Continue to make adjustments and you will eventually see changes in the neck. I can’t understand the dual-action workings.

Feeling proud, lol, Go slow, a little at a time and you’ll get the hang of it. 3 - If possible, store your guitars in a room or a closet nearer to the center of the building rather than near an outside wall.

There are so many different tools designed for adjusting truss rods that it’s nearly impossible to have them all.”.5. Play a note on your guitar.

Keep one in your gig bag or case, and one at home. Spot on with this write-up, including the cautions about do it only if you are mechanically inclined.
A list of tools required to adjust a truss rod is relatively short. At this point, we’re just trying to get an understanding of whether the neck is straight or not.”.3, For a bass guitar, fret the top string (low E) at the first and at the 15th fret. Any thoughts to share on the StewMac truss rod rescue tools?

Loosening a truss rod (turning counter-clockwise) adds relief to (decreases tension on) the neck which results in increased (higher) string action height. Also loosen your strings to tighten the truss rod. At the 7th fret, measure the distance between the bottom of the string and the top of the 7th fret. These rods are designed to be tightened, thereby increasing pressure on the back of the neck. Guitar player #1 image by Warren Millar from, Copyright 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. All Rights Reserved. It is definitely not a job for an amateur. Please add info an adjusting a dual-action PRS truss rod. I understand the truss rod thing much better now. Truss rod seized. Ideally, it would be great for you to know how to perform basic maintenance and adjustments. Before tightening your truss rod it’s always a good idea to give it a short counter-clockwise turn to loosen it. 4 - Store vibrato-equipped guitars with the arms detached (the lone exception here being Bigsby vibratos, which can be folded back to rest below the top of the bridge, which is the highest point on the guitar).

If you are somewhat mechanically inclined you can learn how to adjust a truss rod. Experimenting with string metals and gauges often unleashes creativity. I adjusted the neck relief and then leveled, crowned, and polished the frets. Good article that covers the basics in decent detail. If your tuner tells you to loosen your strings more than a few turns of your tuner knobs, your strings are too tight. If there is a back bow or you’re experiencing buzzing frets, it means you need to loosen the truss rod. Thought I could do it myself. Just bought Squier Strat to learn with very high action.

Any idea where to get a truss rod wrench for a Pedulla bass? You’re dealing with an engineered system and need to understand truss rod design and how a truss rod works. Allan Hu has been writing since 2001 for several popular, self-owned websites like and In tangible terms for guitar players, string tension is the amount of force required to fret or bend a string. He says its to keep it operable and help the threads stay clean.

USING AN INCORRECT SIZED WRENCH CAN DAMAGE YOUR TRUSS ROD NUT. PRS switched over to the double-acting truss rod about halfway through the 1992 production year. I learned the hard way, if your truss rod is acting up, take it to a skilled luthier. Here’s an article to help you understand what is a bi-flex truss rod. AllParts is a good source for replacement truss rods and truss rod nuts. Due to varied climate and other conditions to which your PRS guitar may be exposed during its lifetime, we have made our necks fully adjustable. Play the same note on the piano if applicable. Thanks! To compensate for undesirable curvature in the neck you can adjust your neck up or down. Compare the pitch of your guitar note with the piano note. Please add more info on adjusting a double-action truss rod like on a PRS guitar. I think if you keep your guitar in good shape, with frequent minor setups, you’ll never need to adjust your truss rod more than 1/4 turn. As a contributor to the Premier Guitar blog, Tony Nagy commented “More than likely you’re thinking about the setup because, in some way, your instrument is not performing the way you’d like. What happens if you overtighten a truss rod? I bought a cheap Chinese replacement neck on eBay. 2 - Keep the string tension on the neck, but loosen the strings one or two half steps.

What size hex wrench do I need for a Taylor acoustic? When a quality guitar leaves the factory, the truss rod is adjusted according to the maker’s taste in setup specs. May you kindly show translating Google link on this website. Single-action truss rods are the most common truss rod in commercially manufactured instruments. Fortunately, a local luthier used the StewMac truss rod repair kit to repair it for a LOT less than replacing the truss rod. Even the best luthiers in the world at one time didn’t know what a truss rod was, much less how to adjust one. Do not over-adjust! All Rights Reserved. I keep a log of what I do. If my truss rod (Telecaster) is adjusted at the base of the neck do I turn it the opposite way than if it was at the headstock? The manufacturing tolerances in China really suck. Thank you for writing this! Is there a special tool I can buy to adjust my truss rod with the neck in-place? I’ve read conflicting opinions on truss rods. Your article helped me to understand how to change my truss rod tension to adjust my string height. They don’t need regular tension when in storage, but having no string tension at all can lead to neck bowing problems. I keep my adjustment tool in my bag so I know where it is. It’s all about equalisation, you see. The third time I tried to adjust the truss rod, the nut snapped off.

Why does truss rod strength matter? Most broken truss rods can be repaired, however; the cost to repair a broken truss rod is often more than the value of the guitar.

Start with a neck relief check to get an idea of how much adjusting is required. If you are using a guitar tuner, look at what your tuner's display reads. There are many types of truss rods for acoustic and electric guitars. Check out Fender cases here, and click here to sign up for a free trial of Fender Play and get more guitar-care tips. Possibilities are hex wrench, box wrench, nut driver or screwdriver. This force effectively becomes torque that shears (twists off / breaks) the rod or the adjustment nut. Just turn it a little at a time and measure the relief until it gets where you want it to be. If you're playing your guitar on a regular basis and want to keep it at arm's reach, using a wall hook or a stand are good ways to go. To determine whether your guitar has this system simply examine the adjusting nut.

When adjusting a truss rod, in either direction, you are changing the force applied to the rod. Nice article, but I’ll leave this work to the pros. The variances in steel composition, rod diameter, and manufacturing quality result in wide differences in the strength of any truss rod. But a change in string gauges, climate (especially a change in humidity), or simply the player’s taste may require an adjustment, even on a new guitar. Please add some information about dual-action truss rods like on a PRS guitar. This should mean virtually no risk of over-doing it. This is an easy thing to do. I just read you should always loosen the strings before tightening the truss rod. i.e. Set your tuner to "EADGBE" mode (the most common guitar tuning).

How many types of guitar truss rods are there? Artisan Luthiers, LLC

I just bought a really cool Pedulla bass. This has always been confusing for me.

If you try to force it you can damage it and be looking at a $350-600 repair . Do all acoustic guitars use the same size? When storing several guitars, the cases should look like suits on a rack rather than a giant deck of cards. Any plans to write a follow-up article on what to do when you have a broken truss rod?

Thanks, guys! I tried to replace my broken truss rod.

To properly adjust your truss rod, you need to use the properly sized tool. There is not a standard type or size wrench for all guitar truss rods. Tighter strings produce a higher pitch, while looser stringers produce a lower pitch. For PRS guitar truss rod adjustments you can reference this article at the PRS website: PRS Double Acting Truss Rod Adjustment on any guitar or bass. 3 - If possible, store your guitars in a room or a closet nearer to the center of the building rather than near an outside wall. I urge people to understand the purpose for adjusting a truss rod – don’t do it “just because” you think you need to do so. Too much risk for me. Play on. Where can I get a truss rod wrench for a square-shaped end? Do you believe that you really have to make minor truss rod adjustments AND let your guitar sit overnight to let it adjust itself? Good stuff. For a bass guitar, fret the top string (low E) at the first and at the 15th fret. This results in the neck being forced to bow backward. This helps maintain a constant temperature and is especially helpful if you live in an area that experiences climatic extremes. How much does it cost to replace a truss rod, and is it really worth the cost? This article helped me to understand not just “how” but also “why” you do or do not adjust the truss rod. How can I tell what size tool I need to adjust my truss rod? Determine if the pitch is too high. String tension is a product of a string's mass, the pitch it's tuned to, and the string's scale length. Do I need to adjust my truss rod once in a while or only when I get a guitar setup? Kennesaw, GA 30144

I need to do a setup but can’t find a truss rod adjustment wrench that works. I recommend carrying a truss rod adjustment tool in your case, especially if you take your guitar on air travel.

The optimal amount of relief is largely a personal preference. Always stay on the side of caution when adjusting a truss rod. FYI, in my local area (Kansas City), the cost to replace a truss rod on a Strat is around $300-350. The types of forces that act on a truss rod are compression, tension, and torque. Loosening the truss rod will allow the strings to create more pull on the neck. Good info. If standing them up isn’t an option, store your guitars (in their cases) on their sides, with the upper side pointing up.
Maybe not. 2 - Keep the string tension on the neck, but loosen the strings one or two half steps. Maybe you need another article just for PRS, lol. And, of course, you can always store your guitar daily in its case, which will keep it perfectly safe and sound.

They all said it was a big help. If you are comfortable taking on the project as a DIY effort, you should look into the “truss rod rescue tool” sold by StewMac. The tip to always loosen the truss rod a bit before tightening it is brilliant.