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Slight Neck Bow?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by grass132456, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. grass132456


    Sep 12, 2011
    Hey guys,
    I was just playing with my bass again after a few weeks of not playing it and when i played it after a few minutes, something felt wrong. The action was higher than usual and I was wondering how did this happen. Could it just be cold weather (although my house is in a cozy high 60's most of the time) or is there something that might have happened to it. But whatever reason, I need to get it bent back to shape! I'm not a pro setup-ist by any means but should I tweak with the trust rod adjustment until it's bent to the action I want? Is the neck suppose to be flat when you depress the first fret and last fret and check the 12th fret (or the middle one?) I have a MIM Fender so it only 20 frets. Thanks guys (and gals :p)
  2. grass132456


    Sep 12, 2011
    Anyone? :O
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    These types of changes can affect your neck when the seasons change, or in different humidity levels. Nothing to worry about.

    Press down at the first and last fret of your E string (or B if you play a 5er). There should be a gap of about the thickness of two business cards at the 8th fret (some say 7th, some say 9th, not hugely important). If there is too much of a gap, the rod needs to be tightened, if not enough, then loosened.

    If you need to tighten the truss rod, be sure and loosen all the strings first, and straighten the neck by hand as you tighten. The truss rod nut is for holding the tension in place, not for applying it.

    Absolutely do not overtighten the truss rod. If it maxes out, stop and see a pro. I broke one once, on a neck-through bass too. Not a good feeling. Trust me.

    Once the neck is set correctly, if you still don't like the action, you should adjust that at the bridge saddles.

    EDIT: Also, only turn the truss rod maybe an 8th of a turn, and see how it plays. A little goes a long way.
  4. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA
  5. I've never been told to loosen the strings before adjusting my neck. I've done mine for almost 20 years and get paid to do others and I've never had any issue.

    I have maple necks so I get to turn mine a little about twice a year.

    Some vintage Fenders need the neck removed to access the rob. It's a pain and the only time I've removed strings.

    I'm not saying it's wrong to do so, just that it's harder.

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