Re: how to set my action right.

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Posted by El Pájaro on April 24, 2000 at 06:53:48:

In Reply to: how to set my action right. posted by James Burmeister on April 23, 2000 at 15:01:29:

: Hey people,
: I just got a yamaha 5-string for my birthday. Man do i love it. But every time i play my friends bass it would feel so much better than mine. So i attempted to set my action but it's even worse. I don't have the money to get it set at a shop(thats why i play the blues),so how can i make sure the action is perfect?

Hey James,
Ask yourself, Why does your friend's bass feel that much better than yours? Is it because it seems easier to play? Does fretting take less effort on your frined's bass? Most likely it is because he/she had it properly setup by a qualified repairman or technician. Even though this is a complex subject, there are still some things you can do to get it better.
First: check the tension on your neck (that is, your bass neck :-)); if the strings lay too far away from the neck and the neck itself has a backbow, get an allen wrench and adjust the truss rod until the neck is almost straight. You don't want to set it perfectly straight, though, because the strings need some room to vibrate freely and avoid fret buzz. Take truss rod adjustments easy, since the wood needs some time to react to the adjustments, so tighten the rod by small increments (a quarter of a turn each time is fine) and let it alone a couple of days to see how the neck reacts. Find a setting that works for you and leave it that way.
Second: check the action at the bridge, too. Most bridges allow for changing the string height either way. So get yet another allen wrench and work at this, too.
Last: check your pickup/s height. Most people overlook this, but it can affect quite dramatically the way a bass feels. You may need a Philips screwdriver for this. Experiment with pickup/s height until you find the right combination for you. Take this easy, too, since radical changes in pickup height can affect the bass output in noticeable ways.
Hope this helped. Buena suerte and keep that bass up front in the mix,
El Pájaro

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