Tree Guitarworks

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The Benefits of a Good Set-up  Most people think of a set-up as something that makes their guitar easier to play. And it certainly does that. An easy playing guitar does make you a better player. AND probably even more importantly, makes you WANT to play more. Let's look at a couple other benefits... 

Playing in tune: Two things going on here. On the bridge end of things, a good setup will include setting the intonation, so notes further up the fretboard are as in-tune as open strings. Of course, on an acoustic you are pretty limited with any saddle adjustments. At the other end of the neck is your nut, that a lot of people overlook when doing setups. If your action is too high, not only will your guitar be harder to play, but you will actually stretch your strings out of tune when you fret them on the first few frets. If you tune your guitar perfectly, and as soon as you play an open A chord it sounds out of tune, good chance your nut is cut too high.

It SOUNDS BETTER: A couple days ago I had a customer text me after he got home, all excited, and said his guitar had never sounded better. All I did was set it up the way he told me too... And he is an experienced, gigging player. So if it is set up properly, you'll play better, the strings will ring out better, the components will work as they should, and you won't have buzzing or dead spots.

A good setup includes setting proper string action along the entire neck. This includes setting the correct neck relief, and adjusting the nut and bridge/saddles. It includes setting intonation and checking for high/low frets, as well as fret wear. It includes checking for buzzes and rattles or any other noises a guitar shouldn't make, and it includes checking that all components are working properly (electronics, tuners, nut, trem, etc.).

If you are having a tech do your setup, things like fret work, repairing or replacing parts probably aren't covered in the basic setup cost, but he should notify you of his findings and disclose any additional costs. My belief is that every guitar player should know how to do basic guitar maintenance, just as every car owner should be able to check the oil and change a tire. There are tons of Youtubes and other web resources to help you learn. But a lot of even very experienced players choose to have a good tech that they trust do these things. And that's why I'm here.