The neck angle is built into the guitar, and there is not much the average owner can do about it. Of course, most acoustic guitars have nonadjustable saddles. No one likes a muddy sounding guitar, or a warped neck, or even a dirty instrument. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? If this is the case, neck adjustments for your set classical guitar go beyond the scope of this article. All of the adjustments discussed so far should be done prior to changing strings. With the truss rod and bridge fine-tuned, we enter the final phase of action altering. Listen for buzzes as well as false notes—for instance, fretting an E note or bending to what should be an E and hearing an F. Excessive buzzing and widespread false notes mean that you’ve either dropped the bridge too low or excessively counter-bowed the neck. It should be the same as that of the corresponding open string. Rapidly flick each switch—or twist each knob—back and forth, and then play for a while, listening for persistent noises. A cleaned and polish guitar just begs to be picked up and played, and that’s what it’s all about, TOOLS Cotton or chamois cloth, guitar polish, Windex. If the neck is back bowed, the strings will lie flat against the frets, and the truss rod must be loosened. Then apply a light coat of lemon oil and wipe away any excess with a paper towel. Angling the pickups—most often, sloping them down toward the low E string—may help to even out the response across the strings. FACTOR★★★★ If you can wipe your nose, you can polish your frets. If it doesn’t, you may want to purchase a larger razor, as it is hard to compare all of your fret wire in pairs. The sounds of the pickups should be nearly identical. If you feel a bit nervous about performing any adjustments on your guitar, don’t second guess your judgment; bring it to a professional. HOW TO DO IT If you’ve got a bolt-neck electric, give the neck a twist. Again, the slots must be deepened. TOOLS Small Phillips-head screwdriver (to remove the truss-rod cover), appropriate hex key or wrench (almost always supplied with a new guitar). Create the loop. If the fretted note is sharp, adjust the saddle so that the string’s speaking length is longer; if it’s flat, adjust the saddle to shorten the length. HOW TO DO IT Simply wiggle the parts around a bit. © Please refresh the page and try again. Thank you for signing up to GuitarPlayer. Having correct intonation means that a string sounds at the correct pitch for each fret along its length. If they do, it’s a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime procedure. Action is measured most often with a machinist’s rule (PHOTO 5) as the distance between the string and the top of the 12th fret. TOOLS A machinist rule, a screwdriver or hex-key (electric guitar), calipers, a shim stock or stationary belt sander (acoustic guitar). An experienced repair tech might simply sight down the neck (PHOTO 1) or use a straightedge (PHOTO 2) to take a precise measurement of neck bow. If the neck has too much bow, or relief, the gap will be wider, and so the truss rod must be tightened. On an acoustic, it can typically be found within the body of the guitar, at the neck-body joint. Play each string as you switch between pickups. A high slot will cause the notes at the 1st fret to sound 10 to 15 cents sharper than they should. Do your switches snap, crackle or pop? All guitars need a proper setup. TOOLS Small screwdriver, amp (to monitor your sound). //
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