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How To Adjust Guitar Bridge - Quick Tips

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Eminent Member
Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 31
Topic starter  

Hey Everyone, I am going to share my quick tips about guitar bridge adjustment for beginners whom I found struggling much time to fix.

So are you thinking how to adjust guitar bridge on your own in a simple way. Well, here we will discuss some quick tips to do so. This process of adjusting is also known as adjusting the action on the guitar. Adjusting the action is important for the guitar to sound good.

The action is the distance of the strings to the fingerboard. If the strings sit too high or low then there is a problem with your guitar. You will have to adjust the action. Moreover, if the strings sit too low then you may hear a buzzing sound and if they sit too high then you may find it very hard to fret.

Quick tips to adjust the guitar bridge:

You will have to lower or raise the part of the bridge where the strings actually sit and this bridge is also termed as saddle. It may take some time, so be patient and use the tips explained below.

  • Measure the guitar action:
  • Before you do anything measure the guitar action. Use a ruler to measure the distance between the 12th fret and the bottom of the first and sixth string. The new acoustic guitars for the first string are set to 2/32" and for the 6th string are set to 3/32". If the height of the string is higher than this then go to next step.

  • Detune your guitar:
  • saddle is fixed in the bridge slot with guitar strings quite robustly. So, getting the saddle off without loosening the strings will not be possible. So, take the string winder to detune your guitar until the strings are very loose. You don’t need to remove the strings from the tuners as it is a very hectic job to rewind them back on the tuners.

    Exception: if you have a string-thru bridge, it will be required to remove the strings from the tuners. It will just take a little more time to adjust the bridge.

  • Removing the strings from the bridge:
  • As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to remove the strings from tuners, but to get the access to the saddle, you need to remove them from the bridge. If your acoustic guitar has guitar bridge studs then use a string winder to remove the strings. Just remove the bottom three strings from the bridge and it will help you pull the saddle easily from the slot. If it is tight then make use of pliers to remove the saddle. To slide it out grab the bass side of the saddle and pull it out.

  • Lowering the saddle:
  • Now the saddle is removed so sand it down and keep it even to do so. An uneven saddle can spoil the tone. You can mark the edge of a saddle using a pencil and then take double stick sandpaper which you can stick to the bench or a wooden piece. Run the saddle until you see the pencil line disappearing. Depending on how much you need to lower your saddle, the process may need to be repeated a few times. Be careful while sanding the saddle. Never take off a lot of material else the strings will become too long. Remember, you can only take the material off, but can never put it back.

  • Replace the saddle and strings:

  • Put the saddle in the bridge slot and for this you will have to lift the three strings to get the saddle back in place. Replace the bottom three strings and then retune your guitar. If you feel the need to lower the saddle a little more then follow the same steps.

    A small tip: While adjusting the action you can also replace the bridge with the new one of good quality, like the Faber tone lock bridge. It will keep your guitar strings in place and work flawlessly for a long time. You can use Faber bridge if your guitar saddle has become old and you feel it’s time to replace it with a new one.

    So, these are a few things which you can consider while adjusting the guitar bridge. Each individual can choose a different way to do the above-mentioned steps are some standard ways to adjust the action of your guitar. So, adjust the action as per your preference and play your guitar in a smooth fashion without any interruptions.

    Eminent Member
    Joined: 5 years ago
    Posts: 31
    Topic starter  

    These tips are really helpful, I am a newbie and keep looking for these type of basic tips and knowledge. thanks :)

    New Member
    Joined: 5 years ago
    Posts: 2

    For Electric Guitar, based on brand names (Gibson, Fender, Jackson, etc), are there published specs of string height over fret for all 6 strings. Pickup height etc ?

    Any pointers to such specs ?