This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
In many cases it's simply a matter of "setup" -- getting the neck, the string height and the string length just right for your individual playing style. Here's a step-by-step procedure for easy, do-it-yourself guitar setup: Tools needed: Nut driver, 1/4" or 5/16". You'll probably need one specially made for guitar truss rods. Purchasing info is at the end of this article. Metal ruler or straight edge, 20-25" long Small ruler with 1/16" increments
1. Put on new strings. String action (height), fret buzz and intonation will vary with different string gauges and from old to new strings. You want to do your setup under actual playing conditions, so string your guitar with the gauge of strings that you're going to play. If you're replacing strings on a new Gibson, most solidbody electrics (Les Pauls, ES-335s, Nighthawks, Flying V's, SG's) come from the factory with light gauge strings, beginning with .009. The Chet Atkins SSTs and hollowbody electrics (ES-175) come with .010s. Most flat tops are strung at the factory with medium gauge, beginning with .013.
2. Again, your guitar needs to be in playing condition, so tune up to standard pitch (or whatever tuning you'll be using).
such as high frets (frets being pushed out of their slots). If the neck is bowed. NOTE: A slightly bowed neck is ideal for most playing styles. If I can't get the neck straight. If the neck is "backbowed. If your neck has only a slight bow. All of these problems are fixable. low or worn frets. the truss rod should be loosened with a counterclockwise turn of the nut. The amount of relief necessary varies with playing styles. Check the straightness of the neck. then that indicates other possible problems. Repairmen describe this as giving the neck some "relief" to allow for string vibration." the frets will touch in the middle of the straight edge. When the neck is as straight as you can get it. Don't turn the nut more than a quarter of a turn at a time. there will be a space under the middle of the straight edge where the neck does not touch the straight edge." . First remove the truss rod cover. 4. Adjust the truss rod (if necessary). If the neck has too much of a bow. however. or variations in the fretboard itself. Use a straight edge to determine if a truss rod adjustment is needed. For a backbowed neck.3. Many older guitars have a "bump" in the fingerboard over the neck block. but require an advanced level of repair experience. then back off about a quarter of a turn for "relief. I like to start with a perfectly straight neck. for example. For a clockwise turn. A perfectly straight neck may be fine for a very light picking style. then the truss rod should be tightened with a clockwise turn of the nut. you may not want to make any adjustments to the truss rod. the arm of the nut driver should start on the treble side of the fingerboard and move toward the bass side. A perfectly straight neck generally requires higher string action than a slightly bowed neck in order to minimize string buzz at the higher frets.
) The string height at the 1st fret will determine if the nut slots have been cut to the proper depth. measure the distance to the bottom of the string. Check string height. With the small ruler on top of the fret. that's a job for a pro with the proper tools.treble side .3/64" .bass side .5. Gibson electric specifications are: 1st fret. (You can also use a feeler gauge for these measurments. If the nut slots need to be deepened or filled in.2/64" 12th fret.1/64" 1st fret. The string height at the 12th fret will determine whether the saddle should be raised or lowered.treble side .
Another option is to remove the bridge and either shave it down or replace it with a higher one. You'll have to loosen the strings to remove the saddle. the thumbwheels will raise or lower the bridge.1/64" 1st fret.bass side.12th fret . so if you're going to have to go much above or below that. since it's rounded to match the radius of the fingerboard. or shimmed or replaced to raise the action. . special nut files are required that are available from guitar shop supply sources.and then replace the saddle and tune up again. Adjust saddle height. Set nut slot depths to specs listed above for first fret. not including the saddle) is 3/8". then file it down on a flat file -. On an electric guitar with a tune-o-matic bridge. You may have to loosen the strings a bit to get the bridge to raise easily.2/64" 12th fret .just a little at a time -.treble side.5/64" Gibson acoustic specifications are: 1st fret. the neck set is the better solution. the bottom edge of the saddle will have to be shaved or sanded off to lower the action.bass side. Either way. you may need a neck set. 7.bass side . To lower the nut slots. it's a job for a pro. On an acoustic. or on an archtop guitar with a heightadjustable bridge. We get ours from Stewart-McDonald. If you are unable to bring the strings to a comfortable height for playing. Don't try to file the top of the saddle.7/64" 6.treble side.5/64" 12th fret. And make sure the bottom remains flat or the bridge will want to rock in its slot and not make good contact with the top of the guitar. The optimum height for a wood bridge on a flat top guitar (just the bridge.
$4. If correct.may be the result of an improperly placed saddle. Release your finger from the string as you pluck it.com Elderly Instruments. then lengthen the string by moving the saddle toward the tailpiece of the guitar.stewmac. This is another procedure for a pro with the right 9. It is usually not possible to achieve perfect intonation for every string with a wraparound tailpiece.98 Wrench type 5/16" (for recent Gibson acoustics). If the tones match. Advice. move up the next step. 11. In these cases. with a small arm mounted at a 90-degree angle from the truss rod. the length of each individual string is adjustable.especially older models -. The pros use a nut driver with a 6-inch shaft that ends in a T-bar.stewmac.com Truss rod nut driver/wrench: Many Gibsons came with a wrench-type nut drive.jklutherie. the tailpiece can be adjusted only at the treble end and bass end. tools and repair books: Visit Stewart McDonald's website at www. 1/4-inch. Adjust intonation. part #944. On an electric guitar with a wraparound tailpiece. Check for fret buzz. tools. On an electric guitar with a tune-o-matic bridge. the bridge can't be moved but it can be "intonated" so that the point where a string crosses the bridge is either forward or after the center of the saddle. then try your hand on a For further reference: Parts. Intonating the saddle should be done by a professional and it can correct only minor intonation problems. $13. On an acoustic archtop guitar. Loosen the strings so that bridge will move freely without scratching the top of the guitar On an acoustic guitar.45 . If an individual string is out of tune. then move the saddle toward the neck. first arm yourself with the proper instructional and proper tools. If the 12th fret tone is lower than the octave overtone. a thicker saddle is necessary to accomplish this. If not. You can order either style from Stewart McDonald at 800 848 2273: Wrench type 1/4" (for Gibson electrics and some acoustics). you can only adjust string length by moving the entire bridge.com Stewart McDonald. some fret leveling may be required. play a "chime tone" by touching the string without pressing it to the fret. Major intonation problems on acoustic guitars -. You should hear the octave overtone.com to order a catalog and browse through repair columns by Dan Erlewine. Books and videos on guitar setup and repair: JK Lutherie: www. If the 12th fret tone is higher than the string's natural octave overtone. www. such as fret leveling. Check intonation. Using a medium pick or light finger touch.8. check all fretted notes for string buzz. Now press the string to the 12th fret and play. Notice that the 12th fret tone may vary according to how hard you press the string down. set or saddle replacement. neck junker guitar before you attack your favorite instrument. At the 12th fret. then the intonation is correct. If you want to attempt some of the more advanced setup and repair procedures. 10. part #946.elderly.98 T-bar nut driver. $4. you may be able to compensate by replacing that string with a higher or lower gauge string. perfect intonation can only be achieved by re-routing the saddle slot or installing a new bridge and saddle. In some cases. part #941. www.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.