Adjusting the guitar truss rod/ neck

My Electrics

“There comes a point in the evolution of every guitar player when knowing how to play the guitar is not enough. Sooner or later every serious player wonders, “How can I make this instrument work better?” ~ Gene Imbody (5/1/2001)

Indeed! That’s what I tried to do with my stock Epiphone Les Paul Standard guitar. The aim is to have a straight neck, with just a little relief (i.e. gap) and no buzzing of the strings.

What I learned (and tried), in summary:

  1. Tune the guitar first.
  2. Use the 6th string to check the gap between the string and the neck; capo the 6th string at the 1st fret and press down on the 14th fret.
  3. To reduce the gap, you need to tighten the truss rod (turn clockwise).
  4. To widen the gap (if there’s a ‘back-bow’ or buzzing), loosen the truss rod (turn anti-clockwise).
  5. Adjust in small increments.
  6. Although the pros all say the truss rod adjustment (i.e. neck relief) is not to adjust the string action, I found that once the neck relief is changed, the action has to be re-adjusted. E.g. turning the truss rod tigher (clockwise) does lower the string action.

More on how it works (extracted from How to adjust your guitar’s truss rod, by Gene Imbody):

  • Tightening the truss rod straightens the neck and consequently lowers the strings, which can create string buzz. However, string height is controlled at the nut and saddle, not in the neck.
  • The greater the gap, the more you will tighten the nut (clockwise). If you had no gap you will be loosening the nut (anti-clockwise). Keep in mind that most good necks require no more than half of a turn in either direction.

Useful web references:

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Music album: 2010 Crystal Tears and the Dream Nebula

My 4th Creative Commons music project; or 3rd one with Starfish Stories :: The Band.

Album cover preview: "Crystal Tears and the Dream Nebulae"

Creative Commons License2010 Crystal Tears and the Dream Nebula by Starfish Stories : The Band is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Singapore License. As long as you ATTRIBUTE the music by stating this: “Starfish Stories :: The Band – StarfishStories.wordpress.com”* in your audio, video, website, printed materials etc., you are FREE to USE, COPY, SHARE, MODIFY, or SELL (yes sell!) any of the songs from this album. Or try reading this 🙂

* NOTE: Please credit Track 06 “Goodnight Not Goodbye v2.2.” to:

Starfish Stories :: The Band is a Singaporean duo – Adrian Loo & Ivan Chew. They are self-taught musicians who prefer to produce their music this way. Feel free to contact them at their band blog or email StarfishStories@gmail.com.

IF YOU LIKED THE MUSIC…

Consider making a donation. Only if you wish to, thanks!

INDIVIDUAL TRACKS:

1. CRYSTAL TEARS AND THE DREAM NEBULA 2010
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2. WE WONDERWIP version: pre audio-mastering
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3.FINDING LOVE v1.4WIP versions: 1.0 | 1.1 (1.3 and 1.4 were not posted)
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4. NEW BEGINNINGWIP version: pre audio-mastering | Music Video
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5. STROKE OF MIDNIGHT v2.3WIP versions: 2.0 | 1.0
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6. GOODNIGHT NOT GOODBYE v2.2Version: pre audio-remastering
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7. TO BE FREEWIP version: pre audio-mastering
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8. RUN TOWARDS THE SKY 1.2
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9. THANK YOU podcast – CTDN 2010
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10. TEXT: How To Use Music in CRYSTAL TEARS AND THE DREAM NEBULA For FREE – 2.3KB TXT file.

We welcome comments on how to improve our music. Feel free to share what you liked or disliked at the band blog StarfishStories.wordpress.com or email us at starfishstories@gmail.com.

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