Understanding The Purpose Of The Guitar Neck Shim

guitar neck

Some guitars will just NOT change appropriately with the common approaches readily available like the bridge saddles, nut filing changes and also the capacity to set the bow (or lack thereof) of the neck itself. Including shims to the screw on neck may be needed to obtain the guitar to play effectively at all locations up and down the neck.

A nut shim serves as a spacer between the nut as well as neck raising as well as reducing the range in between every one of the strings at the lower end of the guitar, starting at fret 1 and moving towards the body of the guitar.

A neck pocket shim functions as a spacer in between the neck as well as body, changing the angle from which the neck protrudes out away from the body.

Attempt to visualize the strings of your guitar as a flat airplane as well as the fret board as a parallel aircraft running beneath them. The angle of the top plane which includes the strings is managed by the position of the tremolo and also the nut. The angle of the reduced aircraft which is the fret board is managed by the neck pocket of the body.

If your setup is ideal these two aircrafts will have an equivalent distance in between them at any point. If your guitar doesn’t look this way attempt adjusting the elevation of the tremolo itself initially. This will typically take care of the problem unless you discover your activity ending up being too high or to low similarly throughout the length of the fret board. If adjusting the height of the tremolo corrects the problem yet leaves you with too high or low of an action (distance between the strings and also worry board) then you will certainly need to resort to making use of a shim. You may want to “block” the tremolo before you start the shimming operation.

Shims can be located as well as made use of in 2 various areas of the neck. One is under the nut as well as the other is directly under the heel in the neck pocket of the body.

Nut shims are usually made out of one or more slim sheets of brass. Shims situated in the neck pocket are generally constructed of a thin piece of wood. In either situation you can generate your own shim if required by using a sheet of hefty stock paper such as a business card. For shims in the neck pocket you might require to fold up the paper stock 3-4 times to obtain the called for density needed, then trim to fit properly.

First determine if the range between the strings and stress board is to close right up against the nut itself. If this holds true then add a shim under the nut as well as elevate the tremolo by adjusting the tremolo messages until the strings are an equivalent distance from the fret board down the entire length of the neck. If the range between the strings and also the fret board situated right up against the nut is ALRIGHT after that you will certainly have to position a shim in the neck pocket to correct your trouble as directed below.

If your strings are higher on the Low E side, position the shim in the neck pocket under the heel of the neck and parallel with the length of the neck on the Reduced E side, which elevates the entire neck down the Reduced E side when it is bolted on. Before doing this check the angle of the tremolo to make certain it is level versus the body as well as not drifting at an angle.

If your strings are higher on the High E side do the contrary, as explained over, by placing the shim parallel to the neck on the High E side in the neck pocket. Once again prior to doing this check the angle of the tremolo to see to it is flat against the body as well as not drifting at an angle.

If your strings become higher the closer they are to the body place the shim across the neck pocket in the end closest to the neck pick-up. This will certainly transform the various other end of the neck pocket into a pivot point and also relocate the head stock in the direction of the back of the body decreasing the strings over the luxury stresses.

If your strings become lower across the high end worries location the shim throughout the end of the neck pocket outermost away from the neck pickup. This will elevate the headstock far from the rear of the body, raising the strings up from completion of the fret board, closest to the body.

In some circumstances you might discover that you need the shim to increase just one edge of the two aircrafts as described above. In these uncommon cases, make a smaller shim as well as place it in the appropriate location of the neck pocket. Obviously upon removing the nut from the neck or the neck from the body, if you locate a shim currently there
determine what action it was performing in the first place then make the required corrections.

Shimming a guitar neck is most definitely an ART. However, if you consider it clinically, as angles against a plane, you can comprehend the “how and also why” of readjusting a guitar neck in this manner.

Author: Lotto