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Before adjusting anything make sure your guitar is strung up correctly and that your neck has the correct amount of relief and is not excessively bowed or warped. If your neck is bowed you first need to adjust the truss rod and check that the nut is good. If your neck is warped it will require a more extensive repair. Also check that the angle of the tremolo unit is correctly set and not floating at an angle. This would require setting up prior to any work on the rest of the instrument. In general it is recommended that all other avenues of instrument setup are checked before resorting to the
Straight from the factory or off the shelf, an instrument rarely has its nut slots cut to ideal depths. Generally they are always cut a little high so that the instrument is buzz free out of the gate. For most people, slightly high nut slots go unnoticed and the tougher feel to the strings near the nut gets taken for granted. Before proceeding, ensure that your guitar is correctly strung up to pitch using the string gauges you normally use on that instrument and that your neck is reasonably straight with a little relief as per the previous step in this series. Check that your fretwork is not i
Contrary to what many people believe, a dead straight neck is not the most desirable aspect of an instrument set up for playing. Due to the distance a vibrating string moves (deflection) the neck requires a small amount of upward bow to prevent the strings from buzzing on frets. Adjusting the balance between string tension (which bows the neck upwards into "upbow") and the truss rod resisting (or assisting) this pull, the player can have control over the playability of the instrument. This guide was written from the perspective of setting up a fast-playing instrument with a precise low setup s
The steps in this tutorial are meant to be followed in the order they are presented, failure to do so can cause frustration, a waste of time and a poor setup. If you are confident that you can skip a section by all means do so to save yourself some time. In many of these tutorials measurements are used as a guideline and not a solid fact, you may need to change or adjust these measurements for your own personal playing comfort. For this particular tutorial there are many pictures of different types of guitars in each step to help you better understand your own. Step 1 Headstock Area First st