So you might be wondering what a setup is? A setup is just like normal maintenance you would do to a car. Think about what a car needs every 3000 miles. New Oil, wash, tire rotation, alignments, filters, parts adjusted or tightened, etc. The list can go on and on depending on your vehicle.
Guitars are just about the same as a car. It needs maintenance at minimum 2 times a year! The best time of the year to do a setup is April and November. These are the times the weather changes drastically and because of the weather guitars can change drastically too, but what are some things to look out for?
Buzzing is when you start to hear any note played on the guitar having a slight metallic “dull” sound. This is caused by the neck warping on the guitar. Warping can be cause by a couple of ways, but the most common ways is due to drastic weather changes (welcome to Long Island), different tension strings (.09s - .11), or the guitar is not receiving proper hydration.
A neck can warp two ways. Up like a bridge, and down like a bow. And the way we fix this is with a trust rod. Almost all major name brand guitars come with a trust rod. This rod is a giant screw in a sense that goes from one end of the neck to the other end. Depending on the way you adjust this rod, you can either make the bend bigger or smaller.
(Trust rods can be located on the neck or in the sound hole)
Another way is depending on the guitar might be adjusting the bridge! Most electric guitars come with an adjustable bridge. You can actually turn the knob with a tool or hands (like a Les Paul). This helps
Another way we help the guitar is fixing the intonation. Intonation is how in tune your guitar is when pressing a different fret! Have you ever played an open E and played your 12th fret and it didn’t sound the same? Well that is because your bridge is not set properly! If you have a Fender, there are 6 screws, one for each string that you can actually make that string “shorter” or “longer” depending on what you need!
(Turning the screws can make the string "longer/shorter")
Hydrating your guitar is just as important as having your guitar cleaned. Hydrating your guitar can help prevent the instrument from warping as well. What I have found is 40 – 45% humidity is a perfect sweet zone for your guitar to be in. We put special fretboard oil on your guitar and let it soak into the wood then. When it soaked in for a little we clean the entire neck including the frets with very light steel wool to get any grime off of the guitar neck and this also polishes each fret for you! If you don’t have your guitar in a decently humidified area we recommend getting a humidifier for your case!
(Keeping Guitars around 40 - 50% is a safe bet)
The Last part after making sure that your guitar is ready to go is cleaning. Polishing and getting the right cloths are important so you don’t scratch your paint or gloss on the guitar. We use Music Nomad which is an All in One liquid that has a Polish, Wax, and Shine protection all in one. Then with a separate cloth we use that to polish any silver or chrome pieces on the guitar. Sometimes if it has been to long it requires replacing the part since it may have rusted out.
(Hydrating the neck plus cleaning the frets)