How To

Adjusting the Truss Rod

How to Adjust the Truss Rod:

There are normally two basic places to access the truss rod to adjust it. By the headstock, and this one is usually under a cover between the strings:

And at the other end of the neck. On an acoustic guitar, it might be inside the sound hole:

Or on an electric, it might be where the neck meets the body.

Before we start turning the truss rod, it is important that you understand exactly what is going on. The strings pull on the neck of your guitar. If you look at the strings, they pull the neck up. It is the job of the truss rod to counteract the strings tension on the neck. Therefore, if you tighten the truss rod (turning it clockwise, Righty-tighty), it will flatten the neck, or better put, will lessen relief.

If you loosen the truss rod (turn it counter-clockwise, Lefty-loosy), it will allow the neck to bow, or increase the relief.

Note: It is my opinion the you should turn the rod slightly (maybe 1/8 of a turn) and re-check it. Also, if you meet with any resistance at all, seek professional help. The rod may already have been overtightened and damaged. In which case would need replaced. Do not risk further damage by forcing it, please. It may save you a lot of grief.

Sometimes people who didn’t know what to do were actually turning it the wrong way and when they didn’t get what they wanted, they just kept turning it until the rod was stripped, bent, or damaged beyond repair. In some cases, it even damages the neck so that it needs replaced.

Now that you have the desired relief, let’s go on to the next item on the list, Adjusting the Bridge.

I Started out in 1976 trying out to sing in bands but no bands were interested in me. In 1977 I started playing guitar. The individual that was teaching me (who for now will remain anonymous) told me that I would NEVER learn how to play guitar because I had no sense of rhythm. I joined my first band in 1978 called "Dead Center" in Jacksonville, Florida. I played an Aspen guitar, black; a Les Paul copy and in 1981. I gave that guitar to the teacher who said I'd never learn to play. I wrote my first song in 1979 or '80. Over the years I have been in many bands but my passion has been songwriting. I have written well over 100 songs and though the early ones were kind of rough around the edges, I think that most of them could be dusted off and given a new facelift. Today I am still working on my songs. Currently I can play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, harmonica, and Native American flute. The flutes that I play are ones that I made myself. My guitars are the Epiphone G-400 faded, an Ibanez RG370 DX, an Epiphone G 1275 double neck guitar. My acoustic guitars are an Alvarez 12 string and an old Kay guitar. My drum set is a Peace drum set. I do my recording on a Zoom HD16.
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