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Really need help setting the action on my bass!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gbf, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. hey guys, how are? here is my problem ...
    since i broke up with my girlfriend i have stopped playing (about two weeks ago). so today my birthday present arrived (Ed Friedland's Bass Improvisation book) and i picked up my axe again. as i started playing something felt wrong... really wrong... the action of my strings is almost two times as high as it was before. i changed the strings to a lower tension (from 45 to 40's) very recently and i haven't ajusted my truss-rod since. can this be the problem? or it is just because i haven't been playing in a while? ohh and by the way my bass is a Fender American Tradicional Jazz Bass '01

    Thanks already!
  2. You should sight down your neck from either the headstock or body to check out the striaghtness of your neck. If you haven't adjusted the bridge saddles since the time you stopped to when you picked up the bass next, it is almost definitely the neck.

    Sounds like the neck has way to much relief. If its a jazz bass the truss rod is either at the neck or the body. Follow the rules, lefty loosey, righty tighty, loosen the strings, turn the truss rod about an 1/8 or a 1/4 of a turn. Let it settle for a few minutes, than tune back up. Keep doing that until you feel its back to where you like it. Adjust in small batches and avoid going to far.
  3. jieshi


    Mar 26, 2002
    just a thought ..

    is yr traditional jazz with plastic pickguard?1 whole piece instead of the metal piece at the jack?
  4. YES IT IS JIESHI! do you know anything about the bass? i don't have any clue about the model.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    There is a guide to doing your own bass set-up at Fender's website :

  6. PhilMan99


    Jul 18, 2003
    US, Maryland

    Your question suggests that you might not be clear on difference between string height (adjusted at bridge and nut) and neck relief (adjusted with truss-rod).

    I "nuked" my '73 Fender Jazz (20+ years ago) by over-tighening the truss-rod, stripping the truss-rod, and giving me an "S-shaped" neck.

    Tread carefully with the truss-rod! You SHOULD know how to adjust it, but it sounds like you might be moving too fast. Truss-rod is a very finicky adjustment to compensate for string tension, and "bow" (relief) in the neck.

    String-height at the bridge is just a crude overall string-height adjustment - but is very safe for beginners (at setup, not playing...).
  7. thanks for the advice but i have already read alot about this. about 10min ago i lowered the string height to see how was the relief. and as is expected it buzzed from the 12th fret on. so i took the bass and did a less than 1/4 turn on the truss-rod and boy did that helped... i am waiting for the neck to settle down and then i'll see if the neck is ok. guess i did everything ok hun?
    i'll get back to you when it is ready

  8. Everything is ok now... the bass has settled down and is good to go. the neck had too much bow to it i guess. it took only the less than 1/4 turn to make it nice again. and after that i putted the string height a little lower again.

    Thanks to all the replies.