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How To Adjust A Bass Guitar Nut  E-mail

How To Adjust A Bass Guitar Nut

The frets are now out, and the distance between the strings and the fretboard are now greater than they should be for optimum playability. It is likely that the bridge saddles are too high as well!

Check both of these things by re-assembling the bass, stringing it back up, tuning properly, and playing it. Check the distance between the bottom of the strings and the 1st fret position.


The nut is probably already loose. If not, tap it out and shave, file, or sand the bottom of the nut carefully to maintain the correct shape. Take off enough to allow for optimal playability. Itís that simple!


Hint: Be sure to keep the bottom of the nut at a 90° angle to the face of the nut. That way the nut will fit snug against the base of the neck wood and at the end of the fretboard. You want that snugness to help the string vibrations transfer into the instrument, which we all know helps improve sustain, and achievs ultimate tone for that particular bass!


Consideration: The crown measurement, or height, on your bass frets can be anywhere from .036" to .053" high. The crown could be slightly lower if you have ever had a fret-job done on your bass. So, with that in mind, you could measure the crown on the first fret and shave the nut just a little less than that thickness.

Pop the nut back in and play around a bit. Your personal preference is what counts here. The string tension should "feel good" to your playing touch, and have the absence of buzzing. A good rough estimate is about .035" between the G string and the first fret position. The distance between the E string and the first fret position should be around .045" or so. Set the nut height to what feels good for you! That is the basics about how to adjust a bass guitar nut.

Caution: Take your time to get this right. Youíll be glad you did when you get it right the first time.