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Causes for a Guitar’s high action. Can this be resolved?

Causes for a Guitar’s high action. Can this be resolved?

Posted By Admin | December 3, 2023

Some common causes leading to a Guitar’s high action:

– Changes in temperature and high humidity could have contributed to the wood of your neck pulling forward with string tension. This causes an excessive forward or up-bow in the neck.

– The Nut and Saddle slot high may be a bit too high.

– Due to high humidity and excessive string tension over the years the guitar’s belly could have arched upwards causing the string height to increase.

– The guitar neck angle could have permanently changed over the years, this would need a neck reset to correct the neck angle.

– The bridge on the guitar could be lifting up.

Yes, in most cases these problems can be resolved. At Intune Instruments, UAE we handle many cases where high action is an issue.

That said, please bear in mind when your action is too low, it may be easier to press the strings down, but there are compromises here too – such as tonal nuance, frequency range, volume can be lost and the most annoying could be excessive string buzzing. When it comes to action, lower is not necessarily better.

Finding the right balance based on the preferred string action needed for different types of guitars is what needed. For example, the string action recommended for a Classical Guitar is different compared to an Electric Guitar.

Furthermore, a player shouldn’t be too caught up in having his guitar action always spot on, as this changes with fluctuations in temperature and humidity. There has to be a comprise to a certain extent to get the balance correct with playability, dynamics and tonality of a guitar. Some left hand techniques can also help improve playability, a good example is a classical guitar, as the action on a classical guitar is higher compared to an acoustic and electric guitar. Classical Guitarist learn to use a left hand technique where the dead weight of the hand helps to press down the strings keeping the fingers relaxed and the muscle tension felt mainly on the left hand biceps.

Contact Leroy at Intune Instruments Guitar Repairs and Restoration, UAE for Guitar Repairs on +971 50 3950482 or email us at