Understanding The Objective Of The Guitar Neck Shim

Some guitars will simply NOT alter correctly with the usual strategies obtainable just like the bridge saddles, nut submitting changes and the power to set the bow (or lack thereof) of the neck itself. Including shims to the bolt on neck could also be essential to get the guitar to play correctly in any respect areas up and down the neck.

A nut shim acts as a spacer between the nut and neck elevating and decreasing the space between the entire strings on the decrease finish of the guitar, beginning at fret 1 and shifting in direction of the physique of the guitar.

A neck pocket shim acts as a spacer between the neck and physique, altering the angle from which the neck protrudes out away from the physique.

Attempt to think about the strings of your guitar as a flat aircraft and the fret board as a parallel aircraft operating beneath them. The angle of the highest aircraft which incorporates the strings is managed by the place of the tremolo and the nut. The angle of the decrease aircraft which is the fret board is managed by the neck pocket of the physique.

In case your setup is ideal these two planes may have an equal distance between them at any level. In case your guitar doesn’t look this manner attempt adjusting the peak of the tremolo itself first. This can often handle the issue except you discover your motion changing into too excessive or to low equally throughout the size of the fret board. If adjusting the peak of the tremolo corrects the issue however leaves you with too excessive or low of an motion (distance between the strings and fret board) then you’ll need to resort to utilizing a shim. You might need to “block” the tremolo earlier than you begin the shimming operation.

Shims could be discovered and utilized in two totally different areas of the neck. One is beneath the nut and the opposite is instantly beneath the heel within the neck pocket of the physique.

Nut shims are often made out of a number of skinny sheets of brass. Shims situated within the neck pocket are often made out of a skinny piece of wooden. In both case you’ll be able to produce your individual shim if wanted through the use of a sheet of heavy inventory paper equivalent to a enterprise card. For shims within the neck pocket you would possibly have to fold the paper inventory 3-4 occasions to get the required thickness wanted, then trim to suit correctly.

First decide if the space between the strings and fret board is to shut proper up in opposition to the nut itself. If so then add a shim beneath the nut and lift the tremolo by adjusting the tremolo posts till the strings are an equal distance from the fret board down the whole size of the neck. If the space between the strings and the fret board situated proper up in opposition to the nut is OK then you’ll have to place a shim within the neck pocket to appropriate your drawback as directed beneath.

In case your strings are increased on the Low E aspect, place the shim within the neck pocket beneath the heel of the neck and parallel with the size of the neck on the Low E aspect, which raises the whole neck down the Low E aspect when it’s bolted on. Earlier than doing this test the angle of the tremolo to verify it’s flat in opposition to the physique and never floating at an angle.

In case your strings are increased on the Excessive E aspect do the alternative, as defined above, by inserting the shim parallel to the neck on the Excessive E aspect within the neck pocket. Once more earlier than doing this test the angle of the tremolo to verify it’s flat in opposition to the physique and never floating at an angle.

In case your strings turn into increased the nearer they’re to the physique place the shim throughout the neck pocket in the long run closest to the neck pickup. This can flip the opposite finish of the neck pocket right into a fulcrum level and transfer the top inventory in direction of the again of the physique decreasing the strings over the excessive finish frets.

In case your strings turn into decrease throughout the excessive finish frets place the shim throughout the top of the neck pocket furthest away from the neck pickup. This can elevate the headstock away from the again of the physique, elevating the strings up from the top of the fret board, closest to the physique.

In some situations you would possibly discover that you simply want the shim to lift just one nook of the 2 planes as described above. In these uncommon instances, make a smaller shim and place it within the applicable space of the neck pocket. After all upon eradicating the nut from the neck or the neck from the physique, in case you discover a shim already there
decide what motion it was doing within the first place then make the mandatory corrections.

Shimming a guitar neck is unquestionably an ART. Nonetheless, in case you take a look at it scientifically, as angles in opposition to a aircraft, you’ll be able to perceive the “how and why” of adjusting a guitar neck this manner.

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