Adjusting Electric Guitars

All you need to know about Adjusting Electric Guitars. Here it is...

Adjusting electric guitars is a delicate process that must be done with great care and caution. Not all guitars come in ready-to-play condition. Since guitars are made of wood, temperature and moisture tend to affect it. So, there’s a good chance that your guitar needs to be adjusted before you can play it.

Lets look at the various adjustments that your electric guitar might need and how they are done:

Adjusting The Truss Rod

Electric guitars have an adjustable metal truss rod running down the center of the neck. Adjusting the truss rod can simply mean a minor adjustment to straighten a neck that is bent to just enhance your guitar’s playability. Or it could mean adjusting the rod to modify overall action, height of the strings and intonation. If this is not done properly, it can damage your guitar irrevocably.

Start by placing a capo at the first fret. At the 17th fret, press the low E string down. See if there is a small gap of 0.25 mm between the top of the 7-9th fret and the underside of the string. If the gap is more, the truss rod needs to be turned clockwise. If it is less, turn the truss rod counterclockwise.

Do remember to be very careful not to force the adjustment if it is tight. It should be done at minute degrees. Allow the neck to settle as you adjust it.

String Height Adjustment

After the truss rod is adjusted satisfactorily, the action or string height must be adjusted for the guitar to play well. You can measure the string height at the 12th fret. Take a steel ruler and measure the action on the top and bottom strings. Make the adjustment to the bottom string, that is low E at 2.00 mm and the top string, high E to 1.5 mm by raising or lowering the saddle. The middle strings can be set by gradually increasing the height from treble to bass side.

Intonation Adjustment
For setting intonation, most electric guitars have individual string length adjustment. When you fine-tune this length, your guitar plays in tune all the way up and down the neck. Tune your guitar to pitch with an electronic tuner. Do it one string at a time, and play the harmonic at the 12th fret. Then play the fretted 12th fret note – if it is sharper than that harmonic, increase the length of the string slightly till your tuner registers the same for both notes. Suppose the fretted note is flatter than the harmonic, shorten the string. Continue to do this for each string till both harmonic and fretted notes sound same.

Setting Pick-Up Height
Your guitar’s output depends on pick up height. This means that the closer the pick up is to the strings, the more will be your output. If the pickup is too close to the strings, there can be a hassle of magnetic pull.The outer strings must be fretted one at a time at the top fret.

The most important thing to remember before you attempt any adjustment to your guitar electronics, is always make sure your guitar is unplugged from its amplifier. The best thing to do if you don’t have the experience adjusting electric guitars is to get it done by a professional.

Adjusting Electric Guitars.

Please buy one of these highly recommended books below before adjusting your guitar ------>

Alfred Teach Yourself Guitar Repair and Maintenance (Book/DVD)

Alfred Teach Yourself Guitar Repair and Maintenance (Book/DVD)

John Carruthers, legendary guitar builder and repair guru to the stars, has teamed up with Alfred to produce this ultimate beginner's guide to guitar repair and maintenance. Comprehensive, step-by-step instructions and close-up shots clarify how to set the action for ultimate playability, adjust for bulletproof intonation, and much more. Includes steps on setting up and adjusting Floyd Rose tremolo systems, soldering and maintaining electronics, the proper way to remove and install strings on both standard guitars and Floyd Rose systems, and exact specs for the action, nut action, and truss rod adjustments of electric guitars, acoustics, and 4- and 5-string basses. 80 pages.

Music Sales Do It Yourself Guitar Repair Compact Reference (Book)

Music Sales Do It Yourself Guitar Repair Compact Reference (Book)

Music Sales Do It Yourself Guitar Repair Compact Reference (Book) is an invaluable manual for every guitarist-amateur or professional. Filled with practical instructions explaining how to keep your guitar in top condition, how to carry out repairs and what to look for when buying a new guitar. Suitable for electric or acoustic guitar.

Hal Leonard Guitar Player Repair Guide - 3rd Revised Edition (Book & DVD)

Hal Leonard Guitar Player Repair Guide - 3rd Revised Edition (Book & DVD)

This expanded edition teaches guitar and bass players, from beginners to experts, how to set up a guitar and keep it in top form by mastering basic maintenance. It features an essential DVD that makes guitar maintenance easier than ever. New features include set-up specs of leading players; stronger coverage of guitar electronics, including pickups and wiring diagrams; and expanded coverage of acoustics.

Rock House Wired: Guitar Care + Repair (DVD)

Rock House Wired: Guitar Care + Repair (DVD)

Renowned guitar luthier Ken Nash guides you step-by-step through care and repair techniques that will preserve the life of your instrument. Learn how to adjust the action, stop fret buzzing, correct intonation, adjust the nut or saddle, and much more. He'll show you how to diagnose problems that are easy fixes. You'll avoid costly trips to the shop and keep your electric, acoustic, or bass guitar maintained and playing perfectly. Easy-to-follow instructions; no special skills or prior experience required. Includes FREE membership in The Rock House Method's lesson support system on the web at This informative website features helpful tips, quizzes, student forums, and much more to make your learning easy and complete.

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