A low-action acoustic guitar is something that every guitarist demands. However, how will you manage if you have a guitar with high action and no truss rod? Things may get hard for you in this case. So, let’s dive into, how to lower the action on an acoustic guitar without a truss rod?
It’s a little difficult to adjust guitar action without a truss rod, but you can use some tricks such as Sanding the nut, Sanding the Bridge Saddle, Change Or Alter The Entire Neck and Changing the string to low gauge or light gauge strings.
If you want to read more details to lower the action of your acoustic guitar without the help or need of a truss rod, then read the full article.
What is a Truss Rod?
A truss rod is a straight metallic rod inserted inside the neck of your guitar for stabilizing the lengthwise forward curvature of the neck. Along with it, the most important task of a truss rod is to higher or lower the action of your guitar for easy playing.
Most of the time, a truss rod is used by professional fingerstyle guitarists for playing guitar lead for their shows or recordings. A truss rod, with the help of a small L-key, can allow you to lower the action of any guitar within minutes.
Along with it, a truss rod allows the player to adjust the curvature of the guitar neck and allows the guitarist to curve, bend or straighten the neck of the guitar as per the requirements.
However, we must not leave without saying that while using a truss rod, the guitarist needs to be really very careful as a minor mistake results in a crack in your guitar neck.
So, we always suggest that only if you are a professional guitarist and have expertise in using a truss rod use it. Other than that, always ask for professional help while using a truss rod, or it will lead you to severe damage.
All in all, a truss rod allows you to bend or straighten the neck to lower the action of the guitar.
Read Related Article: Best Low Action Acoustic Guitars
How to Lower Guitar Action With No Truss Rod: A Proper Guide
There’re a lot of ways to adjust the action of an acoustic guitar without a truss rod. However, you should keep in your mind that lowering the action of an acoustic guitar without a truss rod is much harder than lowering it with a truss rod.
Lowering a guitar action with no truss rod included can cost you hours of hard work, and if you are a beginner, then there are possibilities that you may also change the sound and tone of the guitar while lowering the action.
So, if you want to do it with ease and comfort with no issues, then we suggest you read these steps keenly, and they will help you to lower the action in the simplest possible way.
Sanding the Nut
A nut is one of the most important parts of the guitar and especially of the neck. But, it’s also one of the most common reasons for a high-action guitar. So, if you have got no truss rod in your guitar and you want to reduce and lower the action for easy playing, then sanding the nuts is the best option you have got.
For this, first of all, you will have to remove all the strings of the guitar. You can simply cut the strings if you also need to change the string set, but if your string set is new, then remove them with care and place them aside on a clean cloth.
After removing the string, here comes the most important and crucial part. For this, you will have to remove the nut from the guitar. It is one of the most sensitive parts of this drill.
Keep in mind that you can never damage the nut because if the nut is damaged, then you will have to get a new one. And trust our words that getting a new yet proper guitar nut is one of the hardest things to do.
So, remove the guitar nut with utter care and attention. For this, you can get a gripper with a soft yet firm grip. Once the nut is removed, place it on a clean cloth.
Now measure the nut and then mark a line for sanding. Keep this in mind the sanding should be synchronized. Once you have marked a line, start the sanding process. Keep the sanding slow and smooth so that the nut is not damaged.
Once done, measure the nut again, and then after cleaning with a guitar cleaner, place the nut and then the strings. Here you have successfully lowered the action of your guitar.
Sanding the Bridge Saddle For Lowering Action
We must tell you that if your acoustic guitar has no truss rod, then sanding the guitar nut and the bridge saddle are two of the best options that you have got.
So, if you are done sanding the nut of your guitar, and you do not feel a remarkable change, the next best option left is sanding the saddle of the bridge.
A saddle is a white-colored bone placed over the bridge for supporting the strings of the guitar. A saddle is also one of the most responsible things for the sound and tone of the guitar. So, if you want to further lower the action of the guitar, then we suggest you sand the saddle of the guitar.
For this, you will have to repeat the same process as you did for the nut of the guitar. First of all, remove the strings of the guitar carefully. After it, you will have to remove the saddle just the way you removed the nut of the guitar.
Now when you are done with the above-mentioned process, then start sanding the saddle as you did with the nut of the guitar. Once completing all of the things finely, place the saddle again, and you have got your guitar with the much lower action.
But, you should keep in your mind that if you are lowering the action of the guitar after sanding the nut and the saddle, then there is no way to lower the action. So, if you at any point need to raise the action of the guitar, you will have to get a net nut and saddle.
Change Or Alter The Entire Neck
The above given are two of the most common and the only legit methods of lowering the action of an acoustic. However, if you’re not satisfied with the action and want to lower it a bit more, then here we have the most dangerous and rarely used method for lowering the actions.
For this, the first option that you have got is to change the neck of your acoustic guitar only if it is possible. In some of the guitars, there comes a removable neck.
So, if you have got this option, then do it and place a guitar neck with a truss rod included in it. However, let us be honest that it’s one of the rarely used methods.
The second thing that some people experiment with is adding a layer to their neck. For this, you need to remove all of the strings, then remove the fret dividers that are made up of metal and then add a layer of metallic paper or any other thing that can add a millimeter to the guitar neck. This is the last thing you can do to lower the action of the guitar.
Once the layer has been added, place the metallic pieces back and then put on the string.
We are sure that these methods will surely work for your guitar. However, if these methods do not work by any chance, then the last resort is changing the guitar you have got.
In conclusion, we are good to say that this article has the hub of knowledge for those looking to lower the action of their acoustic guitar. Above, we have explained in detail how to lower the action of an acoustic guitar without a truss rod.
Hence, if you were one of those having an acoustic guitar with high action and no truss rod, we are sure that this draft has helped you a lot. Above, we have provided all of the possible methods that you can use to lower the action of a guitar if you have got no truss rod. So, those who have been through the article finely will find their way to a lower-action guitar.
However, if you have any queries left about the title, do let us know. We are always available to resolve your issues.
Why is a truss rod important?
A truss rod is important for any guitarist who wants to adjust the action of their guitar. It is something that allows you to either lower or raise the action of your guitar. With a truss rod included, you can change the action of the guitar and can also change the angle of your guitar neck within minutes.
Are guitars with truss rods expensive?
Not at all. The price of the guitar depends upon the brand and the type of guitar. However, it is true that most of the cheap guitars come without a truss rod, as putting a truss rod into the neck costs a bit more. Other than that, there is no way that a truss rod affects the price of the guitar.
Do all acoustic guitars come without a truss rod?
No, only a few acoustic guitar manufacturers are there who produce guitars without a truss rod. A truss rod is something that costs a bit more, and you need to have expensive machines to perform this task. But, there is no such thing that all acoustic guitars come without a truss rod.
Can I bend my guitar neck with a truss rod?
Yes, you can. A truss rod is used to bend, straighten or curve the neck of your guitar. It also allows you to reduce the action of the guitar. All in all, you can bend the neck of a guitar with the help of a truss rod.