But if it’s all looking good and your feeling confident to do it yourself then read on. The types of forces that act on a truss rod are compression, tension, and torque. If you are confident that this is something that you can do for yourself then go for it – it’s always nice to learn a new skill. Many vintage electric guitars (including reissues) with bolt-on necks will need a trusty screwdriver to adjust the truss rod. Only ever make small adjustments at a time and then re-measure. In fact, you need them on and tuned to the correct pitch to make sure you get the relief correct. The other end is anchored to give the adjusting end something to tighten against. Flathead and Phillips screws are both used. Next, place your thumb on the 15th fret, which … If the neck seems to be right then that’s great news you don’t need to adjust it! Your email address will not be published. A gap slightly thinner than a … This is most easily done by using capos – or at least a capo at one end to free up your hands. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. If you don’t, the nut can be damaged when you try to turn the wrench. I’d even go as far as making a small adjustment one day and then re-check the next day and make another small adjustment if necessary and so on until it is right. Straight is not necessarily the best. Now check the gap at the frets closest to the first fret and the frets closest to the 14th fret. When adjusting a truss rod, in either direction, you are changing the force applied to the rod. You can use your strings as a "straight edge" by pushing them down to both the 1st and 14th frets simultaneously. If the truss rod feels really tight don’t force it – if in doubt have a professional look at it for you. As is mentioned in the video above, the truss rod adjustment isn’t a cure for action in itself. Make sure your guitar is in tune (to pitch). Typically, a properly adjusted truss rod will leave a neck with a bit of forward relief. It should only be done when it is needed. Adjusting The Truss Rod. Different gauges of strings may call for additional adjustment. Thanks for reading and I hope this post has helped you to learn how to adjust the truss rod. The trick is knowing when you’ve got the neck the way you want it. Then the gap between the string and the 6th fret can be observed. OK, so it’s scary truss rod time. Be patient – you don’t want to mess with your neck too much – and you definitely don’t want to snap the truss rod – this can be an expensive repair! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The necessary truss-rod adjustment depends on which way the neck bows: If your neck bows outward between the seventh and twelfth frets, creating a large gap that makes pressing down the strings difficult, tighten the truss rod by turning the nut clockwise (as you face the nut straight on). The same is true of Fender- and Gibson-style truss rod bolts. Fender also offers a double action truss rod adjustment wheel on all American Elite models that makes it a snap to address neck relief. When you’re adjusting the truss rod, make sure the Allen key is seated properly in the truss rod nut; push it all the way in. Copyright © 2015 - 2020 - SixStringAcoustic.com - Privacy Policy. The truss rod tunes in how bent the neck is generally – this is called relief. However, it may be the case that you need to do it reasonably regularly if you live in places where the humidity changes drastically between the seasons – and depending on the guitar. This is not a regular maintenance process. However, I think it’s something that should be right before you adjust your action (at the nut and the saddle) because it will have an effect on the action. Read how to check neck relief, find the truss rod nut, determine the correct measurement and avoid common problems. Typically, a properly adjusted truss rod will leave a neck with a bit of forward relief. Screwdriver. The access for adjusting the truss rod on an acoustic guitar is normally found either: The adjustment of the truss road is usually done with an allen key or a socket wrench. Unless you have perfect pitch use a tuner to make sure that it’s at the right tension – don’t just tune it to itself! So it’s only very very subtle. Then the gap between the string and the 6th fret can be observed. Just leave a comment in the comments section below. Tune your guitar to pitch. You can do this using feeler gauges or just lightly pressing on the string at the 7th fret to get a feel for the gap. how strong the neck is, what material it is made of, the tension of the strings etc. You will want to make sure your neck is set how it should be before you do any adjustments to your nut or saddle. You can use your strings as a "straight edge" by pushing them down to both the 1st and 14th frets simultaneously. Press on the first fret of the guitar and on the 14th fret (or whichever fret is the closest to the body of the guitar – usually the 14th fret). It might also just be because your neck has warped and either adopted too much relief or it has back bow. The necessary truss-rod adjustment depends on which way the neck bows: If your neck bows outward between the seventh and twelfth frets, creating a large gap that makes pressing down the strings difficult, tighten the truss rod by turning the nut clockwise (as you face the nut straight on). 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