What you should do to easily adjust an acoustic guitar

Sometimes guitars lose their tuning due to problems such as changes in temperature, humidity, unexpected blows, among others. Therefore, it is important that you adjust the soul of the instrument, the height of the strings and levels of the frets. In this way, you can keep your acoustic guitar in good condition.


Guitars with or without soul

On the market there are several models of guitars with soul, for example, Electric, Silent and Folk. Their designs incorporate a metal rod inside the neck, which reinforces the neck of the instrument and makes the shape of the fingerboard more stable.

These types of guitars have the facility to adjust the core when the curvature of the neck has been affected by changes in temperature. On the other hand, the soulless guitars are acoustic and flamenco, since their handles are made only with wood, that is, without metal reinforcement inside. These latest guitars do not need truss rod adjustment on any occasion, but they do require other restoration processes.


How to tell if your guitar requires adjustment

Now that you know which guitars have a soul and you know those that do not have this characteristic, the next thing is to discover whether or not they require an adjustment. To find out if your guitar needs an adjustment, it’s best to play it. If when doing so the sound is out of tune, it is because it is out of adjustment.

In addition, although the tuning is very important, you should also check the aesthetics, for example, when the frets are rusted and the fingerboard stained, it is best to solve these small problems.

On the other hand, guitars with soul sometimes go out of tune, for example, when you buy them out of adjustment, since sometimes they have been there in companies for months waiting to be acquired. This last fact could affect the curvature of the fretboard, thus affecting the tuning of the instrument. 

Added to that, guitars also get a bit difficult to play on the first frets. If this happens with your instrument, it is most likely due to an incorrect curvature of the fretboard. Perhaps this has occurred due to string changes, weather, accidental blows, etc. 




Another aspect by which your instrument signals that it needs to be adjusted is fretting, a word that is also known as cerdeo. This is an annoying sound that a string makes when you play chords or melodies. This means that hogging does not occur across the entire fretboard of the guitar, so to check this point you should play each fret separately. However, there are guitars that are too out of adjustment and fret almost anywhere on the fretboard, but don’t be scared if your instrument is going through this problem, as it is something that has a solution.

Also, if your guitar has the strings too far from the fretboard, you may need to adjust it. The same happens when the strings are very close to the fingerboard. By this we mean the height of the strings, which greatly affects the ease of playing the instrument and its tuning.

To make matters worse, falling a guitar could crack the wood. This is a problem that must be solved, especially if the crack is in the handle, as it could affect the core and its curvature. All this has a solution, so that you can adjust the guitar again and play it.

Also, there are other factors that can affect the wood of the instrument, for example, sometimes in the fingerboard there is a lot of humidity accumulated, due to the heat and sweat of the guitarist’s hands. If you see this type of moisture on the fretboard, it most likely requires adjustment.


Actions you can do to tune the guitar yourself

First of all, adjusting the nut is a very common and easy thing to do. By this we mean the piece that goes on top of the guitar, dividing the head with the neck. This element of the instrument can be exchanged for a new one, so that you can enjoy your guitar again. By changing the nut or adjusting its height the strings could be a little closer to the fretboard. This will help when playing, as placing the chords will not have to press the strings too hard. 

Another aspect that you can do for yourself is the adjustment of the soul. Silent, Electric or Folk guitars offer direct access to the soul. This can be found at the upper or lower end of the neck, for example, behind the nut or near the mouth of the instrument. To adjust it you will only need an allen key, which some guitar models include in their packages. 

In addition to this, at home you can adjust the height of the bridge bone, of course, only vertically, since horizontally it would affect the fifth of the guitar and this is almost always only the task of instrument manufacturers. After making this adjustment, the guitar will be more comfortable to play. If you want to solo on the guitar, it is recommended that you lower the height of the nut and the bridge bone a little, so that the strings are closer to the fingerboard, thus being able to move your fingers more easily.

In addition, it is possible to polish the frets yourself, so that the aesthetics of the instrument stand out again, as when the guitar was new. The fingerboard can even be oiled with a special liquid, as this task will greatly eliminate the effect of humidity.




Things only a luthier should do

Guitars are sometimes so out of adjustment that they require an expert. It is there where luthiers play a very important role, since they are manufacturers of musical instruments. Guitar fret leveling, calibration, and fifthing are tasks that only these specialists should do.

In addition to this, we mention that the repair of a broken soul or cracks in the wood is a process in which the luthiers have a lot of experience, so you must take it to them so that they can be in charge of restoring it.

However, if the adjustment or repair requires a high budget, it is best to buy a new instrument, in addition, you may find a good and inexpensive acoustic guitar on the Internet .


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