Should Guitar Strings Be the Same Height?

If you are starting a guitar learning journey, the guitar string plays a crucial role. As a beginner, you must ensure the guitar strings are not of inappropriate height so that you can find them easy to play. But choosing the right strings for your guitar may become tricky sometimes. 

There is no mandatory rule that the guitar strings must be the same height. It is generally difficult to have all the strings at the same height. An individual string height is measured as the distance between the fret wire. For this, the height of the strings differs a lot.  

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However, most people don’t realize that guitar string height depends on their playing ability. To get the desired tone from your guitar, you should adjust the string action of your guitar. 

What String Height Is Good for My Guitar?

Each guitarist has a preference for the action they feel suits them. It can be notified by the playing style, the type of guitar you are playing, and the tone you always play. 

If you are a beginner, it is more likely to happen that you find it difficult to control the guitar properly. So, it is better if your action is as low as possible as you are in the primary stage. 

You will give all your effort to learning the instrument. Then, when you gather experience, you can manage your guitar string height.

However, String height largely depends on your skill. For example, how well do you play the guitar? If you can play the guitar correctly, you can measure the string height and adjust it according to your comfort.

String Height at the 12th fret:

GuitarAction Height
Acoustic guitar2.6 mm
Electric guitar1.8 mm
Bass guitar2.0 mm
Classical guitar3.0 mm

Which Tool Is Useful for Measuring String Height?

There are two ways you can measure your guitar string’s height. They are the imperial( inches) and metric (millimeter) systems. You can measure the string’s height as high, low, or medium. Sometimes people use fractions, but the best way is to use millimeters and inches.  

A string action gauge is a primary tool when it comes to measuring guitar string height. You can find the tool both in metric and imperial variations. It has an easy way to convert fractional values. Moreover, you can also use feeler gauges.

You can use either the feeler gauge or string gauge as you like. But for measuring by feeler gauge,  a feeler gauge set is required. 

How Can String Height Measure? 

You can measure the height at the 12th fret with the open strings. Generally, measurements of the first and the sixth strings are preferable. You can avoid measuring the middle four ( B, G, D, & A) strings. 

So, here are the ways of measuring string height below.

  • Firstly, you have to sit in such a way as you are playing the guitar. So, you are not dealing with gravity at that time. It is the most important thing.

If the back of your guitar is flat, you can deal with gravity by pulling the neck towards the ground. It will be in a small amount. But when you are measuring the string height in millimeters, you do not want to get any kind of wrong readings.  

  • Then You can measure by using the string action gauge or feeler gauge. Be careful when you measure from the top of the 12th fret to the underside of the 6th string. That is the lowest (thickest) E string.
  • Lastly, you repeat the first two processes and measure the same function. But it will come under the other high E string. Generally, this string’s action will be lower than the low E string.

Measuring String Height at the First Fret

Measuring the 1st fret is not so hard. You will measure it when you find any problem with it. Such as open string buzzing, intonation, and if the string is too hard to press. 

Are you waiting to know how you can do it? Let’s have a closer look:

  1. Firstly, you have to sit in the guitar-playing position. 
  2. Then you must use a feeler gauge or string gauge to measure the distance from the top of the 1st fret to the underside of the lowest string.

How Can String Height Set Up?

Play your guitar to get the most out of each session! Adjusting the action, tone, bridge, nut, and head is essential, even to your taste!

It is good to know how to manage the guitar string’s height as a guitarist. You will get extra benefits by learning how to set up string height. Not to say it will save money.

Here are some guidelines for setting up string height:

Truss Rod Adjustment

A truss rod is an adjustable rod on the neck of a guitar. The adjustable screw is mainly in the head. It is balanced with a ⅛-inch key.

Turning the truss clockwise tightens the neck and tilts it back. When you take it off, it curves towards your body. The neck is almost straight and slightly angled to the body.

String position affects the behavior of the string, not the fingers. It is essential that all parts of the fretboard are in the correct position.

Bridge Adjustment

Then the next topic is the adjustment of the bridge. It depends on the type of bridge, but the most common are:

  1. Floyd Rose and other advanced “floating” bridges.
  2. Wraparound.
  3. Block-saddle bridges, as present on Fender and Fender-style guitars, can be tremolo or “hardtail.”
  4. Tune-o-Matic, as present on Gibson and Gibson-style guitars. 

The type of bridge is not the issue. You can adjust the string height by moving the bridges up and down. 

Related Questions

Does the Guitar String Go From Low to High?

Yes. Guitar strings are tuned from the lowest note to the highest. But don’t forget that you can’t mix the lower string with the lower string and the higher string with the higher string.

The sounds of the lower strings give more bass than the higher string.

How High Should the Strings Be From the First Fret?

The distance of the strings from the first fret is shallow. The distance from the bottom of the 6th string to the 1st fret is 0.8mm, and the distance from the high E strings to the 1st fret is 0.6mm.

What Do I Do if My Guitar Strings Are Too High?

Sometimes the guitar action can be too loud. Your finger must push down the string long before it makes contact with it. Another most straightforward way is to adjust the truss rod. By doing this, you will get your desired solution.

How Will I Know If My Guitar Strings Are Too High?

When you find playing the guitar uncomfortable and buzzing sounds, understand the strings are too high. 

Observing the intonation and guitar buzz will help you understand the scenario. Also, if the strings are not vibrating, the frets will feel sharp, and the neck will look warped. To solve this problem, you have to set the string.

Final Thoughts

You can customize your guitar strings as you like. The height of the string depends on your flexibility.

It is also challenging to keep the strings at the same height. Because each string height changes according to the length of the guitar neck. 

So, Make sure you have a passion for playing the guitar. Improve your guitar skills. After knowing your comfort zone, you can easily manage the guitar string height. 

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