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Learn about the guitar neck

Published: Tue March 24, 2009  News Feed


Here is an exceprt on quite a deep subject. Attack your ‘72 Tele with CAUTION!

If your guitar neck is worn out maybe you’re looking for someone who can replace or repair it. Or maybe you want to repair your guitar neck yourself. Your guitar’s neck needs some understanding, so let’s take a look at some common issues associated with the neck of your guitar.

Let’s start with the frets. They’re the metal things that are embedded in the guitar neck. After some years’ playing they wear down and you will need to replace them. If you try to replace your frets yourself you might find that you will need to get a professional to replace the complete fingerboard. The trick is to remove the frets without destroying the fingerboard. This involves softening the glue holding the frets in and then gently removing the frets. It’s best to leave this work to a professional.

Sometimes the back of the guitar neck can be worn down. In this case you can smooth the wood with steel wool and sand paper. You should cover the pickups with masking tape before you sand the neck so that bits of grit don’t get caught in them. When you have finished sanding you will need to blow any loose bits of wood dust out of the hard to reach parts of the guitar with some canned air or suck them out with a vacuum cleaner.

Sometimes guitar players find that their guitar’s neck is getting sticky. This can be caused by the oil from your hand or something you are using to clean the guitar. Either way, get a luthier to sand the neck and apply some layers of tung oil to get the neck feeling smooth.

Another question that is commonly asked about guitar necks is the order the strings should be changed in. The answer is one at a time. Don’t loosen all the strings at once. It may not affect your guitar if you remove all the strings but as a matter of policy it’s best to keep your guitar neck under a uniform amount of stress.

Neck warp can be a problem for acoustic and electric guitars. Here’s a video on how to fix an acoustic guitar neck that has warped:

Acoustic Guitar Neck Warp

If you want to get a new bolt-on neck for an old guitar you might be wondering whether any neck will fit or if you need to replace it with the same brand. In this case the most important factor is the length of the neck. The new one needs to be the same length as the old one. Measure the distance between the twelfth fret and the nut. There is also the question of the neck pocket matching the new neck, but I’m sure you’ll check that out before you buy


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