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pcalia davegross GypsyBassGuitar Sultan_of_Swing

I played a GJ guitar for the first time ever yesterday

So I got to try out a proper guitar yesterday. First time ever trying one out, and BOY, I felt like a complete beginner...haha. Granted it was not set up, brand new from box with horribly high action. close to 1/4" at 12th I would guess, and I assume it would play completely different once properly set up, but jeez, that was an experience. Once I got home, I had to pick up my regular guitars just to make sure I had not all of a sudden had a brain melt and forgot how to play...Hahahaha. Looking forward to when I can get one of my own.



  • Posts: 4,181

    Most everyone would feel the same with that action. It should be less than half that.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 887

    I play with a high action close to that and certainly don't consider it to be horribly high. But maybe that's just me.

    always learning
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 3,277

    Wow, 1/4" action brand new out of the box??? That is ridiculous. That's not 'not set up'. Something is wrong with that instrument. What brand?

  • Posts: 4,181
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • vanmalmsteenvanmalmsteen Diamond Springs ,CANew Latch Drom F, Eastman DM2v, Altamira m30d , Altimira Mod M
    Posts: 333

    They tend to be difficult to play even with reasonable action;)

  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 887
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 353

    Better to measure action more accurately -- it can be tricky to gauge just with your eyes. Dunlop or other picks with known thicknesses can be helpful. Action on 6th string can be, say 2.75mm or up to 3.0mm; action on 1st string from, say, 2.0mm to 2.3mm. That's all the height you "need."

    Neck relief is another matter -- capo at 1st fret, press down at 12th or 14th fret, fit maybe a 011 string on top of 7th fret (maybe 4th string?); you could have more neck relief if you want.

    Nut (zero fret) height is another variable -- if it's hard to, say, bar at 1st fret maybe it could be lowered.

    Playing these guitars doesn't have to be like weight lifting.

  • ChrisMartinChrisMartin Shellharbour NSW Australia✭✭ Di Mauro x2, Petrarca, Genovesi, Burns, Kremona Zornitsa & Paul Beuscher resonator.
    Posts: 925

    I think the key thing here is he did say "...close to 1/4" at 12th I would guess...", possibly his guess is a bit out? That would be extreme, or something else is wrong. But in his defence I have often found it difficult to guess string height, maybe it is just my failing eyesight but there is no point guessing without using either one of those string height gauge things (y'know, the little metal rectangle with lines and numbers available everywhere online for few bucks) or feeler gauges of known thicknesses.

    As a rough guide if the low E is much below 3mm you have the risk of strings buzzing, particularly if you like a heavy attack, but much over 4mm will be getting much harder to play up around the higher frets. High E can be a touch less.

    Also, for the question of the original post, neck shape and nut width can vary and depending on what you are used to can need a different technique. If you came to it from usually playing a Les Paul for example, then yes, everything may be a bit alien in which case you have the choice of starting again to learn how to play the more physical end of the Gypsy Jazz style, or you seek out a suitable guitar with a smaller neck and easier action that you can get along with from the start; they are out there.

  • SwedeinLASwedeinLA New
    Posts: 42

    I did not measure the actual string height, but felt like that to me. I play a L5 style jazz box, telecasters and Les Pauls mostly. It was brand new out of the box, zero set up at all, and the bridge not even on. I dont doubt that it would play very good after a set up. I keep reading that 2.5-3mm is doable and that would be no issue to me. Looking at a ruler the string height seemed double that. Asian made instrument, that looked very nice and well made.

  • SwedeinLASwedeinLA New
    Posts: 42

    Found a picture of Djangos Selmer 503....That is easy 1/4"

    if I ever seen one. Granted who knows how it was when he played in back in the day.

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