You may be able to adjust a
slight up-bow (relief), but back-bow is always bad because it
will cause the strings to buzz against the fretboard. Another way to check for relief is to
use the strings as a straightedge, fretting a string
toward each end of the fretboard while stretching
one finger toward the center and pressing the string
down. If it moves, you have relief. If it rests on
the frets, the neck is straight (or maybe even
Bolt-on Neck Alignment
Check the alignment of a
bolt-on neck by standing the guitar upright and looking at the
neck straight on. You can see if it is properly aligned with
the outside E-strings by sighting the distance each E-string is
from the edge of the fretboard. Strings that lean toward either
the bass or treble side, will have a tendency to fall off the
edge. Its easy to realign these bolt-on necks.
Inspect The Guitar Nut
Look closely at the nut. Make
sure its clean and the notches are not too deep. If they’re too
deep they can cause problems with tuning and stretching. The
strings should rise gradually from the tuning pegs to a contact
point directly at the nut’s front edge.
Fret Condition And Height
sure to inspect the fretboard making note of the condition and
height of the frets. Look for pitted frets, rough fret ends or
loose frets. With your fingernail, feel for sharp fret ends at
the edge of the fretboard. There are many fretwire sizes.
Players who like to bend strings or whole chords, prefer high
frets. Some jazz and country players however, who rarely bend
strings prefer low frets.
Guitar Truss Rod
crucial that your guitar has a ‘working’ truss rod. Remove the
truss rod cover and, using the proper adjustment tool, check to
see if the truss rod works and how well it adjusts the neck.
Before making any adjustments, make a mark with a felt pen on
the nut to show where the rod was adjusted.
Guitar Tuning Keys
the tuning keys by detuning and retuning them to make sure they
work. Check for loose hex nuts and mounting screws and be sure
that the screw that holds the key onto the shaft is secure. On
most tuning pegs, this screw not only holds the tuning peg on
but determines how stiff or loose the key will be.
Plug the guitar into an
amplifier and play it. Adjust the volume and tone controls to
be sure they’re working. If they’re making static noises, they
may need to be cleaning and flushed with a contact cleaner.
Move the selector switches back and forth to determine that
they’re working. Check the guitar cable connector by moving the
cable back and forth. If it crackles, the jack is loose or
there’s some other contact problem with the wiring.
the preceding steps does not guarantee a perfect instrument but
serves to help determine whether your electric or acoustic
guitar repair is necessary. If simple setup improves the
quality of the guitar, your evaluation will have been a
success. Many of the famous guitar makers such as Martin,
Fender, Gibson and others ship their products without much
attention to intricate detail. As a result, a good tune-up and
personalization is worth its weight in gold and will make your
guitar playing experience a much more pleasurable one.