How to Repair a Guitar

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How to Repair a Guitar

Some guitar repairs are best left to professionals. Many are readily handled by the musician who owns the instrument, however. Repairing guitars requires several tools, some of which are specific to individual guitars, such as truss wrenches for fixing bowed guitar necks. Any guitar with electric pickups may require a soldering kit if the pickups become worn to the point of requiring replacement. A set of small screwdrivers and Allen wrenches usually handle such tasks as installing a new tuning machine. Obtaining a guitar repair kit and keeping it with the guitar makes it possible to deal with most basic repairs as the need arises.

Common Guitar Repairs

Common guitar repairs include those to fix the problems noted below. Many musicians take care of these guitar repairs without resorting to a guitar shop.

Guitar Problem


Strings are too high or low because neck has bowed

Adjust truss rod

Frets buzz against strings because strings sit too close or fretting is hard because strings sit too high

Adjust string saddle at bridge with tine hex wrench

Frets play sharp or flat

Move string saddles

Pickups, switches, or knobs crackle

Turn vigorously to release detritus

Pickups no longer provide quality sound

Purchase and install replacement guitar pickup set

Tuning machine does not work properly

Purchase replacement peg set or replace entire tuning machine

Typical musicians can handle these guitar repairs themselves. The hand tools needed for these repairs are generally a guitar repair kit that should be kept with the guitar.

* Miniature screwdriver set

* Precision ratchet set

* Hex wrench

* Allen wrench

With these tools, including both Phillips- and Allen-head screwdrivers in a range of sizes, almost every basic guitar repair can be handled.

How to Correct a Bowed Guitar Neck

Guitar necks bow most often from temperature and humidity changes. These may result from changing seasons, especially if the instrument is kept in a room that lacks climate control.

A neck that bows toward or away from the strings is easily corrected by tightening or loosening the truss rod that runs inside the neck of most guitars. Turn the nut at the end of the truss rod to tighten or loosen it. If the neck bows toward the strings, so the frets are too close to the strings, turn the nut counterclockwise. Ifr the neck bows away from the strings, so it becomes harder to push the strings to the frets, turn the nut clockwise to tighten it. Use the truss wrench for the specific guitar or a hex wrench of the correct size.

Turn the truss rod nut only one-quarter revolution at a time, allowing the neck time to adjust to its new position. Playing the guitar while the neck adjusts is okay.

How to Correct Sharp or Flat Frets

When frets play consistently sharp or flat, try changing to a new set of strings first. Old strings have often stretched off their correct intonation. Once the new strings have 'stretched in', if the fretting is still off, try moving the saddle closer or further from the guitar neck to get the right sound. Depending on the kind of guitar, this usually involves adjusting a screw to move the saddles for each string closer to or further from the nut.

How to Improve Sound from Pickups, Switches, and Knobs

Pickups, switches, and knobs can crackle or hum simply because there is dust, dirt, or even rust lodged in the mechanism. Operating the switch or knob rapidly may knock the detritus out and thereby improve the sound.

Other times, the sound from guitar pickups deteriorates because the pickups have themselves deteriorated over time. In these cases, the best response is to replace the set entirely. Choose the preferred kinds from a quality guitar parts resource. New and vintage parts may be found, including vintage cloth wire kits. Decide whether to do the installation depending on experience with electrical work.

How to Replace a Broken Tuning Machine

A guitar tuning machine may be replaced one tuning peg at a time as gears are stripped, but most people consider replacing the entire machine an overall savings in time and cost. The tuning machine selected should be one that fits into the same screw holes as the original machine. This makes it possible to easily install the new machine.

How to Buy Guitar Parts for Repairs on eBay

The place to begin repairing guitars is by being prepared. A guitar repair kit found on eBay fits conveniently into a guitar case or gig bag. Where new parts are required, eBay is an extensive guitar parts resource. Sellers provide tuning machines, pickups, and other electrical parts, as well as the soldering kit necessary for electrical repairs. If more than one item is required, consider using the Advanced Search to locate Sellers with eBay stores. These sellers are likely to have more than one of the required items on offer, making it possible to save on shipping. Selecting from the sellers on eBay provides what you need for guitar repairs today and tomorrow.

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