I just completed construction a a Gitty license plate guitar. After I added the strings and started to adjust the strings, I noticed the action was so low that the strings are hitting the frets and giving a real tinny sound. I need to raise the action some. What is the best method of raising the action? 

  The open space under the license plate seems to be contributing as the bridge lowers as the strings tighten.

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 Some of those license plates could be a little bendy, run a brace inside, across the body. 

First, do the internal bracing that BrianQ recommended.  If you still more clearance you can build up your bridge with a piece of hardwood as a foundation and or change the nut.

Hi rick, also check for high frets in buzzing area. A short straight edge over three frets and if rocking is evident you found a high fret.



i know they have fancy luthier ways of handling that fret.  Do you hit it with a file or is that not cool?


Hi Tim, well if you come across a high fret there are a few ways to remedy it, and it depends on what has caused the high fret.

it could have just lifted out of its slot, now filing it ain't going to fix that, it's still going to be out of its slot when you finish filing. So applying glue and holding the fret down until it sets is the way in this case. 

Sometimes the fret slot may not be deep enough and holds the fret up, in this case I'd say remove the fret and rework the slot.

Sometimes it can be up due to an uneven fingerboard or lack of good levelling when first installed, then I would use a file to level the fret with the others. One then has to recrown the fret and polish.

sometimes a Factory guitar can have less than perfect fretting.  These do not become evident until the customer asks for a low action, so a simple job can turn into a not so simple one. A complete fret dress.

When I get a new guitar in because of a high action I immediately think, why? Often times it's to hide the buzzing caused by clumsy fret installation.


Thank you Taff,

I see what you are saying in each case.  Thank you for that knowledge, I know that comes for years of experience and I appreciate it.


Good advice from the guys above, and keep in mind you might have multiple issues in play. A "tinny" sound may actually just be the tone you're getting due to the metal soundboard. Check carefully to make sure the license plate isn't buzzing against the frame, and also check to see if a string slot on the nut or bridge is causing a buzz. I've seen that many times. If you're noticing movement as the strings tighten I would definitely consider a bit of bracing under the bridge. You don't want it to be completely rigid but it may need some added support.


would the sound be better If the plate were connected in a rigid way to the  bracing (glue or screw)?

Or the contact between the plate and bracing have a flexible connection (rubbery glue or a rubber washer)?

Or would the bracing be ideal around the sides, leaving the plate/soundboard free to vibrate in the center, unencumbered?   

or a center post mounted from inside the box to the underside of the plate?

Or some other type of approach?

thank for your thoughts



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