Twisted Neck - technical question... ??


lefty dude on hiatus
Gold Supporting Member
I have a guitar tech telling me that I may have a twisted neck on a Strat I have.

How do you inspect for a twisted neck ?

What are some of the tell tale signs (other than visual inspection) ?

Is there a fix ?

THanks in advance !



I had a guitar tech tell me once that I had a twisted neck on my Epi. A straight-edge told me I didn't, and so did a second tech.

I'd get a second opinion.
There's Lots of Bullcrap from the "neck is twisted camp". Be carefull who you listen to. I've played thousands of guitars and owned hundreds and have only once seen a real "twist"


Dana Olsen

Gold Supporting Member
A good way to start checking for a twist is to look at the relief on the bass side of the neck, and then on the treble side. If the relief is dramatically different ( it's often the case that the treble side has a little less relief than the bass side - bass side pulls harder than the treble side), or if the relief seems to happen in different places along the length of the neck (ie - if there's some relief at the 8th or 10th fret, but it seems backbowed at the 3rd fret), your neck could be twisted.

Twisting can be very subtle, and hard to detect. A second opinion is hardly ever a bad idea, and it's a good idea in the case of a possible neck twist.

My opinion, Dana O.


lefty dude on hiatus
Gold Supporting Member
Cool info...Thanks a ton Dana and everyone else !

So far I am told by the tech that he cannot get the buzz out of the neck and feels that it has a twist. That's all I know until I get off work and swing by to try it out.

By the way, it is an '85 MIJ lefty Fender strat with a maple neck & fretboard. Normally I assumed that maple is a very hard, and stable wood for necks. Is twist just simply due to the bass string loads being higher than the treble string loads ? Or, could twist occur from excessive moisture or temperature swings ? Curious.


Dana Olsen, thanks for the reasoning regarding the bass side having a bit more relief. I've noticed that on a couple of my guitars and was wondering if it could be a sign of twisting. The difference must be less than .005" so your explanation makes sense.


Silver Supporting Member
Definitely possible and definitely not easy to evaluate. A second opinion is a great idea. A temporary fix is to heat press the neck back into shape, but the forces that warped it likely will again (unless for example, you go way down on string guage). Another possible solution is to refret to compensate, but in this world, if it's a bolt neck guitar, a new neck is the most cost-effective solution...


Look down or up the neck. The frets should look like railroad ties on a flat stretch of track. If you see frets angling up on one side of the neck and/or down on the other sort of like a banked curve rather than laying evenly you have a problem. This will be more notiveable and likely at one end or the other.


Dunno why but I remember two I've seen being both "Firebirds". Stuck in my mind. It is quite unusual though.

Best, Pete.


Get second op, over time bolt on necks get a slight twist with relief being different. Usually a good levek and set up and it is no problemo.


Silver Supporting Member
I have to say no two people see the neck the same. Trying to determine twist visually is just speculation unless it is really bad and obvious. Here is how I check for twist. I use a straight metal yardstick type flatedge resting on top of the frets along the outside of each "E" string. Just compare the distance from the guitar top, pickguard etc from both sides. They will be very close to the same unless there is "twist".