Guitar adjustments - maybe I don't suck so bad after all

· by Steve · Read in about 2 min · (383 Words)

I recently took my electric guitar into our local shop to get it adjusted by the resident luthiers, since I’d noticed lately that it was tending to go sharp on higher frets even when tuned correctly. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was just me, since learning for a year on an acoustic meant I often tended to use too much force on the fretboard of the electric and introduced accidental bending (since the string gauges on the electric are lighter, and steel rather than bronze). After a while though, I became pretty convinced that it was getting more pronounced and that it wasn’t down to my lack of skill, although that still needs plenty of work too ;).

So, I was introduced to the issue of humidity and how it affects the guitar, which I hadn’t been particularly aware of before (I vaguely remember reading about environmental conditions, but hadn’t had any problems with the acoustic). Obviously wood being organic, it absorbs water from the environment or loses it, and thus can change shape slightly, particularly as so much tension is involved, meaning the original set-up needed adjusting once it had settled into the prevailing conditions at my house. I got it back the next day and am extremely pleased with the result - no more sharps up the fretboard, and a slightly lower action too which makes it easier to play. I can now wail away without wincing at a dodgy sounding chord - well, not because of that, anyway. ๐Ÿ˜€What was also nice was that they did it for free - I guess not that surprising since I only bought the guitar from them a couple of months ago, but still I wasn’t assuming that would be the case so I appreciated it, and it certainly vindicated my decision to buy locally rather than save a bit of cash ordering online. My aim now is to get good enough that when I feel like buying more guitars (which I’m beginning to realise is inevitable eventually if I keep this up), I can try them out in the shop without feeling self-conscious - difficult when the store owner demos the kit by cranking out some great-sounding licks then hands it over to you! I’m not quite up to banjo dueling just yet. ๐Ÿ˜€