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Fig.2.

Fig.1 A guitar’s Action is the distance between the fingerboard and the string.
The guitar on the left has Higher Action then the one on the right.

-The term action denotes the distance between the fingerboard and the string, which determines how easy it is to sound notes when pressure is applied with the fingertips. Generally a low action is considered to be more playable, due to the lower amount of pressure needed to press the string to the fingerboard.  However, if the action is set too low, there is a danger that the vibrating string will strike the frets or fingerboard, creating an unwanted buzzing noise (fret buzz). If the action is too high, then the strings may be too taut to fully depress.

Adjusting the action

-On certain guitars, the action can be adjusted by turning screws or threaded adjusters on the bridge.

-The action on a guitar is also slightly affected by the adjustment of the truss rod. Tightening the truss rod gives the neck a backward bow and tends to lower the action, and loosening the rod gives the neck a forward bow, giving a higher action.
It is recommended that the action on an electric guitar should be within 0.5 mm. of 1.8 mm. on the high E string and 2.4 mm. on the low E string when in standard tuning.  It is better to have a slight forward bow to the guitar to allow the strings to vibrate freely. Adjustment of the action should be done on the bridge of the guitar.

-Action is also affected by string gauge.  Moving to a lighter gauge set of strings will reduce the tension on the neck and lower the action.  The above adjustments may have to be made if you switch to a different gauge of string.


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