guitar string question

if the strings are too high off the fret board, I need to tighten the action right?

You need to lower the action

by tightening the bolt or loosening?

Tighten it a little at a time. Like an eighth of a turn each
time, then check the action with strings at full tension.

Yikes. You can really screw up your intonation that way. I would try lowering the brdige first.

TTT for Racer-x

and how would I do that? Is this something I need to let the repair shop deal with?

Thats what I would do. It depends though, if its a nice guitar I would take it in first, if its an old beater try it yourself.

Is this an electric or acoustic?

Try here:Guitar maintenance links

its a washburn acoustic. It is my first ever guitar and it carries sentimental value. Never had any probs with it until recently and I dont know how this shit happens.

OK, first of all you need to establish why the action is too high.

Holding the guitar on your lap in playing position, hold down the low E string at the first fret. Then using the index finger of your RIGHT hand(assuming you are holding the guitar right handed), hold the same string down at the 14th fret. You are now using the E string as a straight edge to see how much or how little relief, or bow there is in the neck. What you should see is about 5 to 12 thousandths(roughly the diameter of the thinnest string on the guitar) between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret. If there is more curve than this, you may need to tighten the truss rod to get to the right relief.

CAUTION: You can snap a truss rod if it will not turn easily. On some guitars it is best to loosen the strings so that the rod isn't fighting them in trying to straighten the neck. If you don't know what you are doing and have access to a qualified tech, by all means seek him out. A broken truss rod is a frickin' disaster.

If the neck appears to be straight enough(you do need a small amount of relief or it wiil buzz when played on the first few frets) you may need to lower the bridge saddle. This can be done on most acoustics by simply removing the bone or plastic saddle from the bridge and sanding the bottom. Make sure to keep the bottom flat. 120 or 150 grit sand paper on a flat surface does a pretty good job.

The other possibility with an older guitar is that the neck joint has shifted over time and needs resetting. This is a costly operation only to be undertaken by an experienced pro. If you sight down the neck from the headstock and you can see a pronounced kink where the neck meets the body, you may have a real problem.

If you don't have confidence in your ability to analyze the problem, try to find a tech who knows the ropes. Calling around to music stores in your area to get a concensus on who that is should help.Hell, in Baton Rouge there should be quite a few guys who know what they are doing. ;)

when I hold at the first and fourteenth there a a very wide gap on the 8th fret. Looks like about 3 of my high E strings could fit in there. I cant gt to the truss without loosening my strings so thats not a problem but, how far should I go with it?

thanks I fixed it just fine

Cool. I guess I left out the "never tighten your truss rod more than 1/8 of a turn at a time" disclaimer.

Glad it worked out fine.;)

actually I read that somewhere, maybe in the link provided, but I am glad I did cause it didnt take but a little over an eighth and it was set.

sweet

Actually I like my action higher than many typical setups for a Strat. I also use 13's :D

each string is like a telephone pole. Bends are fun!

I think there is a point of diminishing returns on the big string issue.

There comes a point where, IMHO, it doesn't make the guitar sound any better unless you are tuning down a lot and need the bigger strings to maintain tension.

The biggest set I have found to be practical in standard or E flat tuning is a 12-52 set. For electric guitars, that is. Any larger and it just gets in the way of my playing. But then my standard set is D'Addario 9.5-44 so there ya go. ;)

But then my standard set is D'Addario 9.5-44 so there ya go. ;) -I dub thee unsoulful shredder, with girly hands! ;D

"-I dub thee unsoulful shredder, with girly hands! ;D"

Watch you mouth, call me unsoulful.;)

I dub thee Stevie Ray Wanna-be with Bull Hooves! j/k

But I do shred, oh yes, I do shred.;)

I dub thee Stevie Ray Wanna-be with Bull Hooves! Yep!Slow hand, lots of bends, and def SRV inspired tone.as someone once described my playing - Chuck berry meets jerry garcia.not to bad for a drummer..