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Posts published in “Guitar Tech and Setup Tips”

Hints, tips, and explanations for setting up your guitar properly.

Pickup comparison: DiMarzio Area 58, Area 61, and Area 67

I bought the DiMarzio Area Set (Area 58, Area 61, and Area 67) while looking for new single coils to go in the neck and middle positions of my Silhouette Special. There are lots of reviews of the DiMarzio Area pickups out there but I don’t think nobody has ever directly compared all three in the same pickup position. This may the first!

Flying with Guitars and Other Instruments

Over the years I’ve heard of many musicians who are afraid of checking their instruments when flying. Musicians are afraid of rough treatment by airport baggage handlers, and rightly so. But many people also fear that the environmental conditions in the aircraft’s baggage compartment can damage their instruments. I asked some airline captains about the conditions inside aircraft that instruments with be subjected to. Their answers are very reassuring!

Treble Bleed Mod Round-up

As a reference resource, I have collected the treble bleed capacitor and resistor combinations recommended by the the major guitar pickup manufacturers (and some guitar makers too). I am reproducing that list here. Below the list I have also included notes and additional information based on my research and experience. I hope you find it useful. Feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions.

The Paris Expat’s Guide to Buying a Guitar

Most of my clients/students are expats in Paris and many are first-time players, just starting out with the guitar. As a result I am frequently asked about where to buy a guitar and to give recommendations on what to buy and in what price range. In this post I answer all those questions for you, and more.

A Little Lube goes a Long Way

Keeping guitars in tune can be difficult at the best of times. Aside from the inherent compromises of guitar construction and how the human ear would rather hear things, we’ve all had those days when we’ve beautifully tuned a guitar and yet two minutes later it sounds like poop all over again. Let’s look at some solutions…

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Many a great guitar has been ruined by well-meaning but bad advice. And many a great guitar is also ruined by people who overestimate their experience and abilities with a screwdriver or a file. These are obvious lessons but so easy to forget that I think it’s time I reminded you with some real world examples (yes, the names have been changed to protect the innocent)…

Capos and Tuning Problems

A recent forum post asked the following question: My guitar goes out of tune when I put on a capo. Is this normal? What can I do about it? Is this problem worse on the lower frets? Does string diameter matter? The answer to all these questions is "yes". Let's look at why.

Tuning Stability Checklist

Tuning stability with tremolo bridges is not rocket science but when there is a problem it can certainly can seem like a black art. But there is a simple way of thinking through tuning problems which might help...

Your Own Personal Fret Buzz

It is a myth that buzz-free low action is always possible. People frequently read manufacturers' specifications and assume those numbers are a goal rather than a guideline. They assume such a setup will suit their personal playing technique without any string/fret buzz. In my experience, that is just not the case.

Lost in the dark?

Nothing worse than a screaming bum note or wrong chord 'cause you can't see what you're doing, right? I'm sure we've all had a moment like that at some point in time. But what can we do to avoid it?