How to Adjust your Truss Rod
Author: Lachlan Bush
Date Posted:13 November 2020
Whats a Truss Rod?
A Truss Rod is a long metal rod that runs the length of the guitar neck. It anchors at each end so that when you tighten or loosen the nut on one end it will straighten or bow the neck of the guitar, changing the distance between the frets and the strings.
From time to time you may need to make adjustments to your guitar to straighten your neck. If you switch from a light gauge to a heavy gauge string there will be more tension pulling on the neck which will bow it slightly. Conversely switching from heavy to light gauge strings will have the opposite effect, releasing tension and bending the neck too far backward. Changes in humidity and temperature have an effect on how straight your neck will be through expanding/compressing wood.
If you find that your action is too high, or some frets are buzzing the first thing to do is check your neck and make adjustments to your Truss Rod if necessary. This is a quick 5 - 10 minute process and is easy when you follow this simple guide.
Check out our video on Adjusting your truss rod!
How do I do it?
- Tune your guitar
- Hold down the first and last fret
- Look at the 8th fret. Is there any gap? Yes! Tighten the truss rod in small increments until the string is almost touching. No! loosen the truss rod slightly so that the smallest of gaps appears. Careful! only move the truss rod in small increments and give it time to settle or you may cause damage
- Once you're happy with the amount of gap between the string and the 8th fret, tune the guitar again.
- Repeat step 3 and 4.
- Enjoy your perfectly aligned neck!
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