You will need a mechanics rule to do this properly. Depress strings at last fret. How do I set up my Telecaster® guitar properly? They are available in long, medium and short scales; taper-wound; and top-loading or string-through-body types. After the adjustment is made, re-tune the strings and re-check the gap with the feeler gauge. To check if your strings need changing, run a finger underneath the string and feel for dirt, rust or flat spots. Pulling on your strings helps remove the slack at the machine head , It also helps settle the string into the top of the guitar. so that neck appears straight to your eye. Remember—with most tuning keys, it's preferable to tune up to pitch. How to Solve tuning problems on a Steel String Acoustic Guitar or Electric Guitar: There are 5 main causes of tuning problems on a steel string guitar. Do the same with the high E. ACTION: fret low E at first fret and measure the distance from the bottom of the to the top of the 15th fret. If you have a five-string bass or are using heavier-gauge strings, your measurements must be increased accordingly. The string height markings are at increments of .010" (ten thousandths of an inch). String height or action describes the distance between the top of your frets to the bottom of your strings. With a feeler gauge, check the gap between the bottom of the string and the top of the 8th fret—see the spec chart below for the proper gap. Play test: Play every string at every fret checking for buzzes. Action determines how much pressure and distance is required for the string to make full contact with each fret. How often should I have a set-up adjustment done on my instrument? If string height at nut is correct, recheck string height at 12th fret with strings open. you need to loosen the neck truss rod, so that neck appears straight to your eye. Fret high E at 22nd fret, distance for both pickups should be 3/32". If the pitch remains the same, then your strings are fine, but if it changed pitch, a lower pitch, then you had slack in your system. To tighten (which will straighten the neck) you turn the key clockwise as you are looking at it. Check your tuning, then re-check the gap with the feeler gauge and re-adjust as needed. Re-tune, play and make further adjustments as needed. Don't over tighten or force it as you could damage your guitar if your not careful. Make sure that as you wind the string on the machine head, (if applicable to 'Strat' and 'Tele' type guitars) that your string is sitting under the string tree on the head stock. If string height at nut is correct, recheck string height at 12th fret with strings open. Make sure you have made a secure knot-tie once inserting the string into the machine head. so that neck appears straight to your eye. *** Setting pickups too high can cause a number of unusual occurrences. However, with locking tuners, go past the note and tune down to pitch. Strings that have lost their integrity (worn where pressed against the fret) or have become oxidized, rusty and dirty will not return to pitch properly. Bend High E string 1 and 1/2 steps, beginning at the sixth fret and ending at 22nd, checking for "choking" and to make sure string stays in nut notch. For Acoustics you may notice the string slip from underneath the pins, that's a good sign, then re-tune. This is particularly true with vintage-style Martins. As you can see down here, as you look down the fretboard (the wood underneath the strings that has the frets) that this guitar has a curve going away from the strings(known as a backwards curve). When transporting or storing your bass, even for short periods, avoid leaving it anyplace you wouldn't feel comfortable yourself. Though there are definitely those that have different preferences but if you want a starting point then 0.030 inches is generally considered the standard. Caution: Because of the amount of string tension on the neck, you should loosen the strings before adjusting the truss rod. Adjust String Action (height from fretboard) To tighten (which will straighten the neck) you turn the key clockwise as you are looking at it. Martin dreadnoughts with “factory action” tend to have slightly higher action than some other modern guitars. The ‘standard’ height of the action at the nut is 0.030 inches (0.76mm) for the low E string. Shimming is a procedure used to adjust the pitch of the neck in relation to the body. On many American series guitars, a Micro-Tilt adjustment is offered. Put a bend in the end of your string 1-cm from the ball, as you push the bridge pin in the guitar pull back on the string so it’s sitting right on the sound board (as an added benefit your tone will also be much better). For Classical/Flamenco Nylon String Acoustic Guitars. I can give you the factory spec info. There should be a small space between string and fret - no thicker than a piece of paper. To properly shim a neck, the neck must be removed from the neck pocket of the body. Closed Sundays & Public Note: These are minimum specifications that are meant as a guide; they should not be construed as hard and fast rules, as we realize that every player's subjective requirements often differ. Too Much string on the machine head – the ideal here is 3-4 turns, 1 layer of wind only You can preset the basic intonation of your bass by taking a tape measure and measuring from the inside of the nut to the center of the 12th fret (the fret wire itself; not the fingerboard). By the way, when I place a capo on the 1st fret and press down on the 15th fret, I can slip a piece of paper between the low E string and the 7th fret but slipping 2 pieces of paper will lift the string slightly. Because of the amount of tension on the neck, it's advisable to replace and tune each new string before removing the next string. 1. If flat, shorten the string by moving the saddle forward. There are a few other things that you can do to optimize your tuning stability that have more to do with playing and tuning habits. Looking for something I don't remember what. Each time you play your bass, before you do your final tuning, play for a few minutes to allow the strings to warm up. Measurement for low and high E's should be the same as measurement taken at the 15th. To do this properly you need a metal ruler that ends exactly at zero, and preferably a wide one. We set our guitars to 6/64" on the 6th string and 4/64" on the 1st string—a good all-around starting place for action height—but we’ll vary this by 25 percent or so in either direction if we know the player involved or for consideration of other factors like scale length. Pre-cut each string for the proper length and desired amount of winds. wipe away excess. Pull the fourth string 4" (102 mm) past its tuning post and cut it (again, make sure to pull each string taut). 24 Hour Customer Service, (click here for local numbers) I've found that my Lp's also need some relief in the neck to get a good low, buzz free action. Set the pickup selector switch (if your bass has one) in the middle position, and turn the volume and tone controls to their maximum settings. Now you need to change the action height. you will need an electronic tuner First, check tuning. Make sure your ball end is sitting firmly on to the bridge slot end, so it not hanging out of the slot. How you wind the strings onto the pegs is very important. Insert through the eyelet in the tuning key, allowing approximately 1/16" (1.6 mm) of the end to extend through the eyelet, then wind neatly in a downward pattern, being carefull to prevent overlapping.