Find out the optimum height for your Taylor acoustic guitar action. Read our article to learn how to adjust the string height and improve your playing experience.
As both a beginner and a seasoned player, one of the key aspects to consider in making your Taylor acoustic guitar play effortlessly and sound its best is understanding and finding the perfect guitar action. Guitar action, referring to the distance between the strings and the fretboard, significantly affects playability, comfort, and overall tone.
5/64″ (2.0mm) on the high E string and 7/64″ (2.8mm) on the low E string at the 12th fret should be the action height on your Taylor acoustic guitar.
Adjusting the action takes a balance between ensuring optimal performance and reducing the risks of fret buzz or excessive finger pressure. This makes it essential to consider the individual playing style, wood, humidity, and various other factors while determining the ideal action height.
In this article, we will delve into the world of Taylor acoustic guitar action, exploring the optimal action height, how to adjust and maintain it, signs of high or low action, and much more. Our goal is to help you find the perfect balance, ensuring a comfortable experience and allowing your Taylor acoustic guitar to express its fullest potential.
So, let’s get started on ‘How High Should Taylor Acoustic Guitar Action Be?’ and take a step towards making your playing experience nothing short of extraordinary.
What is guitar action?
In simple terms, guitar action is the height of the strings above the frets, particularly at the 12th fret. The string height at the nut also affects the overall action of a guitar. The action might be too high or too low, affecting the ease of playing and sound quality. If the action is too low, the strings might buzz, while if it is too high, the guitar becomes challenging to play.
How is guitar action measured?
Guitar action is measured by assessing the distance between the fretboard and the strings at a specific fret, often the 12th fret. Lower action provides easier playability, while higher action helps avoid fret buzz. Action can be adjusted by altering the truss rod, bridge height, or saddle height to facilitate the desired playing experience.
What is the ideal guitar action height?
The ideal height for guitar action is subjective and varies depending on a player’s preference. However, Taylor recommends that the action on their acoustic guitars be between 5/64″ (2.0mm) on the high E string and 7/64″ (2.8mm) on the low E string. For electric guitars, the action should be 6/64th of an inch (2.38mm) on the bass side and 4/64th of an inch (1.59mm) on the treble side.
What are the effects of having too high or too low action?
Having a guitar action too high or low affects the playability of a guitar. If the action is too high, it becomes harder to press down the strings, making playing difficult. Players tend to develop finger fatigue and have a hard time playing the guitar for extended periods. On the other hand, if the action is too low, the strings might buzz on the frets, affecting the guitar’s overall sound quality.
How to lower action on an acoustic guitar?
If you want your Taylor guitar to offer the best tone possible, then you need to lower the action on your acoustic guitar. Here are some steps to follow when lowering the action on an acoustic guitar.
How to adjust the truss rod?
The truss rod is a metal strip located inside the guitar body and is used to adjust the curvature of the neck, which affects the guitar’s action. If you want to adjust the guitar’s action on your Taylor acoustic guitar, you must start by adjusting the truss rod. Use an Allen wrench to tighten the truss rod to achieve a lower action height. Conversely, loosen the truss rod to raise the action.
How to lower the saddle height?
Another critical part of the guitar that affects the action is the saddle, which is located on the guitar’s body. You can lower the saddle by sanding it using sandpaper to achieve a lower string height. Be careful not to remove too much material as this can negatively affect the guitar’s intonation.
How to measure guitar action?
To lower the action on your guitar, you must measure the guitar string height at the 12th fret of each string. Using an action gauge, measure the height of each string and adjust accordingly. Usually, you will lower the string height by gently sanding the bottom of the saddle until you achieve the desired height.
How to adjust the action on an electric guitar?
Electric guitar action is a little different than acoustic guitar action because electric guitars have an adjustable saddle. This means that you can adjust the height of the individual strings and achieve the desired action.
How to adjust the action of the electric guitar?
To adjust the action of an electric guitar, you must start by adjusting the bridge saddle screws. Loosen the screw, adjusting the saddle height to the desired action, then tighten when satisfied with the results.
What is the difference between action on an electric and acoustic guitar?
The primary difference between the action of an electric and acoustic guitar is that electric guitars have an adjustable saddle. This makes it easier to adjust the height of the strings individually. Additionally, electric guitars are built using different materials and are usually much thinner, meaning that the action on an electric guitar is generally lower than on acoustic guitars.
What are the common reasons for having high action on electric guitars?
The most common reasons for high action on electric guitars are bowing of the neck, incorrect saddle height, and a high nut action. Make sure you adjust all these adjustments in combination to achieve the best action for your guitar.
How to know if your guitar action is too high or too low?
You can tell if your guitar action is either too high or too low by the way it plays and sounds.
What are the signs of having high action on your guitar?
If you have high action on your guitar, it will be difficult to fret the strings, causing finger fatigue and making playing a chore. Additionally, you may notice that your guitar’s intonation is off, leading to chords sounding out of tune.
What are the signs of having low action on your guitar?
If you have low action on your guitar, then you might notice that the strings buzz on the frets, especially when playing hard. You might also notice that the notes don’t sustain, causing the guitar to have a shallow tone.
How to use an action gauge to measure the action height?
To use an action gauge, place it on the guitar strings, applying pressure on the 12th fret. This will create a measurement of the string height at the 12th fret, indicating whether the string height is too high or too low.
When to seek professional help for adjusting guitar action?
Adjusting guitar action can be time-consuming, and if you don’t have experience with instrument setups, you may not achieve the desired results. Here are some reasons you may need to seek professional help:
What are the limitations of adjusting guitar action on your own?
The main limitation of adjusting guitar action yourself is that it requires knowledge and experience to successfully achieve the right action height. You will also need specialized tools to measure the string height, and if you go too far, you might end up damaging the guitar.
What to expect when bringing your guitar to a professional for action adjustment?
When bringing your guitar to a professional for an action adjustment, you can expect them to do a full inspection of your guitar to assess any damage. They will then work on the truss rod, nut, saddle, and bridge to achieve the right action for your guitar.
How to find a trustworthy guitar technician?
The best way to find a trustworthy guitar technician is through recommendations from other guitar players. You could also visit local music shops or search online for reputable guitar technicians in your area. Make sure you use someone who has experience working on Taylor acoustic guitars to ensure the best possible results.
Q: How Do I Measure The String Action On A Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: To measure the string action on a Taylor acoustic guitar, first locate the 12th fret. Measure the distance between the top of the fret and the bottom of the string.
This distance represents the action at the 12th fret, which is an important metric for determining if adjustments need to be made to the truss rod, saddle, or nut height.
Q: What Is The Ideal Action For A Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: The ideal action for a Taylor acoustic guitar depends on your playing style and personal preference.
Most players find a low action (around 1.5mm to 2.5mm at the 12th fret for the high E string and 2mm to 2.8mm for the low E string) to be comfortable and easy to play. However, some players may prefer a higher string height for their specific playing style.
Q: How Do I Adjust The Truss Rod On A Taylor Acoustic Guitar To Change The Action?
A: To adjust the truss rod on a Taylor acoustic guitar, you’ll need an appropriate truss rod wrench. Locate the truss rod access point, usually found at the headstock or just inside the soundhole.
Turn the wrench clockwise to tighten the truss rod, which will lower the action, or counterclockwise to loosen it, which will raise the action. Make small adjustments and re-check the action to ensure proper results.
Q: What Is The Role Of The Saddle In Adjusting The Action Of A Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: The saddle is responsible for setting the height of the strings above the fretboard. If you want to raise or lower the action on your Taylor acoustic guitar, you need to either increase the height of the saddle or file it down to lower the overall string height.
Q: Is It Possible To Adjust The Action On An Electric Guitar The Same Way As On A Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: Yes, the process of adjusting the action on an electric guitar is similar to that of a Taylor acoustic guitar, but it might involve slightly different components, such as adjustable bridge saddles.
However, the principles of measuring the action, adjusting the truss rod, and working with the nut and saddle height remain the same.
Q: How Often Should I Adjust The Action On My Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: There is no specific timeframe for adjusting the action on a Taylor acoustic guitar, as it largely depends on personal preference and changes in playing style or string choice.
It’s a good idea to check your guitar’s action during regular maintenance and make any necessary adjustments to keep your guitar playing comfortably and sounding its best.
Q: Can High Action Affect The Playability And Tone Of My Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: Yes, high action can affect the playability and tone of your Taylor acoustic guitar. High action may make it more difficult to press down the strings, resulting in discomfort or fatigue while playing.
It can also cause intonation issues as the strings have to be stretched more to make contact with the frets. Lowering the action can help improve playability and maintain accurate intonation.
Q: How Can I Determine If The Action On My Taylor Acoustic Guitar Is Too High Or Too Low?
A: If you’re experiencing fret buzz, the action on your Taylor acoustic guitar may be too low. If you find it difficult to press down the strings or have intonation problems, your action may be too high.
Measuring the string height at the 12th fret can help you determine if adjustments are needed to improve playability and maintain proper intonation.
Q: When Should I Consider Seeking Help From A Guitar Tech To Adjust My Taylor Acoustic Guitar Action?
A: If you’re unsure about how to properly adjust the action on your Taylor acoustic guitar or have concerns about damaging the instrument, it’s best to seek help from a professional guitar tech.
They have the knowledge and experience to properly diagnose and correct any issues with your guitar’s action, ensuring your instrument maintains optimal playability and sound.
Q: Can Different Playing Styles Affect The Ideal Action On A Taylor Acoustic Guitar?
A: Yes, different playing styles can affect the ideal action on a Taylor acoustic guitar.
For example, fingerstyle players may prefer a lower action for easier fretting, while strummers or players who use alternate tunings may need a slightly higher action to accommodate their technique without creating excessive fret buzz.
It’s important to find a guitar action that suits your personal playing style and preferences.
In conclusion, the optimal action for a Taylor acoustic guitar mainly depends on the player’s preferences, playing style, and level of comfort. Generally, a low action is more suitable for beginners, as it enables easier fretting with minimal force and offers faster playability.
However, professional guitarists might opt for a medium or high action, as it facilitates better expression and dynamic range, and minimizes fret buzz.
While Taylor Guitars company provides recommended action measurements – usually 2.8mm for the treble side and 2mm for the bass side at the 12th fret – it is essential to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for all musicians. Adjustments to action should be made thoughtfully, with subtle changes to find the perfect balance between playability, comfort, and tonal quality.
Furthermore, always consult an experienced guitar technician when adjusting your guitar’s action, especially if you’re unsure about the process or feel uncomfortable making these changes yourself. Ultimately, the perfect Taylor acoustic guitar action should cater to the individual guitarist’s needs for an enhanced musical experience.