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Rattling parlor guitar

I have a Larrivee parlor guitar stung with 12 gauge strings. I cannot decide
if it rattles due to my sloppy playing (most likely) or if an improvement
would be made by changing to a lighter gauge(11) strings. Please advise.
As always,

A: The neck and top are a spring system. If you put lighter strings on, the neck will pull backward, moving the strings closer to the frets.You can raise the pitch of a string by shortening it, tightening it, or making it thinner. A thinner string requires less tension to pull it up to pitch. The lighter the string the larger the excursion of the string. Lighter strings move more in all directions. If your problem is fret rattle, this will make it worse.
The action of a guitar is a function of the straightness of the neck, the evenness of the fret tops, the roundness of the fret tops, the height of the nut and the height of the saddle, the slope of the grooves in the nut and saddle, and the gauge of the strings. If you change one factor of the function you usually have to readjust them all.
Your guitar might sound better with lighter strings, you just have to experiment, but don't change your string gauge to effect the action. It sounds like you need a trip to a competent luthier. Your guitar should be adjusted to your style of playing. And it should be readjusted every few years. It should not buzz.

Steve Mason

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