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What Is A Set Up?

Welcome to our guide on guitar setup, where we demystify the process of fine-tuning your instrument for optimal performance. Whether you're a seasoned player or just starting out, understanding guitar setup is essential for achieving the best sound, playability, and comfort from your instrument. In this guide, we'll explore what a guitar setup entails, why it's important, and how you can do it yourself or with the help of a professional.

What is a Guitar Setup? A guitar setup refers to a series of adjustments made to a guitar to optimize its playability, tone, and overall performance. These adjustments can include tweaking the instrument's neck relief, action, intonation, and pickup height, among other factors. A well-executed setup ensures that the guitar plays comfortably, stays in tune across the fretboard, and produces the desired tone.

Neck Adjustment

We start by examining the curvature of your guitar's neck. You want a slight bow, known as relief, to allow for smooth string vibration without noticeable fret buzz.


Once tuned, a harmonic is played at the 12th fret which is then compared to the fretted note at the same position. If the fretted note is sharp or flat compared to the harmonic, your guitar's intonation needs adjustment.

Fret Polishing

Using fine steel wool or fret polishing pads, we  gently rub the polish onto the frets in a circular motion. Applying light pressure to remove tarnish and corrosion without scratching the fretboard. We continue polishing each fret until we achieve the desired shine.

String Height (Action)

String height, also known as action, refers to the distance between the strings and the fretboard. Ideal string height varies depending on playing style, preference, and guitar type.

Nut Adjustment

The nut is a small piece of (typically, bone or plastic) located at the top of the guitar's neck, where the strings pass through before reaching the tuners. It's responsible for setting the height and spacing of the strings at the headstock end.

Fingerboard Conditioning

The fingerboard of your guitar is typically made of wood, such as rosewood or maple. Over time, exposure to changes in humidity, temperature, and oils from your fingers can lead to drying out and cracking of the wood. Conditioning helps replenish moisture and nourishment.

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