Ask Eddie: On His Preferred Action

Ever wonder how Eddie Van Halen likes the action on his guitars?

Stefan Nickel from Germany did, so he recently wrote in with a question for the legendary guitarist in this month’s Ask Eddie feature.

Read the entire exchange below.

Nickel: Hello, Mr. Van Halen! I would really like to know what action you prefer on your guitars. Is your bottom line simply the lower the better? Many people say 1 mm on the 12th fret is low. But what about the problem of buzzing and loss of sustain? What is your opinion?

Best regards,


Van Halen: Hi Stefan,

Eddie here and thank you for your question. The way I do it is beyond simple. I lower it until it buzzes and I back it off to where anywhere on the neck, it doesn’t “frett out.” That includes when bending strings. The radius of your finger board will impact how low you can set your action, especially when bending notes up or down. I definitely prefer my action as low as possible. It’s just easier to play, so why make it difficult? I hope that answers your question, Stefan.

All the best,

Eddie VH

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