Understanding a few basics save time, money and frustration. Adjusting your guitar's action, what kinds of strings you can use with what guitars, what to tell your guitar tech.
© 2016 Greg Varhaug All Rights Reserved
MAKE YOUR GUITAR EASIER
Small adjustments to the set-
Learn About Guitar Set-
Find A Good Guitar Tech -
Change To A Lighter Guage String -
Lower The Action On Your Guitar -
Check Your Truss Rod -
Lower Your Frets -
Dressing (filing) your frets can correct this problem. This is a job for a good guitar technician. Don't try this yourself without a special fret file. This can help for two reasons. First, the lower frets will allow you to lower the string height making you guitar 'faster.' Second, if you switch to light guage strings and your frets are too high, you may have a problem with 'scalloping.' (Scalloping is discussed later.)
Shimming The Neck -
Shimming the neck is a critical adjustment. It’s a good idea to leave it to a guitar
tech. If you do it yourself, be careful not to cross-
It’s a good idea to use a screwdriver to replace the neck, rather than a drill with a Phillips driver head. It's also best to remove the strings from the guitar before doing this. At least, loosen the strings completely so there is no tension on them.
Steel String Acoustic Guitars
Most acoustic guitars come from the factory with 11 or 12 guaged strings. A heavier
string usually gives the guitar a better tone. But it can also make learning to play
Electric Guitar Feel And Response From Your Acoustic
It's possible to set up your steel-
One possible problem with switching to electric strings is that your guitar may not
tune properly with the lighter strings. There are ways to compensate for this, and
there are modifications to the bridge that will solve the problem, but this usually
isn't necessary. If you're having noticeable intonation problems, have your guitar
If you put lighter strings on a steel-
An alternative to using electric strings on your steel-
Test For Scallopping -
Nylon String Guitars
Don't put electric guitar strings or any steel strings on your nylon-
These guitars are designed for a different string tension and even light guage steel strings can warp the top and neck of the guitar, making it unplayable.
Acoustic guitars often have plastic bridges that can be filed down. Remove the bridge, and file or sand the underside of it.
It's a good idea to mark one side of the bridge so you can put it back in the same way it was. Take off only a little at a time, then replace the bridge, and tighten the strings to check the action.
Make Your Guitar Easier To Play
Copyright 2000 by Greg Varhaug. All Rights Reserved.