Here's another article for the new FAQ on adjusting your truss rod.

Adjusting your truss rod

Your truss rod is a metal rod that goes through your guitar neck in an effort to keep it from warping. Even with the truss rod your neck will still warp a bit due to temperature/humidity changes. The truss rod, aside from keeping the neck straight in general, can also be adjusted to compensate for a warping of the neck.

In most guitars, you can acess the truss rod where the neck ends and the headstock begins, it might be covered with a small piece of plastic or exposed. Most truss rods can be adjusted by shoving an allen wrench into them and turning them, but some need a "nut driver", which is essentially a screwdriver that has a cavity in the shape of a nut, meant to tighten them or anything else which shares the nut's shape.

When your neck dips down in the middle, it is known as your neck being "bowed". When your neck raises up in the middle, it is known as your neck having a hump. Pretty simple, right?

One way to test for whether your neck is humped/bowed is to fret both the first and last fret of either E string. Continue to keep fretting the first and last fret and look at the string in comparison to the frets. Look at the string and see if towards the middle of the fretboard if the frets are higher or lower than the others more towards the ends of the fretboard. If the strings in the middle are lower than the ones towards either end, your neck is bowed. If the frets in the middle of the fretboard are higher than the frets towards the end of the fretboard (in which case they'd be touching the string), then your neck has a hump.

Ideally, your neck should have a very slight bow to it. If you fret the first and last fret of a string, you should ideally see a bow of about .5mm at the lowest point of the neck.

So, if you neck is bowed, you must turn your truss rod clockwise, and if it is humped you must turn your truss rod counter-clockwise. You should only make very small turns at a time, about 1/4 of a turn. After turning the truss rod 1/4 of a turn, don't do anything to the truss rod for about 10 minutes. You can play if you want during this time. After about 10 minutes, re-examine the guitar and continue to adjust it as necessary, not making more than 1/4 turn at a time.

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Last edited by beatallica_fan at Mar 21, 2004,