Straightening your Electric or Acoustic Guitar neck for better playability

Author: Ian-Bush  Date Posted:8 August 2012 

Here is a quick and easy process to check and adjust your truss rod

Tools Required

Capo, Feeler Gauge, Truss Rod Allen key, Tuner


1. Tune your guitar to your normal tuning (with your normal gauge of strings on the guitar)

2. Place a capo on the first fret

3. Hold the guitar in playing position

4. Place your finger on the last fret of the neck (19th-24th fret)

5. Measure the gap at the fret the ideal gaps are shown below under "ideal gaps”. These gaps are super thin - about the thickness of a business card so if you don’t have a feeler gauge a business card will do a basic job. (You can buy a feeler gauge from a hardware store for only a few dollars)

6. If you have too much gap, adjust the truss rod 1/4 turn clockwise and recheck

7. If you have too little gap (it's too close to the fret) adjust the truss rod 1/4 turn anticlockwise and recheck

Ideal Gaps

Steel-string acoustic guitar - Gap 0.05mm at the 8th fret

Nylon-string acoustic guitar - Gap 0.05mm at the 8th fret

Electric guitar Gap 0.025mm at the 8th fret

Bass Guitar Gap 0.356mm at the 7th fret

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Comments (2)

Great timing

By: Anonymous on 9 August 2012
With the changes in humidity and temperature during wintertime, the guitar tone woods will shrink, expand and generally move around. This is a great blog post to read up and know how to keep your guitar in top playing condition. Great article Ian and great timing. I have a few guitars I was about to adjust the truss rod... so now i can put them up on the workbench.

what is the scale?

By: Anonymous on 9 August 2012
Great guide but you don't say whether it is inches or millimeters. Please add in this detail. Thanks.

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