Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Could someone please tell me what the truss rod does??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassis_fiendus, Oct 26, 2002.


  1. Being a newbie i don't really have an idea on what the truss rod does, i've heard about adjusting it and its loacted on the headstock but what do you adjust it for?

    Any help from the experienced players would be helpful.

    Bassis
     
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    The truss rod is a steel rod that runs the length of the neck, in a tunnel in the wood. It is there to counteract the tension from the strings that would otherwise bend the neck into a bow. It is tightened or loosened to adjust how much the neck curves, and the adjustment is done either at the headstock or at the end of the fretboard depending on design. You want a little bit of bow though so the strings don't hit the frets too much when vibrating.
     
  3. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Put your fingers on the first and last fret of a string and look at the gap between string and 12th fret.

    The string should not touch nor should you be able to drive a bus through the gap.
     
  4. Gander

    Gander

    Jun 5, 2002
    Texas
    You can do a search using Google on bass truss rod adjustment and pick up a lot of good information. It's best to get educated first on adjusting the truss rod, because they can be broken. Dan Erlewine's book on Guitar repair is also a good source of information. Good luck.
     
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Exactly.

    Also, If you don't know what you're doing, you might SNAP the truss rod & then you need a new neck.

    This belongas in the Set-Up forum. :)
     
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Too tight can ruin it, as Nino says. But, just before you get it so tight that it ruins it, the very lowest and highest frets will give you an incredible amount of buzzing or the notes simply don't resonate.

    Too loose, and the strings are too far off the neck to make it play easily.

    The truss rod rule for tightening/loosening on most single truss rod basses is "Right-tight, Left-loose"

    Here's a little graphic that shows a neck going from too tight to too loose and the effect on action


    [​IMG]
     
  7. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Hey RickBass, that is the best description I've seen on TB of what a truss rod does!!!!!:cool:

    P.S. I think this belongs in the Set-Up forum. :)