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truss rod - which way to turn

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Larz Gearbox, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Larz Gearbox

    Larz Gearbox

    Jan 4, 2004
    i have read and read about truss rod adjustment. But am still confused as to which way i need to go. i don't wanna bung my bass.
    I have a j-bass with the truss rod nut at the body of the guitar (not the headstock). My neck has a very visble bow and is causing the strings to be high in the middle of the neck, when i fret these notes the strings 'click' and rub on the higher frets (closer to the body).
    Basically i want to straighten the neck....

    which way should i turn the truss rod??

  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Clockwise - Tightening the nut shortens the length of the rod, pulling the rod straighter, forcing the middle of the neck towards the strings... Patience is the key word here... You'll read a lot of stuff about folks saying "I cranked the snot out of my truss rod and straightened the neck in one day with only four turns!" which is a recipe for disaster... 1/4 turn is quite a bit with truss rods...

    robert's recipe for success:
    With the bass tuned to pitch, hold dow the E string on the first and last frets and observe the distance between the string and the frets at about the 9th fret... give the rod about 1/8 to 1/4 turn, check the tuning and let it sit for a few hours, (or overnight)... After a suitable time, repeat the process until the action/relief is to your liking... One or two passes should make a big difference...

    Some folks like to loosen the strings while adjusting, some also like to 'help' the neck a bit by 'forcing' the neck after an adjustment, (Grabbing the headstock and gently applying pressure in the middle of the neck in the desired direction)... I can't really see any harm in either of these methods as long as a person is careful... I've never done either and have always done okay, but I know guys who have used the above methods and been okay...

    Of course, if any of this makes you uncomfortable, definitely take it to a shop!

    Good luck!!


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