But which way should you turn the truss rod? It may help to draw a line on the side of your saddle with a pencil and then sand down to the line. You can either try to make some adjustments yourself (adjusting the truss rod is a simple place to start) or have a guitar tech set up your guitar, usually around $50, which every guitar needs from time to time. Check the materials that came with your guitar or talk to an experienced luthier to determine the correct gauge of strings for your guitar. Carlos specializes in the following genres: classical, jazz. Another method of measuring string height is to put a capo above the first fret and measure string distance from the 13th fret. That is why we say that it is best to make small incremental adjustments. If you can find a compensated saddle that fits your guitar and raises the strings to the height you need, you have an easy option to adjust your guitar's intonation. Not too much, or the guitar will be unplayable. So, if you are directly facing the truss rod nut you’re adjusting, then you’re going to be turning the truss rod nut clockwise to tighten it. We looked at some of these various access points above when discussing the tools that we might need to make the adjustment. When the truss rod is tightened, the neck straightens. How to Adjust the Truss Rod on Your Acoustic Guitar - YouTube Adjust both in concert with each other. You probably don't want to try to adjust the location of the saddle yourself. Most truss rods have a nut at one or both ends of the neck, which we can use to adjust the tension, countering the pull of the strings and the natural inclination of wood to twist and warp. The 12th fret notes being flat would mean that the strings are too long - it's possible that the slot for the saddle was cut too far away from the nut. Usually much shorter than the Martin ones and with a 3mm or 1/8th” head. If you take it to a guitar store, the luthier there could either file yours or replace it with one of proper dimensions. If your guitar is traveling with you to warmer or colder climates than usual, or if you have subjected the guitar to atmospheric changes due to air travel, you may need a tiny adjustment. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. No, usually the intonation on an acoustic guitar is fixed by the single bridge piece. When making your adjustment, make only small incremental turns of the nut. This is largely due to the strings. But don’t be surprised to come back the next day to find an action that has radically changed and is now either too high or too low as the neck continues to adjust itself. If you have trouble installing it yourself or find you don't have the right tools to do it correctly, take your guitar to a luthier. We need truss rods for instruments that have steel strings. Flathead and Phillips screws are both used. This article has been viewed 88,570 times. However, if you've tried several tuning techniques and still have a problem, you may need to compensate at the nut and at the bridge. We would say in these circumstances that your neck has too much relief, which means an excessive upbow of the neck. When you're not playing your guitar, keep it in its case. If your neck is too straight and you have back bow, then the truss rod will need to be untightened. You might have to repeat this more than once. Don't try to adjust the saddle yourself if your acoustic guitar has a pickup under the saddle. What is a truss rod? % of people told us that this article helped them. There is not a single circumstance where you would want your guitar neck to have back bow. StewMac sells a set of Hex keys specifically for truss rods accessed via the soundhole. Carlos Alonzo Rivera is a guitarist, composer, and educator based in San Francisco, California. It should produce a sound exactly one octave higher than the pitch at the open string. Don't try to file it yourself, as you could easily remove too much and ruin the entire bridge. If you cannot wait and do play the guitar immediately, it is unlikely that there would be negative consequences. Guitar Frets: How do I properly clean and polish my frets to a mirror finish? Adjust the truss rod. At the very least, you should let it sit overnight before you attempt to play it again. Steel strings will exert a greater force on the neck than nylon strings and pull the neck forwards. by Craig Bourne | Mar 19, 2020 | Guitar Maintenance | 0 comments. You may be able to correct your intonation problem simply by varying your fretting technique. If you do want to fix a case of back bow and give some neck relief, then you would turn the truss rod the other way (counterclockwise) to loosen it.

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