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Just got my first bass, is this action too high?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Luis Marcano, Nov 21, 2020.

  1. Luis Marcano

    Luis Marcano

    Nov 21, 2020
    Hello guys! this is my first post here and just auto-gifted myself my first bass for birthday. However, it's ******* up my fingers BADLY and I wanted to check with you if action is too high or I'm just being a ***** out of being used to guitar. I've been checking the forum to make a good purchase and decided for a Fender jazz bass road worn 60s, it's good right?

    Here's a pic of the action:


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2020
  2. joelns


    Mar 10, 2014
    Yeah, that's really high. There are a mess of videos on YouTube about how to adjust. If in doubt, take it to a competent tech.
  3. colour me sceptical,
    Why are the images from What'sApp?
  4. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  5. andare


    Oct 4, 2016
    Sky high!

    6/64" for the low E and 4/64 for the G string measured at the 17th fret - that's from the top of the fret to the bottom of the string. +/- 1/64 depending on how heavy or light-handed you are.

    Learn how to set up your guitar, it's a basic skill. These are the steps in the right order. Retune after every step before checking again:

    • T - tune (use a good tuner pedal, a strobe is better)
    • R - neck relief (get a capo, feeler gauges and the right hex key, only turn the truss rod in 1/8-1/4 turn increments) - should be 12/1000" at the 7th fret with the capo ON the first fret while fretting the E string at the 17th fret
    • A - string action (see guidelines above, use the right hex key on the bridge saddles)
    • I - intonation (use a good tuner and a screwdriver) - match the 12th fret natural harmonic with the 12th fret fretted note
    • N - noodle around, check for buzzes and weird noises, notes choking out

    Actually the last step also includes checking the action at the first fret. Fret each string at the 3rd fret and then press down over the 1st fret: the string should move down just a tiny bit. If it's more than that, the nut slot is too shallow and fretting at the 1st fret is too hard and it pulls the note sharp. Lowering nut slots is a job for a pro tech. Don't mess with the nut using spoons, knifes or tip cleaners. It's too easy to make a mess. Take it to a pro.

    For all the above there are tutorials everywhere on how to execute the adjustments. Good luck!
  6. Luis Marcano

    Luis Marcano

    Nov 21, 2020
    Will do, thanks

    what you mean? I took the pic and sent it to myself to open it in the laptop and upload it here

    I'm not in the states but I just measured it with a ruler the best I could and it's around 6-7mm lol, so yeah really high compared to yours. Do basses come that high when new? it's supposed to be new. Hope it's a lot more comfortable once it's adjusted, gonna take it to a shop because the adjustment for this one is where the body meets the neck and that's trickier from what I've read.
    One Way and CallMeAl like this.
  7. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Even if they set it up for you before shipment/sale, it can change/settle over time, especially if it’s traveling to different climate (temp and humidity.)

    Great plan! If possible, ask the tech if you can watch. You can learn a lot. Get it dialed in (because yes, that’s a big adjustment) and all you have to do is maintain it
    One Way and bobyoung53 like this.
  8. jeffb28451

    jeffb28451 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    Wow! Yes, definitely high.
  9. That's still a little high, I go for 3/32" at the last fret.
    (why use 6/64"?, simplify it, easier to read 32nd graduations)

    If the OP is using Metric, then 2mm. (3mm at most)

    OH, I forgot, do a full setup:

    How do I set up my bass guitar properly?
    bigbassmike likes this.
  10. sonojono

    sonojono Supporting Member

  11. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland
    Ridiculously High!!
  12. B-Mac

    B-Mac Just like Aretha Sang... R-E-S-P-E-C-T Supporting Member

    The real question is, is it too high for your style of playing?
    I play with a pick and like my action on the high side so I don't get buzz when I dig in with a pick, but even with that said I have to agree that the action on your bass is much too high.

    How much relief is on the neck and how high are your saddles set?
    Dubious Aa likes this.
  13. Looking at that, you might fight that the neck has a significant back-bow and needs some relief dialled in. I generally like to get my neck as straight as possible effortlessly low action, but even those who prefer a higher string action would probably find that a bit too much!
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  14. Browning


    Oct 18, 2020
    I'm all about neck relief as 1st step, correct tuning is the starting
    Point .
    Patience is the most important thing, sometimes a TR adjustment can take days... and possibly a week for simple results !

    My 2cnts
  15. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive Suspended

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    For someone it could be ok, but most will say - too high. Not difficult to lower it. At first straighten the neck, then slowly lower the strings, starting from G, always chech all fret sounding on each string You are ballancing, all the time. That's it. If You don't want, take it to a master and pay about 10$.
  16. Hahahahaha. Yeah, I think you're just being a p<@@_. Hahahaha. (Shakes head)...guitarists

    Drop it like its hot
  17. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Looks high as Hell, but as per some of the other posters, the real way to judge that is when it's fretted or capo'ed at the first fret. The photo that would be most informative would be one looking down the neck, from the bridge to the nut, along a neck edge where angle and curve of the fingerboard can be seen. Some of "too high" could come from the bridge saddles having been set up too high. Some of "too high" could come from insufficient "relief" from the truss rod to pull the neck back against the string tension. And if you're really unlucky, some of "too high" will come from warpage or build defects. Just how much lower you want it to be is a function of your playing style. If you want it to play perfectly and without buzz all the way up and down the neck, you may need to set it up differently than you would if you were just going for maximum speed in the normal bass register.
  18. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    That action is so high the pic made me audibly laugh out loud. Feel free to lower the saddles judiciously.
  19. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    ...the thought of you looking at the pic and laughing out loud made me laugh out loud! i guess it was in there to be had. :laugh:

    yeah, OP: your action is hilariously high! congrats on your new instrument! :thumbsup: happy birthday, too! :thumbsup:

    let's see the whole enchilada...post some pics!
  20. stingray69

    stingray69 Talkbass Legit

    Aug 11, 2004
    St Louis Area
    Congrats on your first bass! :bassist:

    As an instrument owner, there will be routine maintenance required to keep your instrument in an optimal playing state. Especially when your first get the instrument and periodically after seasonal/temperature changes.

    Here is a 4-part video that is filled with a wealth of good information on how to keep your instrument playing great.

    sabre79, Spidey2112 and B-Mac like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Nov 29, 2020

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