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how high should the action be?

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(@Anonymous)
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Hi folks! Since I bought a new guitar, I will be using my old guitar for slide. I'm in the process of setting it up and was wondering how high should the action be? I'd like to be able to fret as well so how high should I set the action to be able to both slide and fret?


   
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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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Right now I'm sliding on my old Washburn dreadnought set up just the way it came from the factory. Haven't measured the height. Works fine. I think I set it to about 5/32" at the 12th fret when I put a new saddle on my Johnson Tricone. It's plenty high. I've never raised the action on an electric, but putting on 12s pulls it up a little.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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(@Anonymous)
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Thanks for your reply Ricochet. Should I set the action as high on my electric? Will it require for me to adjust the tension in the neck?


   
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(@ricochet)
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Action height's largely a matter of personal preference. Higher = easier to slide, but also means it's harder to get good intonation for fretting. You can develop, with practice, a light enough touch with the slide to play with light strings and rather low action, stopping the slide in the right position by muscle memory rather than counting on the tension of the strings to catch it. A light slide is helpful in that regard. Heavy slides are best used with heavy strings, to keep the slide from bouncing off the strings and buzzing.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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