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I accidenally hit the end of my guitar against the wall (stupid, i know) and now it's making a rattling noise. Any ideas why that is and how to fix it? I haven't tried anything yet as I don't know what the problem is and I don't want to do any more damage.

edit: The rattling's coming from the top part (just under the part where you tune it) and it sounds like it's coming from inside it. Nothing looks like it's moving when it shouldn't. The make is Westwood but I'm not sure what the model is

  • You may have broken the truss-rod. See Player's somewhat terse answer.... if it's expensive, repair it, if cheap then bin it ..or keep it til the neck bends too far to use. Either way, you will need to strip it to find what it is. – Tetsujin Jan 13 '18 at 18:48
  • Is it possible to tell where the rattling is coming from? What kinds of movements make it rattle? Does it sound like some small thing rattling around inside or does it feel like the whole guitar rattles? Doesn't any part of it seem to move that shouldn't be moving? Also, what kind of guitar is? (the make an model) – Todd Wilcox Jan 13 '18 at 19:48
  • The rattling's coming from the top part (just under the part where you tune it) and it sounds like it's coming from inside it. Nothing looks like it's moving when it shouldn't. The make is Westwood but I'm not sure what the model is – pingu Jan 13 '18 at 19:56
  • Are all the strings in tune? It sounds like it could either be the truss rod or a tuning machine. If you haven't worked on guitars before you should take it to a shop and see what their estimate is for fixing it. – Todd Wilcox Jan 13 '18 at 20:10
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I'm guessing you mean that the rattling is coming from the head stock (where the tuning machines are). Depending on what type of guitar it is, slotted head stock like a classical guitar, or steel string, there may be a small cover plate screwed in just behind the nut (the bit the strings rest on near the tuning machines).

If there is one, you can un-screw it and check inside to see if the truss rod nut is moving around, or if there is something that knocked loose in there.

You should also check the tuning machines themselves. Some machines have a nut that screws down on each machine which can come loose and cause rattling. Some of the inexpensive tuners have a metal cover plate that screws over the gears which can also come loose and rattle.

If you don't find anything obvious, then as the comments say, it may be your truss rod has come loose or broken. A trip to your Guitar tech or Luthier can tell you if the instrument needs and/or is worth repairing.

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I agree with Alphonso. First remove the truss rod cover to see if the truss rod has been broken. (If it is, then the broken upper half may well rattle out when you upend the guitar.)

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