Basic Guitar Setup and Adjustments - How to adjust your truss rod and action height

Author: Ian-Bush   Date Posted:22 September 2011 

Artist Guitars

So today's blog post is on something that most guitarists know a little bit about, but few know as much as they should to keep their guitar in top playing condition.


Here you can see how we measure the action height of a guitar. To do this properly you need a metal ruler that ends exactly at zero, and preferably a wide one. The small rulers are OK, but a wide ruler is much easier to make sure you have it nice and straight (and if its not straight your measurement will be wrong). So as you can see in the

photo our action height is about 2.6-2.7mm. So the first thing you would check is the neck adjustment OK ?

Guitar with cuvred neck


Do you have a curved neck like this ? First of all you need to tune your guitar using an electronic tuner

Now to adjust your neck, you will need an Allen key (which normally comes supplied with your guitar). To tighten (which will straighten the neck) you turn the key clockwise as you are looking at it. But be careful ! Don't over tighten or force it as you could damage your guitar if your not careful. A truss rod can often be turned completely off, so it feels like its doing nothing, but once it has started to adjust, a 1/4 turn is usually enough to make it straight again. Ah now we have a nice straight neck and our action height is sitting lower, ready to play. Please post any comments or questions so we can expand on this for you.

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