Say I put on a heavier gauge of string on and It doesn't feel right, the action is too high, Fret buzz and isn't intonated etc how would I know whether to adjust the truss rod or whether it needs the action just lowered.

I have heard a few different methods which include you have to get the neck as straight as possible then lower the action, put a capo on the 1st fret and 17th and see if the string is touching the neck and there are a whole bunch more.

If anyone has a method, please let me know.

  • 2
    You are not likely to have fret buzz due to a high action. Fretwire height discrepancies are more to blame. It only happens with low actions. You need to operate all both in tandem - action and truss rod and intonation.
    – Tim
    Dec 20, 2018 at 9:04
  • The method you mention in your question is definitely a good way to do it. Is there something about that method that you're not sure about? Dec 20, 2018 at 18:28

1 Answer 1


Adjusting your truss rod changes the bow of the neck. If your strings are buzzing near the middle than loosen the truss rod.

Most guitars are not compensated enough and don't provide adequate ways to change the action. The neck can be straightened, The angle could be adjusted but it's best to leave that to an experienced luthier. The Saddle can be swapped out with a compensated saddle or the entire bridge could be replaced.

The basic process is to set the action then check the intonation and repeat. To check the intonation. play the open note and supress the string at the 12th fret, barely make contact with the string at the 12th fret to hear the first overtone.Then, play the closed note at the 12th fret. If your guitar is well-intonated they will be the same.

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