Ok, this is a super noobie question. Super believe me. I've been playing for about a year, but I never got around to questioning this rumor.

I have heard that if you change the strings to a higher gauge (say a 10 to an 11) that it can bow the neck because the guitar isn't configured for higher gauge strings. Is this true? If so what all do techs have to do to do this new configuration (not planning on doing it but I'd like to know)

Also, what about changing from standard tuning to DAFCGD tuning, would this cause the same thing. I just changed my guitar from standard to this, and i'd rather be safe then sorry you know?

Thanks for the replies.

Sorry I'm new here. If it was answered already please shun me. :-\
a string will break before it will bow the neck, they just aint strong enough to do it, or at least not so you will notice it. if you want to tune right up with heavy strings your tuners may get screwed, but only on very cheap and nasty guitars
the pic theif strikes again

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It really depends on what you believe. There is probably some truth to the string gauge thing, but about the tuning changing, I just can't see changing the tuning of your guitar as bowing the neck UNLESS, you are planning on changing the tuning for good.

But I can tell you that it will be much harder to keep strings in tune when you downtune unless your guitar is used to it, in my experience anyway.

My Guitars:
Fender Mustang.
Yamaha FG-413SL.
Changing string gauges and changing tunings can and will have an effect on the amount of bow on a guitars neck, some more than others. But let's break it down one by one ok.
First off, the bow of the neck is called the neck relief. It is the slight inward, or concave bow to a guitars neck. The strings will naturally want to pull the neck into that shape. The truss rod inside the neck provides for opposite force to keep the neck from doing this. A well set up guitar will have a slight amount of inward bow to it to provide clearance for all the strings to vibrate cleanly across the full scale of the guitar. Different types of guitars may have more or less, depending on what type of music they were made to play. A baritone will have more relief than a folk for example.
String gauges effect this too because a thicker string will vibrate in a larger pattern than a thinner gauge. This is why the low E is farther away from the fretboard than the high E. Normally, changing string gauge to one higher or lower will not drastically effect the relief, but buzzing can occur, and the truss rod could need adjusting.
Low tunings can effect the relief just as a heavier gauge string will, because the lower tension on the string will cause it to vibrate in a larger pattern, possibly causing buzzing.
What a good setup is actually doing is striking a balance between string gauge, tuning preference, type of guitar, playing style of the player. Start changing any one of these factors too much and you can wind up with problems, but they are usually reversable.
Hope this helps.
Nice job Lefty

He's right, changing tunings or gauges will have a very minor effect on neck relief, but 90% of the time it will not require adjustments, except for intonation, which should always be checked when changing to a different gauge strings or a different tuning. When I changed my tele copy from .009 to .010 and raised the action a bit for slide I had to make very minor intonation adjustments, never touched the truss rod.

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that got a good LOL outta me.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...