String action (separate for each string or all flat?)



What’s your opinion on string action? Should the strings have separate action, or do you prefer them all in the same plane?

A while ago I watched a video (blues based channel) suggesting the action should be an asymmetrical “V shape”, where the high E-string is the lowest, B a little higher, G a little higher still, and D being the “top string”, while A and E would be the same height as G and B respectively. The argument being that you don’t want to struggle with climbing over e.g. the E and B string in order to play on the G string.
I’ve been playing with that setup for some years now, but am thinking about going all flat on the setup.


Fretboard radius is a factor. If you set the height of each string the exact same, it still wouldn’t be a flat plane. It would be the radius of your fingerboard at the fret of measurement. But yeah, I wouldn’t do the higher in the middle. Never heard of it.


Bass strings probably (?) need a touch more height so they don’t buzz. They’re thicker and vibrate more widely. But that’s just to offset those factors, not because you really want the string to be higher.

I play 7.25" radius necks, and it’s a pain. It really is like climbing a hill from bass to mids and then descending that hill to treble again. It is measurable enough to change your form as you move from low to high. It’s also why I replace the bridge on the Mustang. On the stock Mustang bridge, both E string saddles are weirdly lower than all the others and you can’t correct that. Going from B to E is like falling off a chair. It’s weird, I don’t know why they do that.

Long story short: Set your height to the radius and be happy. If you have a flatter radius fretboard, like 14" or above, you may even find that it interferes less with your picking technique. But I would definitely not intentionally dial in an exaggerated radius.