Run, if you see your guitar tech doing this

action -
Measuring the action –

The action on your guitar is high and you take it to your technician to correct it. If he says it is a two-minute job, and picks up the hex key (Allen wrench), stop him then and there.

By picking up the hex key, what he intended to do, most probably, was to work the truss rod one way or the other. The truss rod is an iron rod with a hex nut on one end and sits in a groove in the neck, right under your fretboard/fingerboard. It can be accessed either through the soundhole, or from the headstock end.

where and how the rod sits - project electric guitar

trussrod as seen through the soundhole -
The trussrod end as seen through the soundhole –
The truss rod with access from the headstock end of the guitar –

The purpose of the truss rod – in any guitar – is to dial in the right amount of relief (the string-to-fretwire gap) in the neck. IT IS NOT A PROCESS TO CORRECT ACTION, no matter what your tech or anyone else says.
Pic courtesy

Why n when to adjust truss rod -

The right way to correct action on your instrument is a three-step process, correcting

a) action at the 12th fret (adjusting saddle height)

b) action at the 1st fret (adjusting the string slots in the nut), and

c) dialling in the right amount of relief in the neck.

I will discuss these in the next post with a set-up undertaken on a customer’s guitar.

Amit Newton

An experienced guitar tech with over 10 years of experience working on acoustic Gibsons and Martins in the Gulf region. There is nothing that cannot be repaired; the only consideration is the price at which it comes. And yet, if there is sentiment attached, no price is too high! WhatsApp/Call me: 7080475556 email me:

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