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String Height...

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by Andrew_S., Aug 6, 2002.

  1. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Sorry if this has been asked before but I cannot find any discussion of this in the newbie section of setup...

    Just got bridge adjusters put on and the luthier set my string height at 1/2". I play rockabilly slap and this feels sooooo weird to me. Granted, I needed the adjusters put on because the bridge was originally cut too low so I only had about an 1/8" of height off the finger board. Can anyone give me a standard on string height or should I just "get used" to the newly elevated height?

    or, point me to the thread of this has already been discussed.

    Thanks! :)
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Here's a thread which discusses the basic topic. It was in the "Newbie Links:SETUP" thread under "String Height". ;)

    All joking aside, if what's in the thread doesn't answer your question, by all means continue asking questions either here or there. I'm not sure that there is any kind of "standard" string height, but the linked thread does give a lot of examples of what people around here are using as a jumping off point.
  3. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    :oops: :oops: :oops:

    I don't know why I didn't see tha. I think I went through all of the "bridge" threads and ridiculously didn't look at that one... :oops:

    Thanks F. Scott Chris-Gerald!
  4. Ditto to Durrl's response.
    My question is how did you play at all with the string height so low, much less slap? A lot of cats are looking for low height, but it's usually at the cost of acoustic punch and projection. 1/8" is extreme.
    FWIW, most rockabilly slappers have their string height set around 1/2" or more.
  5. Andrew_S.


    Jul 24, 2001
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Improper technique I'm sure (no teacher yet :( )

    I learned how to very quickly curl my fingers to grab and extend them for the slap. On a side note, With my bridge and strings properly set up, the action is impossibly high now. I mean, I'm glad I got the adjusters but sheesh, It's like Learning to slap all over again...
  6. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Lower the action, if it was working before, it probably wasn't broken, and it probably doesn't need fixing. Are you using stell or gut strings? You are probably working too hard with steel, good luck, set them lower. Rockabilly bassists may set their strings higher, but bassists slapping in other genres may set them lower. All it is is a click anyway. Find the correct path on your own, through trial and error. Trust yourself.

    GO ahead and misquote me, everyone.
  7. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    How can ya pass up advice like that?
  8. robw


    May 14, 2001
    Long Beach, CA
    Nice advice, Alex! I'll keep that in mind.

    But, to answer the original question, if the low action works well for you it's not a problem. I know of one other rockabilly bassist with very low action. I can't slap consistently like that however. If you can, you will gain in left hand dexterity. Most of us have to lose a little in left hand speed, so we can get our fingers under the string to slap.

    Like someone said (?), lower the action and experiment a little for the height that feels best.
  9. Alex Scott

    Alex Scott

    May 8, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Nice, Samuel

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