-17-2002, 03:25 PM
This SG-3 (http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=914061509) was recently auctioned on eBay Canada. My SG-2 was like this, but in sunburst, and with two single-coil pickups. And yes, I would like to find one!
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