Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:44 am

Christopher Langley wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:19 am
spanishguitarmusic wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 2:06 am
Christopher Langley wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:03 am
Hey friend,

Try and measure the action at the 12th fret on both the high and low e strings.. So we can help you decide if it really is needing to be lowered or not. At first nylon strings seem to be too high to most, but they are meant to be like that so the strings can breathe a bit.

In the meantime, it definitely would not hurt to try a set of low tension strings before you get it lowered.. This might solve the whole problem without having to go to the luthier.

If you know of a good luthier who is familiar with classical guitars, he will know exactly what is needing to be done after a few moments...

However, many guitar techs are much more knowledgeable when it comes to electrics and steel strings and somewhat ignorant when it comes to classical guitars. Also, some are money hungry and will do work that doesn't need to be done just for the money. So, watch out and do your homework and make sure you are making the right choices.

It never hurts to try different strings.. Most nylon strings are really closer to being the same in tension and materials than they are different and most will work on most guitars in most scenarios. You are looking at around a 10 pound difference between low and medium and medium and high tension.. It's actually pretty hard to tell them apart. Slight difference in feel.
:merci: For your response! I just measured my action today at the 12th fret on both the high and low e strings. My 6th string at the 12th fret is 4 mm and the 1st string at the 12th fret is 3 mm. I believe this is pretty standard for classical guitars. I don't know if this is correct or not and if I should still go ahead and get my action lowered? Any suggestions if this should be lowered or if this is a fine height?

I may just go ahead and try the lower tension strings and see if I find them more comfortable as I am finding the normal tension hard in playing barre chords.

Yes, I don't even know if the luthier I have in mind deals with any classical guitars or not. It seems to me he may deal more with electric and steel string guitars. So, I don't know though. I may try the lower tension strings first and go from there. Thanks again for your response and suggestions. Really helpful!
If all other things are where they should be, that action should be about perfect.

Barres really, really take some time to get down.

Definitely no harm in trying the low tension strings before you try a lower saddle. They should be easier to play, at the expense of just a little volume. No big deal.

If you do decide to get action lowered, go ahead and buy a secondary saddle so that you can keep the original and raise it back up later if you want.
Yes, so far I haven't been playing any music that requires barres, although I am a little scared to attempt any and sometimes even when I am playing in the first position, I can still feel some fatigue in my left hand, just around the fleshly part of the index finger opposite the knuckle inside the hand. This is only after playing maybe 45 mins to 1 hr time. I am just wondering as I start playing in higher frets how worse the pain will become.

I am thinking of taking your advice and try out the lower tension strings first and then decide if I like them enough or to go ahead and get my action lowered.

Thank you for advising I buy a secondary saddle so that I can keep the original if I decide to go back to the original height. Thank you for your suggestions and help! Much appreciated!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:58 am

Lovemyguitar wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:16 am
I seem to recall you asking this exact same question a year or two ago (about the same guitar). I don't think the advice you're getting is any different this time. Low tension strings and/or lower action, just do it! (A flamenco guitar should actually be a bit lower than 4/3 mm at the 12th fret, it is not a classical, and the optimal action should be lower than on a classical.)

There is also a possibility that your nut is too high (since the action at the 12th fret is not terribly high) -- that can make low position barres harder than necessary, even with lower tension strings (I am guessing that you don't play much in the higher positions...). Even a basic guitar tech ought to be able to help you with these things, if your guitar is not set up properly.

Good luck.
Thank you for your response! Yes, I don't play in the higher positions much at all. I also, haven't thought that maybe the nut may be too high. Although, when I site down the strings from the saddle all the way down the fingerboard to the nut, I can see the strings lowering at somewhat of a slope, not straight at all. So, I am thinking obviously the nut must be lower that the bridge height. I am not to experienced with classical guitars, so I am not sure if this is normal on most classical guitars or just mine. I may just have a luthier take a look at it and see what he advices. Thanks again for your advice.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:03 am

Carey wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:31 am
I'd stick with the J45s for now, if it were me. They're a good, very moderate tension set, and you're going to lose some
power from lowering the action, anyway. Another thing is that with the J43 third string you're getting into very floppy
territory, and if you detune that string to F#, even more so.
Thank you for your response and your advice! Definitely some things to consider before making my decision.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:06 am

Christopher Langley wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:09 am
Carey wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 4:31 am
I'd stick with the J45s for now, if it were me. They're a good, very moderate tension set, and you're going to lose some
power from lowering the action, anyway. Another thing is that with the J43 third string you're getting into very floppy
territory, and if you detune that string to F#, even more so.
Now that Carey mentions it, you could just tune your normal tension strings down a half a step to see if you like it before moving to low tension strings.

Also, Carey.. If he tries the low tension and doesn't like them, no biggie. I've never noticed a problem with them being floppy, but I don't typically play detuned, either.
This is another option as well to see if I like the strings once tuned down a half step. I can try this for sure first. Thanks again.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:09 am

Intune wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:46 pm
Instead of lowering your current saddle, why not have a luthier make you a second saddle lower than your current one. If you're at all handy, maybe you could even make it yourself, using the guidance offered in countless posts here. At any rate, you can try out medium and low tension strings on both saddles to find the combination that suits you best.
Thank you for your response and suggestions! Having a second saddle made is actually a good idea as well, this way to can try out both string gauges and see which ones I like better. Thanks for suggesting this!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 2:11 am

ddray wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:05 pm
If you haven't already, try Savarez white card. I find them to be superior to 43s in just about every way.
Thank you for your response and in suggesting I try the Savarez white card. Yes, I haven't tried them before, so I will keep them in mind as I decide which strings to go with.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm

spanishguitarmusic wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:58 am
...I also, haven't thought that maybe the nut may be too high. Although, when I site down the strings from the saddle all the way down the fingerboard to the nut, I can see the strings lowering at somewhat of a slope, not straight at all. So, I am thinking obviously the nut must be lower that the bridge height. I am not to experienced with classical guitars, so I am not sure if this is normal on most classical guitars or just mine. I may just have a luthier take a look at it and see what he advices. Thanks again for your advice.
It is totally normal for the strings to be lower at the nut and higher as you go up the fingerboard towards the bridge. If the strings were 3 or 4 mm over the frets near the headstock, it would be impossible to fret in lower positions! (And, if they were nearly touching the frets at the 12th fret as they are at the first fret, they'd buzz all the time).

Do you have a guitar teacher? -- I think you really need to get a teacher if you don't know these very basic things about your guitar! Meeting with anyone who actually knows their way around the instrument -- a luthier or another classical guitar player or just somebody who works at a music shop and knows anything about a CG -- will help you to determine if your guitar actually needs to be adjusted, or if it is just fine the way it is, and you just need to acquire better technique to play it.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:40 am

Lovemyguitar wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 pm
spanishguitarmusic wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:58 am
...I also, haven't thought that maybe the nut may be too high. Although, when I site down the strings from the saddle all the way down the fingerboard to the nut, I can see the strings lowering at somewhat of a slope, not straight at all. So, I am thinking obviously the nut must be lower that the bridge height. I am not to experienced with classical guitars, so I am not sure if this is normal on most classical guitars or just mine. I may just have a luthier take a look at it and see what he advices. Thanks again for your advice.
It is totally normal for the strings to be lower at the nut and higher as you go up the fingerboard towards the bridge. If the strings were 3 or 4 mm over the frets near the headstock, it would be impossible to fret in lower positions! (And, if they were nearly touching the frets at the 12th fret as they are at the first fret, they'd buzz all the time).

Do you have a guitar teacher? -- I think you really need to get a teacher if you don't know these very basic things about your guitar! Meeting with anyone who actually knows their way around the instrument -- a luthier or another classical guitar player or just somebody who works at a music shop and knows anything about a CG -- will help you to determine if your guitar actually needs to be adjusted, or if it is just fine the way it is, and you just need to acquire better technique to play it.
No, I don't have a guitar teacher. I am just learning by myself using Noad's books, free sheet music online and this website and other websites. Yes,I should have either someone at a music shop that knows about CG's or a local luthier take a look at it. It may even be my technique as well. I haven't really started playing barre's and playing past the first position, so basically I am probably starting to worry that I won't be able to play past the first position if the height of the strings is high. Although, 4mm and 3 mm string height is pretty standard I guess and shouldn't cause too much of a strain on my left hand if any at all. I may just have to strengthen my left hand muscles more and develop my technique before starting to worry about being able to properly play barre chords and further up the fret board. Again, thank you very much for your answers and advice!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by joachim33 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 pm

Playing in base position can cause more stress on your left hand, than in the higher positions. In higher postions you are fretting closer to the middle of the string and while you the way to press is longer, the force needed is typically less. Also the wrist position is more natural in 3rd or 5th position than at base. You might want to study in that context.

In base position I found Savarez 510CR (or 510MR) strings very nice - further up the neck, I find the trebles to sloppy. Another string I can recommend for left hand ease is Aranjuez A800. The A800 have excellent playability. Both are easier on the left than EJ45. I haven't tried any EJ43. I would advise against lowering the action when considering playing low tension strings.

I am also recommend a tutor to e.g. check on your posture.

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by GuidoGitarist » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:50 pm

I actually use extra high or high tension on my guitar, just personal preference. I do wonder if lowering action on a flamenco guitar is really a good idea.. it is already really low and the only reason why you would do it is because some chords are hard to learn. That is just the experience and skill you still have to learn. I play flamenco on a classical fret height, some pro's too, because it produces a better sound. Just take some time to learn the chords and techniques, everything is hard to learn on a guitar in the beginning. Flamenco guitars are already really easy to play due to the lower action, so lowering it even more might give you technical issues when you upgrade to a more professional model with higher action. And I agree with others, get yourself some classes to get on the basics and proper technique.
2013 Perez Luthier India 'Abeto'
Flamenco player

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:08 am

joachim33 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:47 pm
Playing in base position can cause more stress on your left hand, than in the higher positions. In higher postions you are fretting closer to the middle of the string and while you the way to press is longer, the force needed is typically less. Also the wrist position is more natural in 3rd or 5th position than at base. You might want to study in that context.

In base position I found Savarez 510CR (or 510MR) strings very nice - further up the neck, I find the trebles to sloppy. Another string I can recommend for left hand ease is Aranjuez A800. The A800 have excellent playability. Both are easier on the left than EJ45. I haven't tried any EJ43. I would advise against lowering the action when considering playing low tension strings.

I am also recommend a tutor to e.g. check on your posture.
Thank you for your advice and suggestions on different strings. Yes, I was thinking the same thing about not lowering my action if I decide in going with low tension strings. I will try low tension strings with my current action and see how it feels in my left hand. Thanks again!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:33 am

GuidoGitarist wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:50 pm
I actually use extra high or high tension on my guitar, just personal preference. I do wonder if lowering action on a flamenco guitar is really a good idea.. it is already really low and the only reason why you would do it is because some chords are hard to learn. That is just the experience and skill you still have to learn. I play flamenco on a classical fret height, some pro's too, because it produces a better sound. Just take some time to learn the chords and techniques, everything is hard to learn on a guitar in the beginning. Flamenco guitars are already really easy to play due to the lower action, so lowering it even more might give you technical issues when you upgrade to a more professional model with higher action. And I agree with others, get yourself some classes to get on the basics and proper technique.
Thank you for your advice! Yes, my flamenco guitar has the standard classical guitar action height. It has 4 mm at 12th fret 6th string and 3mm at 12th fret first string. I find the guitar does sound pretty nice though. It's possible my left hand isn't strong enough for pressing down barres etc yet. I will need to learn the basics and proper technique. At first when I bought my guitar I wanted to learn and only stick with flamenco, but later I decided to only learn classical and not flamenco. I guess the action is at a proper classical guitar string height, which is appropriate for using the guitar as a classical guitar. Thanks again for your advice!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by Keith » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:36 am

This may not be an action or string tension issue, rather, neck shape and/or hand tension issue. Nut height, as it has been mentioned, can contribute to difficulties. The OP says he is not using a teacher and trying to learn on his own. Often times this results in poor hand technique which leads to tension in the hand which leads to threads like this. Hand tension is a killer.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Wed Mar 27, 2019 12:12 am

Keith wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:36 am
This may not be an action or string tension issue, rather, neck shape and/or hand tension issue. Nut height, as it has been mentioned, can contribute to difficulties. The OP says he is not using a teacher and trying to learn on his own. Often times this results in poor hand technique which leads to tension in the hand which leads to threads like this. Hand tension is a killer.
Thank you for your comment and your insight in this matter!

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Re: Getting Action Lowered Should I stick with D'addario EJ45 Normal Tension or EJ43 Light Tension?

Post by Keith » Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:03 am

sgm, no problem. I was fortunate enough to have teacher who was very aware of hand tension and drilled it into me from day one. By the way, I stand about a foot taller than him and both of us have hands proportional to our respective heights. He could out reach me on the fret board using nothing more than superb technique.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

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