Experts differ in their opinions about which fret is best to measure string height from, with most saying that measuring from between the 8th and the 12th fret, is the best. The "action" is the name for the distance between the fingerboard or fretboard and the strings; in other words, how high the strings are. Adjust the truss rod if necessary; Adjusting the Truss Rod A guitar’s action is defined principally in terms of the height at which the strings sit above a given fret. Our Fret Calculator also gives you compensated bridge placement -- only at stewmac.com! Measure the strings to the neck on the 12th fret. Action means the distance between the strings and the fretboard. The distance between the strings is just referred to as "string spacing", however, it's different at the nut and the bridge. High action on an acoustic guitar not only affects the intonation, it can make the instrument difficult, if not painful, to play. The distance between the strings and the fretboard is called the "action". If the string is naturally very close to the fretboard (called low action), it is much easier to fret … This distance plays a key role in your setup because it determines the ease in which your guitar can be played. When you have a lot of distance (called high action), you have to apply more pressure with your fingers to get a note to ring clearly. Scale length. Luckily, there are quite a few fretboard parameters that can be tweaked to achieve a wide variety of outcomes. Try a rule against the frets . – slim Dec 2 '13 at 14:12 Three adjustments to the action: bridge saddles, nut, and the truss rod. Guitar Action at the 12th fret of a Fender Stratocaster. The distance between the strings and the neck at the 12th fret should be about 1.6 millimetres (0.063 in), or the width of a dime. Using a feeler gauge, check the distance between the top of the eighth fret and the bottom of the sixth string (Refer to the specifications chart for the proper measurement). If you Google for "lowering action guitar" you'll find lots of advice. Place a ruler on top of the 12th fret and measure the distance between the top of the fret and the bottom of the outer E strings. Calculate fret placement for guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, dulcimer, and more in inches or metric. If it is a spanish classic guitar it means that it should only take nylon strings. Action determines how much pressure and distance is required for the string to make full contact with each fret. Classical guitars have a higher action than folk guitars thought to improve tone and increase the possibility of sustaining notes. You only say 'acoustic' guitar. Beyond its effect on string tension and tone, scale length—the distance between the nut and the bridge saddles— determines string length, as well as the distance between each fret. Almost every guitar, irrespective of its price tag, has got a mechanism which incorporates a metal rod called truss rod. For acoustic guitars: Capo the first fret. String height or action describes the distance between the top of your frets to the bottom of your strings. Depress the strings at the fret located at the neck and body joint. Hold the flat end of a ruler against the neck and measure how high the strings are. Most electric guitar bridges have a string spacing of about .4" while the spacing on Floyd Rose and other similar bridges is slightly wider (.414") As a rule the string should be as close to the frets as possible but there must be no buzz when each fret is played. The distance between the frets and the strings is called action. These have a much lower tension on the neck compared to steel. String Height At The Nut.