How to Adjust a Truss Rod on an Acoustic Fender Guitar

The truss rods in your guitar's neck help keep the instrument in alignment. They can be adjusted in most any modern guitar. However, if you have an older Fender guitar, you may have to take the instrument into the shop to have the truss rods adjusted. There are two main types of truss rods. The single-action rods only allow you to bend the rod one way by tightening it and returning to the original position by loosening the rod. The dual-action truss rods allow you to bend in either direction by tightening or loosening the rod.

Step 1

Place the straight edge ruler on top of the guitar frets. Look for any areas where the straight-edge does not make contact with the frets. These areas will need to be adjusted to straighten the guitar neck.

Step 2

Loosen the tuning pegs on the top of the guitar neck to relieve the string tension by turning them counterclockwise. You don't need to remove the strings, just loosen them by turning the pegs one-half turn.

Step 3

Turn the two bolts on the neck counterclockwise to loosen them. Turn them approximately two-quarter turns. Start with the one furthest away from the peghead and turn the one closest to the peghead.

Step 4

Pull up on the neck of the guitar and remove it to expose the truss rods inside the guitar neck.

Step 5

Insert a flat-head screwdriver into the top truss rod and turn in one-eighth inch at a time until it is straight. Turn counterclockwise to make the neck relax and clockwise to pull the neck up. You can check the alignment by re-attaching the neck of the guitar.

Step 6

Adjust all of the truss rods that were not aligned by using the procedure from step 5. Reattach the neck and check the alignment with the straight edge. If additional adjustment is needed, complete the procedure again.


If you are uncomfortable taking apart your guitar. Take the instrument to a music shop to avoid damage.


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