Sometimes, new guitars need to be set up to get the smooth sound from it. There are certain things you will have to change in order to get the best out of the guitar. Changing the intonation, adjusting the truss rod, bridge, and checking the fret can ensure the best performance of a guitar. By doing so, you will be able to get rid of any unwanted buzz or roughness and play it easily.
Why do you need to set up the guitar?
The best way to understand the necessity of setting up a guitar is to know why you need it. As guitars are made from wood, the organic nature of the wood can create some minor problems. As wood is reasonably sensitive to humidity and temperature, a new guitar has not gone through any kinds of changes. Hence, it tends to act a little rough at the beginning.
The guitar setup mainly consists of:
- Intonation correctly
- Best working
- Sounding of the guitar
By adjusting certain things on the guitar, you will be able to emit the normal sounds from the new guitar. Setups can generally involve adjusting the string spacing, frets, and the intonation. A Guitar Luthier can also do the setup of your new guitar but they charge you a specific amount for this process. To find one near you, try searching Guitar Luthier in Melbourne to get the list of people providing this service near you.
Let us now discuss how to set up your guitar:
- Tools: The tools you will need to have to set up the guitar are screwdrivers of different sizes, Allen keys, and a chromatic tuner. Get the best tools you can effort in order to fix the guitar in the best way possible. For instance, if you choose bad screwdrivers, they can badly hurt the tip of the screw making it really difficult to adjust in the future. If you do not have the correct tools, search for Guitar setup in Melbourne and you will find places it set it up.
- Make sure that the guitar is dead straight: When the guitar is dead straight and connected to the speaker, you should not hear any kind of buzzing. If it buzzes when plugged in, it can be because the truss rod needs adjustment or the bridge needs to be raised.
- Truss Rod Adjustment: The truss rod is a metal rod which is placed in the neck of the guitar. By tightening or loosening the truss rod, you can flex the neck. By flexing the neck, the curvature can be applied and the characteristics can be changed. It can be adjusted using the Allen keys. Even a little turn can make a lot of difference; hence make only small and tiny adjustments.
- Gaps between the strings and the frets: You can tune the guitar using the chromatic tuner. After the tuning has been completed, you can check the gap between the strings and the twelfth fret. The gap between the first string and the crown of the fret has to be 1.5mm and the distance between the sixth string and the crown of the fret should be 2mm. You can even adjust them using the bolts at the bridge.
- Intonation: every string has to be tuned with the help of a chromatic tuner. If you do not know how to check the intonation of the guitar, here’s how!
Pluck one of your strings without any fret. Now, press the twelfth fret and pluck the same string. If your tuner shows an “E”, the string is alright. If the tuner does not show an “E”, you will have to change the tuning. You can change it by slowly turning the bolt. Make small turns as they can make a lot of difference. After every small change in the position of the bolt, repeat the same steps until the tuner shows an “E”.
After setting up the guitar, try playing it. You will automatically notice the changes while playing it. By doing this often, you can get it to stay in tune.