How To Get A Guitar Neck Straight With Strings Off

Guitars are like any other tool or instrument that requires maintenance and one aspect of maintenance a guitarist should know is how to get a guitar neck straight with the strings off. This process requires great care and patience to avoid damaging your guitar. If you fit this qualification, let’s learn how to straighten out that neck!

To straighten out your guitars neck, you will need:

  • Hex wrench, sometimes called an Allen wrench
  • Philips-heads screwdriver
  • A good eye
  1. Start by placing your guitar on a flat surface where you can easily look at its side. This step will allow you to gauge the neck and find out what kind of adjustments need to be made. Recommended places would be on a hard surface, such as a table, so you can accurately see the guitar.
  2. Get eye level to the guitar’s neck and see which way the neck is bent. This bend will be adjusted later by use of the truss rod inside the neck.
  3. Take the Philips-head screwdriver and unscrew the cover for the truss rod on the headstock above the guitar neck. This step may not be necessary for all guitars. In some, the hole for the truss rod is not cased in which this step can be ignored.

  4. Take the Allen wrench and insert it into the hole in the headstock until it fits nicely into the truss rod adjustment hole. This is what is actually going to adjust your guitar neck so it is straight.

  5. Turn the Allen wrench either left or right. This will depend on which way the guitar neck was pointing. If the guitar neck had an up bow, meaning it sloped up from the body to the headstock, you will want to turn the Allen wrench to the right no more than half a turn each time. Check whether the neck is straight after every half turn.

  6. If your guitar seemed to have a “hill” in the middle of the guitar neck, it has a back bow. In this case, you turn to the Allen wrench to the left instead of the right no more than half a turn and checking the neck after each half turn.


  • If you are not confident in your abilities to make this adjustment, take your guitar to a professional guitar tech and pay a little bit now instead of having to buy a whole new guitar!
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