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Truss Rods 101
Bob Clarke

Truss Rod Adjustment

Adjusting a truss rod is not rocket science, but you can damage your guitar. A damaged truss rod for a cheaper guitar is most likely the death nell. Repairing a broken truss rod usually means removal of the fret board, which is time consuming and if rushed can leave the guitar looking hacked up.

But having said that giving the truss a half turn either way, should not be out of the question.

The guitar neck has a tough job, it is under constant strain from the strings. The six guitar strings when tuned put a considerable force on the neck which eventually will bow the neck causing a large gap between the strings and the frets. Making for a very slow playing guitar and requiring very strong fingers to play.

The truss rod counteracts the string strain and straightens out the neck, to a degree. Some bow is desirable in an electric guitar neck, not enough bow and the strings will buzz on the frets not fingered. A little bow allows the strings down neck (closer to the bridge) to clear the down neck frets.

Faster players tend to like a smaller gap between the frets and the strings. While heavier players like more gap so when they attack the strings there is plenty of room for the strings to fly.

What is right for you, depends and probably changes with your experience and progression of style, and quite frankly, what fricking mood you are in. So some experimentation is most likely the norm. In other words you will most likely not get it right the first time.

Truss Rod Part 2

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