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How To Fix A Back Bowed Guitar Neck

How To Fix A Back Bowed Guitar NeckDid you ever feel like your guitar notes are always out of tune no matter how hard you’ve tuned your guitar? Chances are your guitar may be warped, but don’t worry: we prepared for you here a guide on how to fix a back bowed guitar neck.

We also understand that you don’t have much time. So we’re going to make the solution as simple and straightforward as we can.

Our goal is to make this the best help you probably can find online.


Step 1: Check The Neck’s Straightness

Using a ruler, the master will check if the guitar neckYou won’t know if you’ve got a guitar neck back bow unless you give it an eyeball search first from the neck’s bridge. The way to do this is to lift your already strung guitar in your hands, level it with your eyes and to see from a visual check through the neck’s bridge if there’s a protrusion.

What you need to look for are the dips or shadows from the fourth to the sixth bottom frets. If you see that the shadows are just small dips, then there’s no warping.

A warped bow would give some variances of shadows that are haphazard or not uniform.

Step 2: Repeat The Eye-Check From The Headstock Area

To double check if there’s really a back bow guitar issue, try to do a visual check from the headstock area where you can find the tuning pegs.

Atelier posing with his guitarsAt eye level with a good, well-lit light source, try to notice if the shadows cast are uniform. There should only be just some small, patterned dips in these shadows right through the fourth to the sixth bottom frets.

For more information on how to verify the bowed back, refer to this video below:

Step 3: Adjust The Truss Rod

To adjust the back-bow, you need to loosen the truss rod. Doing this allows the guitar neck to go back to its more natural, less wrought position from the strings. For more information about how a truss rod should be adjusted, refer here:

Step 4: Refer To Your Good Old Local Repair Shop

Sure, you can just do a guitar neck repair all by yourself, but do you really have that much time? You have so many Netflix shows to watch as it is!

So the next step would be a time-saver.  To fix guitar neck issues without the hassle, you might want to go consult your nearby guitar body repair shop.

If you’re nice, you might be able to score yourself a good deal, and your repair guy/gal could teach you a thing or two about secret tricks to fixing a warped guitar neck quickly.


Should a guitar neck have a slight bow?

Yes, there should be small dips in the frets, but when they go beyond that, it can result to uncomfortable playing and distraught intonation when playing the guitar. You wouldn’t like that, would you?

Is bowing guitar natural?

Not really. A back-bowed guitar causes you to improperly play your guitar and you’d sound off putting. Unless that’s your intention because you’re going for avant-garde.

How does playing guitar with a bow work?

You do it by using a violin bow over your guitar, and while it does appear cool, the sound is generally terrible. Guitar bridges are designed to be flat, and angling it with a violin bow doesn’t really offer a variety of notes.

What does it mean to have a back-bowed neck?

When this happens, what it means is that the bow shape extends outwardly, and so the middle frets will end up closest to the strings.

When this happens, you can expect for the notes to not sound clearly, as the strings are too close. What you need to do is make sure you put a wider distance between the fretboard and the strings.


So there you have it: you now have equipped yourself with a very nifty information on how to fix an off-sounding guitar.

Just to sum up, let’s recap: the first step is to identify if there’s really a back-bowed part in your guitar, then you double-check that through the headstock, and then you adjust the truss rod. When this doesn’t fix it, consult your nearest and friendliest guitar repair shop.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on  how to fix a back bowed guitar neck as much as we did writing it!

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