Introduction

The truss rod can be replaced with the strings on or off. Because the Allen wrench is bulky, this guide will show how to adjust the truss rod with the strings removed. Once the strings are removed, the fretboard will begin to slightly bend upwards or downwards. This will determine how much adjusting will need to be done on the truss rod.

Loosen all of the strings completely by turning each tuning peg counter clockwise. Continue until there is no tension in the strings
  • Loosen all of the strings completely by turning each tuning peg counter clockwise. Continue until there is no tension in the strings

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Remove each string by pulling it out of the string tree at the top and through the bridge at the bottom.
  • Remove each string by pulling it out of the string tree at the top and through the bridge at the bottom.

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Thread the largest new string through the bridge hole farthest from the knobs. Hold it firmly in place.
  • Thread the largest new string through the bridge hole farthest from the knobs. Hold it firmly in place.

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Pull the string up to the corresponding string tree.
  • Pull the string up to the corresponding string tree.

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Firmly grasp the middle of the string and pull it taut.
  • Firmly grasp the middle of the string and pull it taut.

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On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string. On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string.
  • On a taut string, measure one inch past the nut before using a pair of wire cutters to cut the string.

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Take the end of the string and insert it into the hole in the middle of the string tree.
  • Take the end of the string and insert it into the hole in the middle of the string tree.

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Bend the string sideways into the channel of the string tree.
  • Bend the string sideways into the channel of the string tree.

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Use one hand to maintain tension in the string by grabbing the string and rotating the hand toward the fret board.
  • Use one hand to maintain tension in the string by grabbing the string and rotating the hand toward the fret board.

  • If tension is not retained it may result in uneven tension in the string tree, causing the tree to break.

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Rotate the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string is slightly taut, but not tight.
  • Rotate the tuning peg counterclockwise until the string is slightly taut, but not tight.

  • Check to ensure that the string is lined up with the proper notch in the nut.

  • You will have proper alignment when the sting bends at a minimum angle.

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Repeat steps 3-10 for each string.
  • Repeat steps 3-10 for each string.

  • Each string will progressively get closer to the knobs. It is not essential to progress from thick to thin strings, but it is important that they are connected to the proper string tree.

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Caution: Do not over tighten the strings. This can cause the strings to snap and could cause bodily injury. The strings are too tight when you have difficulty turning the tuning peg.
  • Caution: Do not over tighten the strings. This can cause the strings to snap and could cause bodily injury. The strings are too tight when you have difficulty turning the tuning peg.

  • Tighten the string until it is close to the proper tuning. Use an electronic tuner or an online tuner that uses your computer's microphone. (Google: Online Tuner)

  • Note: Clockwise rotation of the tuning peg tightens the string and produces a higher pitch. Counter-clockwise rotation loosens the string causing a lower pitch.

  • Tune the thickest string to B, the second thickest string E, the next thickest to A, the next string to D, and the last string to G.

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Because the strings will change pitch as the guitar body deforms due to increased tension, repeat step 12 after each string is tuned individually.
  • Because the strings will change pitch as the guitar body deforms due to increased tension, repeat step 12 after each string is tuned individually.

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  • Remove the strings from the bass according to the string installation guide.

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Locate the screws covering the truss rod.
  • Locate the screws covering the truss rod.

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Remove each of the screws with the Philips #1 screwdriver. Remove the plate covering the truss rod by sliding it off.
  • Remove each of the screws with the Philips #1 screwdriver.

  • Remove the plate covering the truss rod by sliding it off.

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Locate the truss rod hex nut. If your fret board is bowing upward towards the strings, loosen the truss rod by turn by turning the hex wrench a quarter to half turn counter-clockwise.
  • Locate the truss rod hex nut.

  • If your fret board is bowing upward towards the strings, loosen the truss rod by turn by turning the hex wrench a quarter to half turn counter-clockwise.

  • If your fret board is bowing down away from the strings, tighten the truss rod by turning the hex wrench a quarter to half a turn clockwise.

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Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

You've successfully adjusted the truss rod!

One other person completed this guide.

Chris Pittner

Member since: 01/11/2013

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Cal Poly, Team 5-18, Forte Winter 2013 Member of Cal Poly, Team 5-18, Forte Winter 2013

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