Shim in bass neck pocket. Is it necessary?

Louie Mudd

I see some guys put a shim in the neck pocket of their basses so that it is angled in the way it was possible to adjust with the three-screw system in older fender basses.

Does anyone recommend or advise against it with Warmoth parts? In my case, a jazz bass neck and body.

The reason I ask is because a friend of mine has three original Fender Jazz Basses and all of them have the neck slightly angled backwards. And I think only one of the basses has the three-screw system. But he shimmed the other one(s) because he claims this angle is necessary to adjust the action low enough.

In an article by Dan Erlewine he says shims can warp the neck heel overtime.

If the neck needs to be at another angle, shim it. 

If its ok where it is, dont shim it.

Cant be no mo' simpler than that.
Louie Mudd said:
In an article by Dan Erlewine he says shims can warp the neck heel overtime.

so you need to be smart in where you place the shim - if you need to shim.

I would suggest that you add the shim on the headstock side of the two screws closest to the bridge. this keeps all of the clamping pressure even (as it can be) across the face. If you were instead to place the shim on the body side of the same screw pair, there would be nothing to add support to the end of the neck and a slight 'lift' could very well occur over time

all the best,

Without a doubt the way SkuttleFunk stated is correct. I've been playing bass mainly for over 44 years and can still remember my first time ever seeing a shim used sometimes it looked so mid-evil that the shim material would be hanging out from under the neck. I've even seen some shim the bridge and the reason for the shims is because most players back then didn't know how to repair much nor could they afford to pay someone to repair the guitar or bass you had do something right or wrong. Yes it will raise or lower the action depending on location or size but with todays bridges most will get so low that there will be some buzzing. Of course the size of the strings, the height of the frets, and how deep the nut was cut will make a difference in the height of the action. The 3 screw  wasn't very stable and hated by most bass players there for a while you couldn't hardly give them away but now that they are prized by collectors because they can't afford the basses made in the 60's. The way CB said is to the point and couldn't be any clearer.
Ok, guys,

I appreciate your help. the way my friend expressed his opinions on the matter made me think I should start off by putting the shim.

Now I know it's a second step, if necessary.

Thanks a lot