Topic: How do i get neck relief?

I want to get more relief from the tension on the strings so they won't be so hard to chord. Which way do i turn the hex screw to adjust the neck for relief or back draw? I didn't realize how hard my guitars were to chord until i played one set up this way. It makes a world of difference in playability.

Re: How do i get neck relief?

Yes, it certainly does.

The truss rod counteracts the pull of the strings on the neck, so tightening the truss rod will add backbow, generally straightening the neck. 

Please note:  action is not the same as neck relief.  Check first for your neck relief by putting a capo on the 1st fret, hold the low E string down at the body fret, and check for daylight under the 7th fret.  If your neck isn't bowed, you will need to set the action at the nut and bridge saddle; these adjustments are best done by a technician.

If you find that you do have too much neck relief, you counteract the bow in the neck caused by string tension by tightening the truss rod.  Make small adjustments (an eighth of a turn or less) at a time, and allow the neck to 'settle' for several hours before continuing to adjust.  The adjustment should be easy, if you run into significant resistance, DON'T FORCE IT!  The hypothetical 'average' player should have neck relief around .013" (check with a feeler gauge), less if you play light, a bit more if you're very energetic (or playing slide).

If you have any doubts, please take the instrument to a competent tech for a set up.  A Broken truss rod is no fun for anyone.

"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
                              --David St. Hubbins

Re: How do i get neck relief?

dfoskey if you do adjust your truss rod, be sure to loosen your string tension first  smile