If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve heard or said the phrase “this guitar’s action is too low/high!” It either buzzes all over the neck, or it’s a pain just to fret a note. The reality is… Guitar parts move. With a piece of wood that’s constantly putting up with over 100 pounds of string tension, it’s understandable. Living here in Canada where the weather and humidity is ever-changing doesn’t help either!
Getting a guitar in tune, and keeping it in tune, is often an interesting endeavor—in the sense of the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times!” Most serious players know that there is a never ending series of adjustments needed to keep your instrument playing right
This month’s column focuses on my pet peeves and some very important and yet overlooked aspects of guitar playing and your enjoyment of your guitar: tuning and set-ups. Everybody deserves to have a guitar that plays well, stays in tune, and is in tune with itself. This is not just the privilege of globetrotting superstars, but everyone who owns a decent instrument.
I have been playing guitar for 40 years. I have owned everything, from ES175 to a 58 Les Paul Std, 59 Strat, Travis Bean, Alembic, Cort, Samick, Guilds, G + Ls, you name it, I owned one. And you know what? If I see one more damn Les Paul, Strat or Tele I think I will vomit! Good lord, are they the most boring thing in theworld or what?& I love guitars that are different. I do NOT want to see another guy walking down the street playing the same guitar as me. There is a world of cool guitars out there and yet some guys have noimagination, they just play the same blankity blank guitars that everyone has had for the last 50 years!
While the Pests downed a quick lunch, I grabbed a few instrumental odds & ends from the van and walked across the parking lot to the building with the huge sign, “Consumers Mall”. It’s one of those former discount stores, now indoor flea market which are popping up across the land in abandoned K-Marts, grocery stores and so on. One of the missions of our little band was the rescue of abused and/or neglected guitars, which we found on our journeys and there was a candidate for rescue inside.
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