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Actually, before we even get to that, let’s start with trying to define the word itself. This article written by Gerry Hayes and first published at hazeguitars.com, Tagged: guitar, bass, repair, luthier, warp, bow, neck, neck deformation. String tension pulls on the neck and forces it into a bow shape. Warped guitar necks: Part 3 - Defining things and Bow, You are signing up for my email newsletter so the understanding that you'll receive emails is pretty explicit. So, what I’ll do is take a look at the possible ways in which a guitar or bass neck might ‘warp’. Using a straightedge, assess how straight the neck is when it is under zero pressure. Look from the bridge, where your strings begin under the sound hole, up the neck to the tuning keys. It may be scary, but it is nothing to panic over. It doesn’t mean your neck is broken, only that the wood expanded and unexpanded, which allowed the truss rod to move. So when you see your warped bass guitar neck, it may feel like a punch just below the gut. One big pro in this operation is that, with access to the ‘internals’ of the neck you can choose to add some reinforcement against re-bowing in the future. Have a re-read of the last article on heat-treating necks for more context. If it is bowing inwards... Ways to Fix a Warped And Twisted Neck. You have to be cautious about how much wood you’ll remove from the fingerboard. This covers a lot of ground so let’s get started. At a minimum, it’s too broad and, at most, it’s lost all utility altogether. You’ll likely have some finish touch-up required. Not only is this every player’s nightmare, but few bassists actually know how to correct the problem and fix the bass guitar. If you neck is bowing outwards (peaking) then your neck has too much stress on it. For relatively minor bows, it might be possible to level just the frets and give a straighter plane along their tops. It's not that scary. Remove the strings (I'm assuming you've done this, but I don't like to assume too much...). First off, you need to check which way your neck is warping. One of the most common is changing tuning. It’s definitely worth mentioning that even instruments with adjustable truss rods can sometimes pull into too much relief — more than the truss rod can correct. If we can 'level’ the fingerboard and/or frets, we can remove some or all of the bow. I don't do spam and you can unsubscribe at any time. Other potential fixes revolve around fret and fingerboard work. To adjust the truss rod, you will need either a flat head screw driver or a hex (Allen) wrench, depending on your make. Forcing neck into back-bow to ‘help’ truss rod operation. Between each adjustment, hold your bass guitar away from you at a forty-five degree angle to check your work. Take your fully strung guitar in your hands and hold it strings up, level with your eyes, and pointed toward a generalized light source. Most guitar and bass necks will probably have some small amount of bow in them all the time. Through emotional hardships and financial, too, our instruments are supposed to make it through even when we can’t. There is a potential to damage your guitar here so I’ll state the obvious: Be careful. This is the most common ‘deformation’ of a guitar or bass neck. But there’s a problem. Once it’s snug, the job of keeping the neck there is relatively more easy. It might take a few minutes to come through so, don't worry if it's not there immediately. When you change tuning, your string gauge needs to change as well. So, like I said, this is starting to get long. Warped neck fix. All tuning have different tension levels. You don’t want to end up with a fingerboard tapering down to nothing at one end. The neck simply would not straighten out, no matter what we did with the truss rod – even with the truss rod completely loose, the neck had a severe back bow. You may want to wait a few days... 4. First off, you need to check which way your neck is warping. I suppose, after that, I should really talk about what a warped neck is. You can read more in my, Like this? You’re helping the truss rod by doing the actual neck bending/correction so that little adjustment nut doesn’t have to do all the work. This is the most common ‘deformation’ of a guitar or bass neck. In this context, ‘warp’ means some unwanted deformation in a neck — whether through bending, twisting, or shearing. In this context, ‘warp’ means some unwanted deformation in a neck — whether through bending, twisting, or shearing. The fingerboard is removed and the neck is fully or partially levelled. Up-bow is the most common way in which a neck can ‘deform’. If you want to a shortcut to bass playing success, Teach Me Bass Guitar is everything you will ever need. If your neck is dipping, you will need to tighten your truss rod in order to add more tension to correct. The same rules as all tools apply to your truss rod; lefty loosey, righty tighty. 1. That's why I had created this website to help bass players get a head start in their musical journey. However, in order to comply with privacy regulations, I also need you to provide consent to store and process the information you've entered. Even fewer understand just how common a warped neck is. A little goes a long way, and you can further damage your neck by being careless. You have just fixed your warped bass guitar neck. So, we have to mention the heat-treatment option discussed last time. This week we took in a 1960’s Fender P-Bass for a refret that had a severely warped neck. Using something like the Erlewine Neck Jig to hold a guitar neck in a particular position while you level the fingerboard can give great results. ‘Warped neck’ is too much of a blanket term. The short version is, wider fret wire tangs forced into narrow fret slots can force the neck back against the up-bow. The best thing you can do is learn how to diagnose the problem and work through it with a calm attitude. This might get you where you need to be (and remember that you might not desire a perfectly straight neck at the end of this process — a little relief is usually just fine). Believe it or not, there are a variety of things that can cause neck warping. A good light source for this visual check would be a well-lit window. My first-hand experience with a private tutor was one filled with frustration. We Can Help You. If it is bowing inwards (dipping), then your neck has too little stress on it. Some instruments, mainly vintage examples, may not have an adjustable truss rod and may rely on some other method to provide passive strengthening against string tension. Up-Bow or Relief. Most of the time we’re considering this sort of repair, however, the bow is too big to deal with only in frets. Much of the time we’ll end up using a combination of a corrective refret and the levelling techniques above to straighten out a neck. Fret slots will likely need to be made deeper in places after you’ve levelled and you may have to replace (or remove and reinstall) inlay. Take the guitar to a trusted repairer if you’re not sure about anything. Eyeball the neck to check for warping. 3. This makes up for the difference in tension to achieve said desired tuning. These things could be true, but in many cases the issue can be corrected with a less invasive procedure known as a heat treatment. Hi, my name is David Woods. If your guitar is in a cold room half of the day, and then a hot room the other half, your neck can start to dip due to the extreme temperature changes. Keep this in mind, as it will also affect your intonation. Once it is nice and straight with a tiny bit of relief, you are all set. For a limited time, get a WHOPPING 25% off the massive course…. I can’t actually give you one single definition. That’s actually a good thing — most players’ styles will benefit from just a little up-bow. If you neck is peaking, you will need to loosen your truss rod in order to alleviate the tension. This is typically a rod or beam of stronger material, inlaid in the neck, beneath the fingerboard. Levelling on the neck can also alter the shape very slightly and require work to ‘blend’ the edge of the fingerboard back in (more on this next time as this is running long). By the way, all of this should be performed with slack (or removed) strings — don’t fight things more than you need. Don’t Panic. Have you been told your instrument has a "Warped" neck requiring a neck reset, refret, or even a new neck? We may follow with some additional levelling on the reattached fingerboard and even some corrective refretting. After all, as musicians, we depend on our instruments to get us through everything. I’ll split out the remaining neck warp issues and discuss them over the next week or two. While the fixes described above are all valid in these cases too, before setting off down that road, it’s worth trying to ‘help’ the truss rod do its job. Warped necks are part of our world. Warped Bass Guitar Neck – What Do I Do? I kicked off a discussion on warped necks by talking about what a warped neck is not. Careful refretting, using fret wire with a selection of wider tangs can be a big help in correcting this sort of up-bow. This covers a lot of ground so let’s get started. Even in the absence of some clamps and tools, you could have a friend hold an instrument on the edge of a counter while you apply some downward force at the headstock to straighten it somewhat. The cons of this are that it’s much more work and therefore more expensive. BassGuitarPlayerWorld.com © Copyright 2019 | David Woods Productions, How to Practice Scales And Get Fast Results, A Primer to the Various Bass Guitar Effects Pedals, Things That You Can Do to Increase Your Bass Playing Speed, Bass Distortion – When And How to Effectively Use It, How to Hold the Bass Properly in Position, Increase Finger Strength for With Simple Exercises, How to Get Focused on Practicing And Playing the Bass, How to Practice And Make the Best Use of Your Time, Melodic Minor Scales – How to Play And Use Them. Then, each of those differently types of warp can be discussed. This means that you will have to take your face plate off. Modern instruments generally have the advantage of an adjustable truss rod that allows us to counter-balance the strings’ pull and control the amount of relief in the neck. 2. Either way, never adjust more than a quarter turn at a time, no matter the circumstance. Download Truss Rods Made Easy for free. Slacken the truss rod nut. It’s definitely on the menu of possible solutions but it comes with its own caveats. And, is it necessary for me to tell you to be careful and take no risks you don’t feel comfortable with? It is the ultimate DVD program that takes you step by step from a beginner to becoming an advanced player. Whether that be a stronger truss rod (adjustable or static) or something like carbon fibre beams, you can do a lot to strengthen a neck here. On most bass guitars, the truss rod will be behind a plastic cover on the neck, just behind the nut. In some cases(mostly Fender) it will be located at the end of the bridge. Here’s the fretboard against a … No big deal. String tension pulls on the neck and forces it into a bow shape. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. Removing the frets and levelling the wood of the fingerboard is the next logical step. If you don’t change your string gauge, you need to adjust your neck. It’s not unusual for some of these guitar necks to get pulled into an up-bow that’s too extreme for comfortable playing. Thanks a lot. There are numerous ways for your neck to warp, but only one way to fix them all; adjusting the truss rod of your bass guitar. Ever hear someone say: "I'll do anything else with my guitar but I won't touch the truss rod."? When anything goes wrong with your bass guitar, it may seem like the end of the world. By forcing the neck into a straighter (or even back-bowed) position using clamps and a beam/level it’s often possible to then tighten up the truss rod in order to keep it in this position. We call this neck bow ‘relief’. A hand-drawn, illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat. Check out these other great articles…, Haze Guitars, 54 Rossberry Avenue, Lucan, Ireland, Neck Resets - Beginning to remove the neck, Free Social Distancing for Musicians Sign, Repairing a damaged acoustic guitar bridge plate, Straightening a bowed neck: Correction and Reassembly, Remove Blue Pencil Lines in Affinity Photo, Straightening a bowed neck: Truss Rod Operation, Straightening a bowed neck (with some complications). Spam and you can further damage your guitar here so I ’ ll split out the remaining neck issues! Are that it ’ s definitely on the menu of possible solutions but it comes its. Start with trying to define the word itself adjust your neck is necks. It or not, there are a variety of things that can cause neck warping seem like the of. To the tuning keys zero pressure things that can cause neck warping bass players get a start... Is nice and straight with a tiny bit of relief, you to... Is starting to get us through everything ’ s start with trying to define word... 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