Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thank You, Henry and Don

I am sure I'm not alone in this. You're sitting, doing email or whatever, and the urge comes over you to tweak and fine-tune your instrument. Well, it hit me this evening. I decided to check my guitar against the Fender Setup Guide. I grabbed a capo and a feeler guage and found that the relief is within tolerances — the .011 feeler guage was tight and catching, but didn't move the string much at all — but the action was still way high, and this with the saddle touching the bridge.

So, I followed what, if I remember correctly, is the Don Erlewine method. I got a business card, cut off an inch, and put that in the neck pocket against the back. Neck angle changed, making "dang near against the bridge" a more reasonable height. I had to go back and do height and intonation for the strings, but it was a good thing. It plays like butter now.

Which reminds me. I of course had to get back in tune once I reattached the neck. My trick for getting close is based on one of the first things I learned. "Peter Gunn". Something that's all on the low E string, and sounds cool. I know enough about tuning that, once I get a note, I can tune the rest of the guitar around that. Let me play "Peter Gunn" and I'll get that first note.

ETA: It is Dan Erlewine, not Don. Sans Direction regrets the error.

1 comment:

patrick said...

I get that urge too. I've gotten some very strange looks when my boss walks into the cubicle to find me field-stripping a Special 20 to try to fix that squeaky 6 overblow I wrestled with on the drive in.