Guitar Neck Shims: Learn the Secrets

guitar neck shims is a simple technique that is used and installed by a lot of guitar players. This is done to adjust the guitar action and make it easier to play the guitar.

In this article, I explain what a guitar shim is, why it is sometimes necessary, and how to use it. 

What is a guitar neck shim?

A shim is a small piece of wood, cardboard, or synthetic material that is used by guitar players between the neck and the body of the guitar.

The shim can be done from very cheap material, since it will not be displayed. The shim will be installed between the neck and the guitar body, so that nobody will see it: its works purely as an internal support to raise the guitar neck by a small distance.

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Why you need guitar neck shims?

A guitar shim may be necessary if a guitar has a distance between the fretboard and the strings that is too big. This may have several causes, but in general this distance makes it difficult to play the guitar, especially in the region closer to the guitar body.

When a guitar has an uncomfortable distance between strings and neck, we say that it has high action. Therefore, the goal is to improve playability by installing a guitar neck shim.

Pro Tip: to avoid high action problems, you can get an entry-level quality guitar, such as the Ibanez electric guitar.

How Guitar Neck Shims Reduce Action?

The action of the guitar depends on the distance between strings and the neck. There are several way to try to reduce this distance, but one of them is to put a small piece of material (usually wood) between the neck and the body. This is what we call guitar shim.

Pro Tip: There are other ways to reduce action and avoid fret buzz noises in the guitar, check this article.

How to Install a Guitar Neck Schim?

The installation procedure is very simple, but it requires that you unscrew the guitar neck out of the body of the guitar. Therefore, you need to be care to avoid damaging the guitar neck or any other piece of the instrument.

This is a simple procedure that you can do using just a Phillips screw driver:

  • Just remove all the screws from the back plate.
  • Take the guitar neck apart, with care to avoid damage.
  • Take the guitar shim and place in the location between the body and the guitar neck.
  • Put the guitar neck back.
  • Use the screws to tight the neck to the guitar body.
  • Re-tune the strings and enjoy you guitar.

How to Learn More About Guitars?

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