This has probably been covered before and is more of a musing than anything else. Also, my apologies if this would be better posted in another forum (I'm relatively new here). For years, I've had my guitars set up with a fairly high action/string height. The staff at my local tech/repair shop have often remarked how high it is, while a previous shop I used to take my guitars to used to chastise me about it (among other things). My reasons for preferring a higher action are due to having woodshed for years as a kid on a cheap acoustic guitar that quickly developed a high action -- my parents were not musicians so we didn't even know it could be fixed -- as well as needing more clearance for bends (e.g. to prevent choking out), frequently using a capo, and having an almost obsessive need to be rid of all fret buzzing. I started out playing Epiphones and my first fancy guitar was a Martin so when I later started using Fender-style guitars, I didn't understand or accept how the 7.25"/9.5" radii could lead to fret buzz and choking out. Fast forward through several years of playing with that setup, which I was content with even if sometimes my fingers got a little tangled up while soloing. Last summer came the turning point, however. I was asked to play for a local community fundraiser with a fairly large "supergroup" of various local musicians. Given the breadth of material we were playing and how dense the mix would be with so many musicians, I chose to use my '50s MIM Classic Strat. After a 3+ hour performance (with breaks), my hands ached for days after. How could this be? I figured it was probably to do with the thinner neck on the Strat, which is part of why I don't use that guitar very often. However, I started paying closer attention to fatigue and/or pain occurring when using my other guitars for rehearsals and recordings. Given a few recent (non-severe) health issues in the past year, I started wondering how much (potentially irreversible) damage I was doing to my hands, clawing my guitar necks with such high action for so long. I also wondered whether my limitations in technique were partly because my guitars weren't set up in such a way that I could actually improve on some of those. After much consideration and with no serious gigs or musical endeavours in sight, I've started getting my guitars set up with slightly lower actions -- they're still somewhat high but nowhere near as high as before. After having some trepidation about the new playability, I'm actually finding that my playing has improved. I can play for longer without hand fatigue (or even pain). Today was probably the most eye opening experience, as I brought home my Strat from the shop with lower action and slightly lighter strings (given the 7.25" radius). For the first time, I felt like I was gliding across that guitar. I was unleashing my inner John Frusciante and Buddy Guy at times. Despite not really liking that guitar for my sound/style, I actually found myself enjoying it and even later pulled it out again for a quick shred. The only thing I noticed was increased buzzing and choking out in the higher end of the fretboard. Uh oh! Funny enough, although it was a little unnerving at first, I actually found I didn't care nearly as much as I used to. I've finally found a balance between comfort and getting a little fight from/with my guitar(s). Musing over. Thanks for reading!