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Handy Tips for Guitar Players


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All setups guaranteed for 3 months


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Check neck~

Press bass E string against the first and last fret, you should see a slight gap (no more than 1mm) to be just under straight




A simple tip:

Keep your guitar lead behind the strap, so you don’t jerk the lead in the jack.



“Strings are like tyres; as soon as they're worn, it’s slipping all over the place …”


Ghostrider Guitars


Handy Hints for Guitar Players


~ The Guitar Setup ~


How to check if neck is adjusted correctly:-

Hold Bass E string against 1st fret and last fret. Now look at the gap halfway down the neck.
A lead guitar player will have a very small gap, of about half a mm. A rhythm or chord player will have a larger gap (or higher action). You may lie somewhere in between this. If there is no gap, chances are your low frets will be buzzing.
If you have any concerns about the setup, the guitar may need a slight adjustment. We guarantee our setups for any minor adjustments needed or desired for three months after the date of pickup. 

Hard strumming, chord players will need heavier strings with a higher action. People looking to play fast, intricate guitar will need a low action with light strings. This lower action set up requires regular attention due to slight movements in neck caused by even small changes in temperature.
Delicate setups need a delicate touch; don’t play too hard or you will squeeze the guitar out of tune. 

Alter your tuning and the tension changes on the neck and alters your action. A low set is very sensitive to change. If you have a floating trem you will almost certainly need a reset.



~ The Strings Section ~


Maintain fresh strings – the wear on the bottom of the strings from movement over the frets, corrosion, scummy build up and metal fatigue all take their toll on guitar strings. After 30 hours of playing time, the tone is well gone and you stand the chance of breaking a string. 

When changing strings, use the same gauge that the guitar is set up for, otherwise the guitar will be out of balance and will need to be re-set, or set to suit the new strings.

While changing strings, take the opportunity to oil the fret board with good quality wood oil such as lemon oil. This will stop the wood dehydrating and will reduce shrinkage in the fingerboard.

Drop tuning requires “BIG” strings, even going up to 70+ gauges for a BIG tuning. A very delicate touch is required as low tunings are notoriously pushed sharp when played hard.



~ For the Enthusiast ~


Nut heights: – set at lowest point - should be equal to the height of the gap when closing first fret as the gap is on the second fret and higher on the nut action when being played hard! Each guitar lends itself to a certain setting. I can set 10 Les Paul’s in a row, theoretically they should all play at their best with the same set running the same gauge string, but not so, each one needs tweaking to suit it’s own character. 

Lowest action point can be gauged by dropping action (after neck adjustment and fret dress) until, when you bend G note on high E string up to A (or A# if you bend that note there), it deadens against the next higher fret. Kick up the action clear off the dead spot until it's clear or “attacky” to suit you. That’s your lowest set point (you can set lower by excluding bending then). Now any fret problems will become apparent - if needed have dressed. 






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A guitarists' ability to play well, is improved by the setup of the guitar being played.

Each person has a different style and the guitar needs to be set to suit that player.

The ‘action’ and the strings need to be set correctly for the type of music being played on each particular guitar.



I often use the analogy of the race car driver and his mechanic to describe the relationship between a luthier and guitar player when doing a guitar setup. Every person drives their car a little differently and will drop back into the pits for readjustments until the ride suits their style, so should a guitarist call in to the luthier to fine tune their machine...

so when in doubt about your setup - give me a call…






Delicate setups need a delicate touch.

Don’t squeeze your strings too hard!



Red Skull


Holden Hill Music

612 North East Rd

Holden Hill SA


Ph: (08) 8266 2699


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