December 18, 2018
If you are serious about your guitar playing, a little bit of guitar repair knowledge will serve you in good stead over the years. You'll glean the benefit of playing an instrument tuned precisely the way you want it. Not to mention, you will obtain the skills and knowledge you will need to contend with the way humidity changes and the road affect your guitar. You will still probably want to bring your instrument to a good repair luthier for major repairs and maintenance, but minor adjustments will no longer require a trip to the shop (or a frantic search for someplace out on the road you can trust with your guitar).
The basics are straightforward, but it is important to approach the job in the right order because different adjustments affect one another. As you work on the guitar, keep in mind it is a system of flexible parts, constantly moving; more like a bow than a piece of machinery. This includes the strings, neck, hardware, and sometimes even the body as well.
Doing the Dirty Work: Evaluate and Detail
Start with a brief test, making note of any performance issues. Take your time and carefully evaluate the electronics as well. They are much easier to repair while the strings are off the guitar! If the guitar has a floating tremolo, it will probably save time if you secure it in playing position before removing the strings. Next, loosen and cut off the old strings and detail the guitar. To avoid marking older finishes, avoid spraying polish right on the guitar; instead spray it on a soft polish cloth and apply to the guitar in a gentle swirling motion before buffing out with the dry side of the cloth.
Get the Fingerboard Clean Too
Lemon oil makes a nice solvent for cleaning fingerboard grunge (hint: if it needs scraping try using a plastic razor blade or even a heavy guitar pick so you don't gouge the wood). If the frets have corrosion on them, buff them *gently* with 0000 steel wool to polish them. Repair suppliers carry little guards to protect the fingerboard while you polish frets, or you can just pay attention and use a light touch to avoid scratches. If you have a hard finish on your fingerboard (like maple) make sure to get the guards, they scratch easily. By the way, steel wool is messy stuff so take it outside and put tape over your pickups to keep the filings out. With a soft cloth, swirl a little paste wax around on the lid of the can and apply a thin layer to the entire fingerboard in circular motions. Use another clean cloth to buff off the excess wax.
"On Account of a Screw, the War Was Lost"
Don't be that guy! Loose hardware is a death-knell for reliability. Take the time to make sure all the screws and hardware are snug (but don't crush them). Remember to confirm that your strap buttons are tight and solid. Don't forget to check the strap lock hardware on your strap as well. Repair the electronics as needed, and test before proceeding. The bridge must be stable. If you have a tremolo, adjust it properly and secure it in playing position. Working as you go, lightly oil all the moving parts and wear surfaces. Wipe or dab away any excess oil with a soft cloth.
In our next article, we will learn the sequence of adjustments needed to dial in your guitar to perfection. What steps do you take to keep your guitar in top condition? Let us know in the comments below.
June 17, 2021
When it comes to strapping in for a live show, it’s relatively straight forward to dial in an electric guitar. After all, there are no acoustic resonances to worry about, and the instrument is designed to be reinforced and loud.
Acoustic guitars, on the other hand, are subtle creatures which can be a little harder to tame on stage. Here, we’ll go over some basics for using an acoustic on stage, which should be helpful if you haven’t done it before or if you’re having a hard time dialing in a good sound.
May 11, 2021
May 07, 2021
Now that quality PA systems are common and creating a stereo image in a live setting isn’t hard at all, there are probably some keyboardists out there who aren’t even aware that such a thing as a keyboard amp exists. Yet, there was once a time when keyboards were mostly treated just like guitars, with a stage amp a necessary part of the keyboard rig.
The question is – is a keyboard amp still necessary?
Here are a few reasons you might want a keyboard amp – and some you may not.
Sign up to get the latest on sales, new releases and more…
Contact Us 858-751-4884
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5