Action, rule of Thumb?

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby cj440 » Mon May 01, 2006 4:46 pm

Hey Folks, Just had my Tech replace the cone in my Dean Chrome G with a Nat'l cone, The cone came with a new biscuit bridge to replace the stock one. Upon getting the reso back, although it sounded great, I noticed the action was a bit higher than it was before, I gave it back asking that he lower it a bit,.

Now, the style I'm doin is standard slide with fingerpicking, bending,basically I need to be able to play this thing w/slide and fingers, is there a standard height at the 12th fret for such playing, or is this gonna be a long trial and error process?

I use heavy strings and a heavy homemade brass pipe for a slide?..any takers?
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RE: Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby ricochet » Mon May 01, 2006 5:05 pm

About 1/8-3/16" at the 12th fret works well for me.

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RE: Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby cj440 » Mon May 01, 2006 5:12 pm

Well, Thank You, that's probably a really good starting point. I have no clue how to talk to guitar techs--He comes out from behind his bench with calipers and handheld devices that blink and bleep.

hovering over my guitar and squinting and writing numbers down, he'll then ask me what I want, in that strange moon-man language he speaks. I'm just gonna hit Print and hand this page to him!! We'll start here and see how it feels! Thanks again!!!
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RE: Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby orb mellon » Mon May 01, 2006 7:54 pm

I usually like just a we bit below 1/8" at 12 for the real sliding on my National











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RE: Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby oleman » Mon May 01, 2006 8:07 pm

I like my action higher than anybody I know 1/4" and I do very little finger freting.
So I guess it's what feels right to you.
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RE: Action, rule of Thumb?

Postby badfinger » Mon May 01, 2006 9:24 pm

Fretting as little as possible, I have around 6mm at 12th fret - powerful, you can really lean into the slide and hit the strings, which are mediums, but with 16 and 18 on 1st and second.

However, for the occasional fretting at the lower frets it can be hard work, so I'm experimenting - made 3 new saddles today to give me 4.5, 5.0 and 5.5mm... I guess that's your answer - experiment and play around until you get what feels good and does what you want.

(With the 4.5mm action I'm bottoming on the frets quite a lot if I'm not careful, but I feel it might be a good discipline to play with lighter slide action, so I'm sticking at it for a day or so.)
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