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Guitar Articles & Reviews
Since the resurgence of the guitar manufacturing in the early 2000s, thousands of new models have hit the market. This makes purchasing an instrument an even greater challenge without having a trustworthy resource as a guide.
Make informed decisions and avoid getting burned when buying your next instrument.
What Others Say:
Ian Crichton - Saga
I've been working with Steve now for twenty years. He's done awesome work on my guitars - knows exactly what he's doing.
Ian Thornley - Big Wreck
Happy indeed - - great work.
Anthony R. Gigliotti
There is no one I trust more with my guitars. His attention to details that most people would miss is amazing.
- Guitar breaking strings?
- Is it constantly going out of tune?
- Is your guitar buzzing, driving you nuts?
- Or is it just being a frustrating unreliable pain!?!
Any of these guitar problems sound familiar?...
Sounds like you're badly in need of a guitar setup.
My name is Steve Blundon and I'm here to help. If you're passionate about guitars like me and want to know how to make them play as good as they possibly can, Guitar Niche will help you.
Featured Guitar Setup Article:
How To Set Up A Guitar
"You should play so that if your mom hears you on the radio, she knows it's you."
- Les Paul
Being able to express yourself fully is also a matter of having your guitar set up so that it allows you to do so. Knowing how to set up a guitar, whether for yourself or for compensation, is like most other skills; a matter of time, experience, and good guidance.
Typical Guitar Repair Problems
A few common problems we all deal with at one time or another as guitar players:
- Buzzing, rattling
- High action
- Tuning issues
And many more of course.
Before you begin buying setup tools and tackling the job with new found wide eyed zeal, let's make a couple of things very clear:
Above all, you must realize when you’re in over your head, call in the cavalry, admit defeat and get your guitar into the hands of a pro. A tail between your legs is preferable to having your head up your own butt. Know your limits.
That being said, you CAN do it. With the right mindset, guidance and working environment, which can be incredibly modest, you can achieve remarkable results. There are three rules of a guitar setup that represent the basic principles of an organized, educated approach to achieving your ultimate goal – setting up your guitar to its maximum potential.
Three Rules Of A Perfect Guitar Setup
Those three little phrases work as a team, they depend on one another, if you neglect any one of them I guarantee your final result will be sub par. Number three is by far the most important as it leverages knowledge, logic, procedure and technique.
So, is this article also about guitar repair? In a word - yes. Guitar setups apply to every instrument and can include common elements of repairs such as fixing small cracks, dings, replacing broken hardware, fretwork etc. These normal wear and tear conditions are part of every instrument's journey therefor they are an absolute necessity, and the primary focus for tutorials on this website.
Rule 1. – Use Fresh Strings
While this may seem mundane, I can’t stress how important it is to use fresh strings as the very first step to a perfect setup.
Simply put, if you try to do a setup with old strings you will fail. Aged strings will give you all kinds of grief as they can mask underlying problems and are virtually impossible to calibrate.
How Old Is New?
New strings will start degrading virtually from the moment you put them on. Sad, yes, but that’s not to say it’s a hopeless chase for shiny string perfection, it’s just the nature of renewing your guitar’s consumables.
PRO TIP: As a rule of thumb, strings with more than a couple of hours of continuous playing time need to be chucked to guarantee setup accuracy. They’ll be degraded to the point of being a question mark in the finished product of a perfect guitar setup.
Rule 2. - Use The Right Guitar Setup Tools
Featured Guitar Setup Video:
How To Set Up A Fender Telecaster:
BONUS - If you're just starting out:
- what kind of beginner guitar should I buy?
- how much should I spend?
- why do I need a guitar setup anyway?
- how do I know if I'm getting a good deal?
- where can I find starter materials that don't suck?
You'll find answers to those questions, and many more, right here.