When you own a guitar, whether an acoustic or electric guitar you need to take adequate measures to protect it from the elements so that it remains in top working order. Being exposed to heat or moisture as well as being left for long periods with tight strings can cause bowing, warping and or twisting of your guitar neck.
This will make playing difficult and result in unusual sounds, rattles, squeaks and buzzes so it will need to be repaired. One of the best ways to protect your guitar is keeping it in a proper guitar case.
Straightening a warped guitar neck
If the twist in your guitar neck is so bad it affects your playing it may need to be taken to a repair shop. Often the best remedy is to plane the fret board which should only be done if you have the tools and knowledge to do so. Some fret boards are not able to be planned because they are not thick enough and need to be repaired by clamping and heat treating or the fret board needs to be replaced. In many instances an owner can adjust the neck to remove a twist by adjusting the truss rod. This is a metallic rod that runs inside the guitar neck and is used to counter the tension produced when the strings are tightened when tuning your guitar.
To do this operation you will need to locate the hex-hole or screw located above the nut and under the guitar strings. Some acoustic guitars have an adjustment at the body end of the guitar neck. The twist can often be removed by a slight adjustment if this screw or hex-nut. The rod is highly responsive, so it’s recommended that only a minute adjustment is done and then tested to see if the twist is removed.
Fixing a guitar neck with a back bow
A back bow in a guitar neck is the opposite to a twist. The twist moves the fret board away from the strings and a bow brings the fret board closer to the strings, making it difficult to play and pick a chord. Often this causes buzzing and intonation sounds.
The back bow can often be adjusted and rectified by adjusting the screw or hex-nut in the other directing causing the distance between the fret board and strings to be normal. The back bend can also be removed using pressure and heat, but this should only be attempted by someone who has the expertise to do so as too much heat can cause irreparable damage.
Playing an acoustic or electric guitar can bring a great deal of pleasure to both the player and those listening. But a guitar is a sensitive instrument and needs to be properly looked after. It should be stored correctly in a good quality guitar case and have the strings loosened if not being used for an extended period to avoid problems of the neck twisting. Even with the tension being released occasionally atmospheric conditions such as excess moisture, humidity or heat can cause the guitar neck to twist. This requires the truss rod located inside the guitar neck to be adjusted by turning the screw or hex-nut located at either end of the guitar neck.