How to Lower the Action on an Epiphone Guitar

Written by david mcguffin
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How to Lower the Action on an Epiphone Guitar
Adjusting the action makes it easier to press down the strings. (guitar image by cherie from Fotolia.com)

Lowering the action on an Epiphone guitar brings the strings closer to the fretboard. The results are a guitar that's easier to play. But there can be technical issues with lowering the action on a guitar, such as the potential for creating a buzzing noise coming from certain frets. The adjustment for action can be made on all acoustic guitars and some electric Epiphones as well.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Tuning machine
  • Chromatic guitar tuner

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Instructions

    Epiphone Acoustic Guitars

  1. 1

    Loosen the strings on your Epiphone guitar. When there is no longer any tension on the strings, use the winding notch tip on the tuning machine to remove the pegs from the saddle of the guitar.

  2. 2

    Remove the bridge and the nut from the guitar. The bridge is the piece of plastic or bone that is on top of the saddle. It's where the strings are plugged into the body of the guitar. The nut is the piece of plastic or bone where the strings rest in their notches between the headstock and the fretboard.

  3. 3

    Sand down the nut and the bridge. Only a small adjustment in the height of the bridge and the nut are necessary. You may want to purchase new nuts and a new bridge to practice sanding down to different levels or purchase higher quality bone components. High-quality components can add better sound quality to your Epiphone.

  4. 4

    Reinstall the bridge and the nut and tighten the strings. Use a chromatic tuner to make sure the strings are at the proper tension.

  5. 5

    Test the adjusted action. Play the notes of each string on each fret to make sure your adjustments did not create any fret buzz.

    Epiphone Electric

  1. 1

    Loosen the strings with your tuning machine so they are not putting any tension on the guitar's neck.

  2. 2

    Lower the bridge. Use a screwdriver to turn the bridge mounting studs counter-clockwise so that the bridge is lowered. Only use 1/4 turns on the bridge mounting studs, making sure that both are turned equally.

  3. 3

    Tighten the strings using a tuning machine and tune the guitar using a chromatic guitar tuner. Check each string and fret for buzzing sounds. Plugging the Epiphone into an amplifier is not necessary to hear the buzz of a maladjusted action.

Tips and warnings

  • Fret-buzz on an acoustic guitar can be corrected by installing a new nut and bridge. In some cases, buzzing can also be corrected by adjusting the truss rod with an Allen wrench.
  • Fret-buzz on an electric guitar can be corrected by making sure that the bridge mounting studs are even. If buzzing continues, return the bridge mounting nuts to their original height.
  • Low quality guitars may not be able to withstand the adjustment, making a buzzing sound. Higher quality guitars, however, usually stand up to lowered action without fret-buzz.

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