How To Lower Action On An Acoustic Guitar

How To Lower Action On An Acoustic Guitar

Acoustic guitars can have a lot of action. This means the strings are high off the fingerboard, which is great for beginners or players who don’t like to press down too hard on their strings. However, some guitarists may prefer lower action so that they don’t have to press as hard to get their sound. If you want to know how to lower the action on an acoustic guitar and get that perfect playing experience, read on!

How To Lower The Action On An Acoustic Guitar? 

Know Your Acoustic Guitar Parts

The neck – The part of the guitar that extends from the body. The fretboard – The surface where the frets are placed. Fretboard radius – How curved the fretboard is. Nut – The piece at the top of the fretboard that holds the strings in place. Headstock – The part that holds the tuning pegs. Truss rod – The device inside the neck that controls how curved it is. The body – The area where the sound hole is located. Bridge – The piece of wood or metal that is located under the strings. Tuning pegs – The strings that are located on the headstock. Pickguard – The piece of plastic or wood that is located between the sound hole and the bridge.

Decide Where You Want to Lower the Action

There are several places where you can lower the action on the guitar. You can lower the action at the nut, at the bridge, or on the neck. You can lower the action at the nut by shortening the distance between the first and last frets. You can lower the action at the bridge by adjusting one of the bridge saddles. You can lower the action on the neck by adjusting the truss rod.

Adjust the Truss Rod

You can raise or lower the action of a guitar by adjusting the truss rod. If the guitar is too low (the action is too high), then you can raise it by turning the truss rod clockwise. If the guitar is too high (the action is too low), then you can lower it by turning the truss rod counter-clockwise. The truss rod is located inside the neck of the guitar, so you will need to take the guitar to a repair shop or a luthier to have this adjusted. This is a common problem that acoustic guitarists face, so don’t worry if you fall into this category.

Loosen the Guitar’s Fret

If the action is too high and you want to lower the second frets, then you can loosen their strings. If the action is too low and you want to raise the second frets, then you can tighten their strings. The easiest way to do this is to un-pluck the strings from the fret. If the strings are too tight, then it will be difficult to un-pluck them from the fret. You can use a small screwdriver to wedge under the strings to loosen them.

Tighten the Guitar’s Reed

If the action is too high, then you can tighten the guitar’s reed. This is the wooden piece located between the bridge and the nut. If the action is too low, then you can loosen the guitar’s reed. You can do this by turning the screw at the top of the reed. You will need to use a screwdriver to do this. You can also use a wrench if you have a large enough one.

Why Action Is Important

  • Having the right action on your guitar is important because it determines how easily you can get your sound. 
  • If the action is too high, you’ll have to press down on the strings so hard that your hands will get tired very quickly. 
  • If the action is too low, you could have issues with buzzing and sound quality.
  •  Most acoustic guitar players have a certain action they prefer, but it’s important to know how to adjust it if you want to change the setup and make any necessary adjustments. 
  • If you have high action and your fingertips and hands are getting tired, you can lower the action. If you have low action and are having issues with buzzing, you can raise the action a bit.

Why You Should Lower The Action On Your Acoustic Guitar? 

They are very versatile instruments.

The acoustic guitar may be played fingerstyle or with a plectrum. Here, fingerstyle refers to playing the instrument with the fingers, often using minimal plucking. This technique is a great way to emulate the sound of an entire band on a single instrument. Plectrum-based sounds are more suitable for playing lead parts and were commonly used in pop and rock music in the 1950s and 1960s. If you are interested in playing country music, acoustic guitars are a great option for achieving that classic sound. Many famous country musicians started off their careers with an acoustic guitar. You may have heard of artists such as Harry Styles, Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash. They all started their musical journey on an acoustic guitar.

They are portable and convenient to travel with

Unlike many other instruments, acoustic guitars are very portable. You don’t need to supply additional equipment such as an amplifier for them to sound great. You can pretty much plug and play anywhere there’s an outlet. They’re also easy to transport because they don’t rely on electricity. Therefore, they don’t need to be plugged in to produce a sound. This makes them a convenient choice for jam sessions, music festivals, and other events that require you to be mobile. When you’re traveling with an acoustic guitar, you don’t need to worry about the sound level. Unlike an electric guitar, the volume of an acoustic guitar is not dependent on the strength of your pickups. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about soundproofing or getting a noise permit. This makes acoustic guitars ideal for playing in many different environments, including outdoors.

They are cost-effective

Acoustic guitars are not particularly expensive, which makes them ideal for beginners. There are many different quality levels when it comes to acoustic guitars, ranging from £30 to £10,000+. Many quality-level guitars will be good enough to sustain a lifetime of playing. However, you may need to make repairs or replace parts as time goes on. This can be avoided by purchasing a quality instrument in the first place. You can find a great acoustic guitar for as little as £30. However, this might not be the best idea since you can’t expect very good quality at such a low price. A better option would be to check online retailers such as Amazon. They have a wide selection of acoustic guitars suitable for every skill level and budget.

Tips For Lowering The Action On An Acoustic Guitar

As we mentioned above, you’ll want to take your acoustic guitar to a luthier if you want to lower the action. While you can adjust the bridge, doing so incorrectly could cause damage to the strings and the guitar in general. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re taking your guitar to the shop: 

  • Check your intonation – Before you go to the luthier, make sure your intonation is correct. If the action is too high, you’ll notice that certain notes (for example, the open G string) are more off-key than others. By adjusting the intonation, you’ll be able to lower the action and get everything sounding as it should. 
  •  Ask your luthier about truss rod adjustments – If you’re not sure if the action is too high or too low, ask your luthier about the truss rod (it’s a rod inside the neck of the guitar that keeps it straight). The action is basically how straight the strings are from the bridge to the nut. If you want to lower the action, you can turn the rod clockwise to tighten the strings. Turn it counterclockwise to raise the action.
  •   Don’t forget about the bridge – During the adjustments, don’t forget that the bridge plays a role in the action of your guitar as well. If you’re not sure how to adjust the bridge, ask your luthier and be sure to get the action where you want it after they’ve made the adjustments.


Now that you know what action is and why it’s important, you can make sure the action on your acoustic guitar is just right. Having the right action will make playing your guitar easier and more comfortable, and it can also help with intonation if you have a high action. If you want to lower the action on your acoustic, be sure to take it to a luthier so they can do the adjustments properly.