How To Adjust The Truss Rod On Your Guitar

truss rod Adjustment

A quick history of the Truss Rod

The Truss rod first starting showing up in guitars around the 1920s. Thaddeus McHugh, a Gibson employee, came up with the idea and filed for a patent. Since the first version came out, there have been many upgrades to it. From T-bars with no adjustment built into it. Next was single action rods that worked one way. Today we have two-way rods that will fix most convex or concave bows.

How to Know Your Guitar Needs To be Adjusted

Guitar Headstock

I will show you how to determine when your guitar needs a truss rod adjustment. I explain the difference of a neck bow compared to a neck with a back bow. An adjustment will be necessary when the guitar is too hard to play. Also, an adjustment would be necessary if the strings are buzzing.


I will explain how to locate the truss rod on our acoustic guitar. We will locate the acoustic guitar’s truss rod in the sound hole of the instrument.  The electric guitar’s truss rod is located on the headstock of the instrument.


How to adjust the rod

After we determine that our acoustic guitar needs a neck adjustment,  we will use an Allen wrench to make the adjustment. We will use an Allen wrench to adjust the neck on our electric guitar. I will discuss the proper direction to turn the rod. The direction in which to properly adjust the rod will be determined by the problem existing with the neck of the guitar.

Allen Keys

How much to adjust

I will demonstrate how to make quarter turns to adjust the neck. Quarter turn adjustments prevent over turning the truss rod.  I will explain exactly where to insert the Allen wrench into the truss rod.

  Know how to properly adjust the guitar’s neck

I will show how to check the neck angle by pressing the strings on particular frets. A properly adjusted neck will have better tone and playability. Due to humidity and poor conditions, almost all guitar necks will shift. In conclusion, it is necessary to adjust your truss rod to avoid poor playability.


Video Lesson and Article by Freddy DeMarco.


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