Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ad-Hoc Guitar Fixing

I have had my acoustic, a Fender A/E dreadnought, for nearly a decade, and while I have changed the bridge pins and the strings and have had the end pin jack resoldered a few times, but really, it's as it was made. And, while I play up the neck a lot, I by and large play the dread to play blues, folk and country and other first-five frets stuff.

Today we had practice for a big special musical event we're having in September, where I'm the acoustic guy. Last practice, I noticed a little bit of buzzy, sitar-like sound coming from the high E when the 3rd fret is played. Which, if you're playing first-position cowboy chords, you hit all the time. Even more if you're using the James Taylor jangle chords, like G (320033), C2 (x32033), Dsus4 (x00233) and Em7 (020033). That high G popped out and hit my hearing like a poke in the eye. I tried to retune to D and capo 2, but I hit two problems. First, the tuning stability was AWFUL, and second, I began to notice that the B string also had the buzzy sitar problem.

First thing when I got home, I cut up an old membership card and placed it under the saddle, in order to shim the saddle up and avoid these sound problems. It's only been together for a bit, so I don't know if everything is solved, but it seems good so far.


Sammy said...

I was reading too fast, and thought at first you said the G string broke and popped you in the eye. Whew! Glad that was a total misread on my part.

Dave Jacoby said...

Nearsightedness and astigmatism leave me well-protected against that. But thanks for your concern. B)