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View Full Version : Adjust action, copied from my introduction thread



FHicks
11-08-2016, 10:10 PM
From my little understanding.....if I plan on playing fingerstyle/picking.....melody.....and never playing with anybody else.....that the low G is the way to go. On violin/mandolin I played mostly classical.....and only VERY (close to never) rarely with a piano accompaniment. Right now all I am doing is learning chords and playing some basic fingerstyle runs from the internet just to get my thumb/index/middle fingers coordinating a bit......and as with mandolin when I hadn't played in a long time.....the first week just to start getting the fingertips toughening up so I can practice more. Surprisingly (to me anyway).....the strings are at least as hard on my fingers as the mandolin was.....maybe harder. There seems to be plenty of gap over the frets though.....so I might get the files/sandpaper out and take some off the bridge. I am assuming taking it off the bridge is safer than at the nut? I can still remember starting up with the violin waaaaaay back in the 80's and with a cheap violin to begin with.....high action+cheap strings did give me some amazing tough calluses.

jollyboy
11-08-2016, 10:49 PM
Taking the action down at the saddle (bridge) is certainly somewhat easier than taking it down at the nut. But taking the action down at the nut can lead to a greater improvement in playability (and intonation) IMHO.

FHicks
11-08-2016, 10:53 PM
Taking the action down at the saddle (bridge) is certainly somewhat easier than taking it down at the nut. But taking the action down at the nut can lead to a greater improvement in playability (and intonation) IMHO.

OK....this is info I needed. If I am switching to the low G.....I am assuming I may have to reshape the G nut hole slightly anyway for the bigger string...yes? Would it be reasonable to just take down all the nut slots a "hair" and the bridge slots down a "hair" as well? I had my octave mandolin adjusted lower....made it easier to play...and since I don't play loudly/in public I didn't need to worry as much about string buzz.

jollyboy
11-08-2016, 11:14 PM
OK....this is info I needed. If I am switching to the low G.....I am assuming I may have to reshape the G nut hole slightly anyway for the bigger string...yes? Would it be reasonable to just take down all the nut slots a "hair" and the bridge slots down a "hair" as well? I had my octave mandolin adjusted lower....made it easier to play...and since I don't play loudly/in public I didn't need to worry as much about string buzz.

I'm going to post links to a couple of youtube videos that I feel are good guides for doing these adjustments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56cchC2_MWQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SJ32cGQzg8&list=PLlzk_q41vwJM0aotiXIe5SNeYxvQRnqfT (Personally I feel that it's easier to sand the nut from the bottom than to attempt to file the nut slots without the proper luthier tools. Also this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6lGTSGaSOo) about replacing a guitar nut shows how to do the work slightly more carefully ;))

With the low-G - I would recommend that you think about a wound low-G such as the Fremont soloist. You can then try low-G without having to make a nut slot adjustment - after all, you might decide that you prefer re-entrant and want to change back :)

FHicks
11-09-2016, 01:05 AM
Thanks jollyboy.....the video's were helpful. I don't have a metal ruler/string gauge....kind of made my own for now....I will order one. Looks like I am right at 3mm on the 12th fret which is what I was expecting coming from the factory. When I change the G string I'll lower the action about .5mm....probably a little less than that (1mm or less on the bridge). I'll wait until I get the gauge to make sure. I don't really want to do anything at the nut at this time. I have another week to just mess around playing easy stuff and toughening the finger tips.....so time to get that Fremont to try. The nut appears to be fairly high as well......but again I will wait until I get a gauge.....I'm not in THAT much of a hurry.

FHicks
11-09-2016, 02:02 AM
The low G on the Fremont soloist seems to be .03, I can't seem to find the diameter of the Aquila 15u G string.....any idea. I'll keep looking.

kypfer
11-09-2016, 12:34 PM
The low G on the Fremont soloist seems to be .03, I can't seem to find the diameter of the Aquila 15u G string.....any idea. I'll keep looking.

Check out https://www.amazon.com/Aquila-15U-Tenor-Ukulele-Strings/dp/B004JL6BMW ... they quote 0.02675" for the wound 4th :)

FWIW I have no problem adjusting the nut slots on any instrument (and frequently do). If I overdo it I simply fill the slot (superglue & baking soda or just a slip of plastic) and start again. I'll very often not even detune the string, just lift it sideways, file a bit and drop it back in !! YMMV ;)