How To Setup Your Guitar Like A Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners

How To Setup Your Guitar Like A Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners

by Jonny Blackwood

Paperback

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Overview

“Everything you need to start confidently working on your own guitars is right here.”

Learn how to do great guitar setups time and time again with this easy to follow, step-by-step manual. With expert tips, clear instruction over 100 photos, you will gain the understanding on how to fine-tune your guitar to play it's best. Makes an excellent starter book or reference for budding professionals.

***Now updated and expanded with additional content including a section on restringing, neck shimming, scale length determination and new images!***

Included in the book:


  • An 8 step method on setting up your electric or acoustic guitar
  • How to adjust Fender style tremolo's, Gibson hard-tails, Floyd Rose and other floating bridge types
  • How to adjust the saddle on your acoustic steel string or nylon string guitar
  • How to file nut slots
  • Setup spec's for electric, acoustic, classical and bass guitar
  • Manufacturer's setup spec's from Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Jackson, Gretsch and others
  • Exclusive setup specifications from the author's best playing guitars
  • A handy measurement conversion chart


REVIEWS

Praise for Jonny Blackwood:

“I have related and referred to Jonny’s guidance many times over the years and I can truly say that I wouldn’t have gotten very far without it.” -Daryl Chonka, guitar tech for Randy Bachman (The Guess Who & BTO), recording engineer, recording & performing artist

“Everything you need to start confidently working on your own guitars is right here.” -Andrew deGroot, factory certified guitar tech and luthier, Stang Guitars

"The importance of a great setup can’t be overstated. This is a perfect guide for those starting out in the craft, and a great general reference to keep around. Jonny lays out all the info needed to setup your guitar like a pro, without any confusing clutter. You’re in great hands." -Cory Newman, Luthier, C.A. Newman Guitars

“Jonny knows his stuff, does great work and is respectful to those of us whose greatest guitar work will be performed in our own minds.” -Scott McKeen, former city councillor of Edmonton and journalist, The Edmonton Journal

Books available from the author (paperback and digital edition):

How to Setup Your Guitar Like A Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners

How to Build & Setup Guitar Kits like a Pro: An Easy Guide for Bolt-on Neck Guitars

How to Start and Run a Successful Guitar Repair Business: Practical Tips for the New Entrepreneur

How to Do Fretwork Like A Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners (coming soon)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991854141
Publisher: J.Haven Ventures
Publication date: 03/12/2013
Pages: 56
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.12(d)

About the Author

Jonny Blackwood (Edmonton, AB, Canada) is a revered guitar tech and instructor who has been teaching others how to work on their own guitars since 2009 through group and private classes, corporate staff training, client literature, and his popular books including, "How to Setup Your Guitar Like a Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners".

Table of Contents

WHAT IS A SETUP?

Just like you can hot-rod your car or truck, you can fine-tune your guitar to perform its best. A setup includes adjusting, where applicable, the neck relief (neck bow), the saddle and nut slot height, the bridge tilt angle, the neck angle, the pickup height, and the intonation.

WHAT INFLUENCES A GREAT GUITAR SETUP?

Before getting started, it is important to note that any guitar can play poorly or well, depending on the setup and what your preferences are. The ideal setup is one made for you, your guitar, and your style (meaning, how you play the guitar, what tunings you use, which string gauge you prefer). This guide will give you the know-how to make these adjustments with measurable results.

THE 8-STEP SETUP

STEP 1: CLEAN THE GUITAR

Cleaning regularly will not only maintain the finish on the guitar but also lengthen the life of the strings. There are a few different methods to clean your guitar and the examples I’m giving here are for modern instruments.

STEP 2: CHECK HARDWARE AND ELECTRONICS

STEP 3: RESTRING AND TUNE TO PITCH

For strings to stay in tune, they should be changed regularly. Old, dirty strings will not hold their intonation or tune very well. If you run a finger underneath the strings and feel dirt, rust, or flat spots, it is time to change them. This section will detail the process of restringing electric and acoustic guitars.

Acoustic Guitars

Tuning Tips

Floyd Rose Guitars

STEP 4: ADJUST RELIEF IN NECK (VIA TRUSS ROD)

The truss rod allows adjustment of relief (or bow) in relation to how much tension is being applied to the neck. This section will show you how to do this and how much adjustment is necessary.

STEP 5: ADJUST STRING HEIGHT AT BRIDGE

a) Gibson-style Hard-tail Bridges

b) Fender-style Hard-tail Bridges

c) Neck Angle Adjustments / Shimming

d) Tremolo Bridges

e) Adjusting Bridge Tilt

f) Floyd Rose Style Bridges

g) Acoustic Guitars

STEP 6: ADJUST STRING HEIGHT AT NUT

If the first couple of frets are uncomfortable to play, the nut slot depth may need adjustment. This section will show you how to fine-tune the string height at the nut.

STEP 7: ADJUST PICKUP HEIGHT

This section will show you how to adjust your pickup height uniformly.

STEP 8: ADJUST INTONATION

Intonation is the degree to which notes sound in tune. Since each string on the guitar is a different size, as well as a different tension, they require scaling. If you've ever tuned the guitar with an electronic tuner, and then played some notes or chords only to find they were slightly out of tune, you may need to adjust the intonation. This section will show you how.

Scale Length - What it is and How to Measure it.

TROUBLESHOOTING - Common problems addressed with solutions.

SETUP SPEC SHEETS - A list of factory setup specifications by well-known manufacturers.

MEASUREMENT CONVERSION CHART

FURTHER RESOURCES AND LINKS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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How To Setup Your Guitar Like A Pro: An Easy Guide for Beginners 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Jeff2019 3 months ago
Have you been wanting to step up and carry out the basic maintenance on your guitar yourself rather than paying somebody at a music shop to do it? If so, this book is for you. The simplest of tasks such as replacing strings, adjusting their height, adjusting truss rods, etc. can be very costly when taken to a repair shop. The last I checked, a basic set-up could cost close to $70. The fact is, these chores are not overly difficult to do and after reading this book I was confident that I could do the job on my own. The book is simple, easy to read, and informative. The author lays out in clear, easy-to-follow terms how to perform all the basic set-up tasks on your guitar. There are clear colour photos to accompany each step-by-step paragraph in case you're more of a visual learner. He explains the difference between Fender and Gibson designs and gives tips on how to adjust Floyd Rose tremolos as well. He even includes a troubleshooting chart at the end with instruction on how to deal with common issues such as excessive string buzzing and intonation problems. There's also a specifications chart at the back listing all the neck relief specs, recommended string heights, etc. for all the major guitar brands on the market. Electric and acoustic. It's a great go-to guide.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Stumbled across this little gem and let me tell you I\m glad I did! For a reasonable price you get a great set up manual for most guitar types with clear instructions and pictures. More pics would be great but there\s still enough to get by on. If you're just looking for a basic set up manual for your guitar or bass- you don't need 200 pages to do that. This is the book you're looking for.. buy it!
Anonymous 3 months ago
5 out of 5. Great reference. This one's for everyone who plays Guitar. Concise and to the point. Got my Epiphone Les Paul Jr playing like a charm!
Joshua2018 3 months ago
Basic info but exactly as described. Well laid out
Stratman05 8 months ago
A great overview on the guitar setup, how to tackle every aspect including truss rod adjustments, string height adjustments, nut slot cutting, hardware and electronic settings, and intonation for electrics and acoustic guitars. It's a quick read and gives you just enough to do the job without leaving anything out not needed. Written for the newb with enough information to understand the theory behind the process and lots of examples given throughout. I like how it is a step-by-step so you just follow the process and get 'er done! Successfully setup my strat with tremolo and it's never played better!!! Recommended!!!
Stratman05 8 months ago
A great overview on the guitar setup, how to tackle every aspect including truss rod adjustments, string height adjustments, nut slot cutting, hardware and electronic settings, and intonation for electrics and acoustic guitars. It's a quick read and gives you just enough to do the job without leaving anything out not needed. Written for the newb with enough information to understand the theory behind the process and lots of examples given throughout. I like how it is a step-by-step so you just follow the process and get 'er done! Successfully setup my strat with tremolo and it's never played better!!! Recommended!!!