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#141746
4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley
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Last Edit: 2017/10/23 17:47 By wiley.
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#141750
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Wiley,
You are absolutely right about nut files. Only the Stew-Mac files should be used. The price is high but if you want accuracy and easy work, nothing is better.

As far as 1st fret string height, I go even lower, however a lot depends on neck relief (always set that first) and saddle height. With a neck relief of .006 (capo at 1st fret and measured at 7th fret while holding string down at the 14th fret), I set my nut height thus (measured at 1st fret):

e @ .014; BGDA @ .016; E @ .018.

And action at the 12th fret thus:

e @ .065; B @ .070; GDA @ .080; E @ .090

Granted I'm a finger style player for the most part and these low tolerances are not going to work for a Bluegrass picker, unless he/she has a perfect attack. Even at these tolerances I don't have too much trouble digging in.

Thanks for your, as always, informative posts.

Bill
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#141759
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley
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#141777
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
This is interesting stuff guys. Can you elaborate on what you'd recommend for finger picking and for strumming, the differences interest me. Any thoughts on 12 strings?
Thanks!
Chris
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#141778
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley
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#141784
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Chris,
It's bedtime for me now. But I'll repsond soon.
Bill
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#141791
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley wrote:
Chris, never owned nor setup a twelve - don't know why it would be any different yet the tension is, of course, a lot more and the bracing for a twelve is different also due to exactly that, increased tension.

A lot of flatpickers and bluegrass players will set the neck relief at almost zero, has to due with the amount of movement the string makes when set in motion. Same for the first fret height and the saddle height. It's a combination of the three that makes up the "action" although changing any one of these will cause a change.

It should be said that the environment, humidty and such, will also change these things - by changing the first part, the neck relief. And in extreme cases the "belly" of the guitar where the bridge attaches!

So - in short, if you strum "heavy" or "loud" a low action will cause fret buzz, - the movement of the strings is more than say a fingerstyle pluck. And, certain styles or genres of music do the same - Rock just isn't the same played nice and sweetly! *Electric guitars are usually somewhat different.

*General Note - if you don't want to mess with the nut slots, then tune down a half or more and use a capo - pretty much has the same effect.


Hi Chris,
I agree with Wiley on all points here. That said, I would add that setting the neck relief flat is not a good idea as the strings vibrate the most in the middle of their length. That leads to a lot of fret/string buzzing. Knowing your style of play I would really recommend the tolerances I mentioned in my last post here. Wiley uses a neck relief of .010, I use .006 to get a lower action for my style of play. I wouldn't go any lower than .005.

Again a lot of this has to do with the overall condition of the guitar. Any belly in the top near the bridge or a bad neck angle changes everything and if those conditions exist, you're never going to get a guitar that plays well. So before anyone tries to adjust neck relief, nut height, and saddle height the instrument should be checked for correct neck angle and top defects.

Checking neck angle is easy. With the guitar tuned to standard, place a straight edge on the middle of the finger board (one about 15" is perfect) parallel to the strings. The bottom edge of the straight edge should just kiss the top of the bridge (not the saddle). If it does, your neck angle is good. If the straight edge falls below the top of the bridge, you need a neck reset. This is true if the top of the guitar is flat. If there is a bulge at the bridge, that should be fixed first.

With me so far?

Wiley also makes a good point about humidity. If the guitar is dry, the bridge will sink, if it is "wet" the bridge will rise. I keep my guitars in a humidity controlled room; 45% to 55% relative humidity is ideal. In the winter I use an Ultrasonic humidifier in the winter and my central a/c takes care of the summer time high humidity. If you decide to use an Ultrasonic humidifier, it has to be run with DISTILLED WATER (not just filtered water). Distilled water has no minerals in it. The minerals in filtered water create a white powder that gets all over everything in the room.

Lastly, the only thing I do with my 12 string is tune it down a full step (E to D etc.) That takes tension off the neck, and makes it easier to play. I use the same tolerances as those in my 6 string guitars.

Whew...I hopes that's not TMI and you find it helpful.

Cheers,
Bill
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#141797
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley
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#141806
Re: Why can't I get in tune - and a tip on first position barre chords 4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
Thanks to you too Wiley. The arch top sounds really nice. I looked at them out of curiosity when I saw the ad in Acoustic Guitar magazine.

For those of you traveling to Asilomar, I would highly recommend putting the D'Addario Humidification System in each guitar/case. They really do work. Here's an Amazon link for them:

www.amazon.com/DAddario-PW-HPK-01-Two-Wa...ion+system&psc=1

Have fun all at IGC, I'll miss being there.

Bill
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#141836
4 Months, 2 Weeks ago  
wiley
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Last Edit: 2017/10/23 17:42 By wiley.
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