Here’s some steps we recommend to eliminate rattles in your acoustic guitar.
1. Look Around For Loose Guitar Parts
When you play your acoustic guitar and the whole instrument vibrates, not just the strings, sometimes you’ll be able to notice loose parts on your guitar.
2. Listen Closely For Rattles, Especially In The Headstock
Other times you will only be able to hear them. If you’re looking to find the source of a noise lightly knock on your instrument in different places. If you hear a noise coming from the neck, you should investigate the neck and headstock, noise that occurs when knocking on the back could be a sign of a loose brace, and if you hear rattling you should check the place where you would find the most screws, the headstock. Even though there are many washers under the screws that protect the face of the headstock, tuners are still likely to become loose due to the wood compression. Every few months it is good to tighten the screws in the headstock to avoid damage and loss.
3. Check the Truss Rod Cover
If the rattling is not found in the headstock, another place you can check is in the truss rod cover. The truss rod nut, or the washer under it, can be loose. The slightest change in the adjustment of the rod can prevent it from making noise.
4. Tighten Any Pickups Or Other Onboard Electronics
Onboard electronics are more commonly used nowadays and their use is constantly increasing. But like parts of a guitar it has the possibility of becoming loose; to prevent loosening over time consistently tighten all nuts and washers. When you add a pickup to your guitar, make sure to check for rattling in the wires. If you hear rattling from the wires just add stick-on retainers to hold the wires in different positions to settle the rattling.