How (& Why) to Adjust Your Guitar’s Truss Rod

adjusting your truss rod

It is important to adjust your truss rod.   If it is bent too much in the wrong direction in either way it will affect the sound of your guitar.  Additionally, it will put a lot of stress on the neck which is not good.

Adjusting the truss rod on your guitar is not as hard as you may think.  It’s actually just a few small adjustments and only takes a couple minutes once you know what you are doing. We’ll walk you through it though, it’s better to learn before it’s too late.

Tune Up

The first thing that you are going to need to do is make sure your guitar is tuned.  If you are unsure of how to tune your guitar, you might want to pick up a tuner until you get a feel for the correct sound. The Snark SN-5 Tuner is a great way to go for a reliable tuner.

Adjust the Truss Rod

Once tuned, close one eye and look down the neck of your guitar. You’ll notice that the string is a straight line but the neck probably has a curve in it. It might be very subtle so you might have to really look for it.

The easiest way to make the adjustment is to put one finger on the first fret and one on the last.  Now the string is a straight edge that runs the length of the neck allowing you to see precisely where the neck is bowed. Once you know exactly where the you need to make the adjustment, slowly tighten or loosen the truss rod (clockwise to tighten) until you find some resistance. After that you’ll want to recheck your gap by putting your fingers on the first and last fret again.  Remember, you want the gap to be close but not touching. If you feel like it is almost done, use your String Action Ruler Gauge Tool to check the distance between you strings and the fret board and make your adjustments accordingly.

Tune Again

The final step to adjusting the truss rod is tuning your guitar again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.