The Complete DIY Guitar Setup Tutorial

the local guitar setup person hates him

for this one simple trick well it's

actually a bunch of simple tricks that's

right I'm gonna show you a variety of

different ways to adjust and maintain

your guitar so it plays better than it

ever has before

all these adjustments and maintenance

tips can be done by you at your house

with some basic tools and products I'll

link everything I use in the description

of this video in case you're interested

in buying it and supporting the channel

I encourage you to ask questions or

share your own maintenance tips in the

comments section down below in case

there's anything that I missed in this

video this video is gonna have it all

how to clean your guitar properly how to

adjust your truss rod your action your

pickup height why would you ought to do

that and what would it do if you did do

it the intonation of your guitar none of

these things are scary I promise they're

all very simple and easy to do once you

just learn how the first thing you want

to think about on your guitar is is

anything loose does it need tightening

this knob is a little loose it's been

bothering me this is a neat little tool

designed specifically to remove guitar

knobs just click it in under the knob so

it's actually this little washer that

needs tightening you can do it with your

finger puppet and you also may need to

tighten things like your tuning pegs

with a string peg nuts

okay so chances are you've never done

what I'm about to show you to your

guitar this is a probe pick it's kind of

like a dental tool I guess if you've

never done this to your guitar which

chances are you haven't it may be a

little disturbing let's go right up

against your fret

and pull out many many hours of grime Oh

oh my goodness now that that's over we

can actually polish the fret these are

Stu Mac fret erasers you would start the

bead lowest grit 180 grit and then move

up to the finest grit which is a

thousand this is a little brush to brush

off the particles that you will be

polishing out and these go over the

frets depending on what size fret you're

mainly going to be using this one


after your frets are all polish you can

shine them up with this from music

nomads and it just puts the little

cherry on top this is the fretboard

conditioner that I like these days but

hold on before you go crazy if you have

a maple neck that's finished don't do

that these sorts of necks do not need

that sort of treatment


of course don't forget to lubricate your

nut with some slick nuts


this is great for if your neck gets a

little cloudy maybe you're in a humid

environment this is awesome to keep that

neck nice and smooth


this is some great stuff to use if

you're noticing any crackling in your

volume or tone pots or your pickup

selector is crackling this is the

instrument polish that I like


now it comes to changing strings most of

my guitars have locking tuners we can

simply feed the string through the

tuning peg and you are good to go when

you lock it up but if your guitar has

standard tuning pegs this is how I like

to wrap the strings I'll just put the

string through and make sure to wrap

over top of the string first as it comes

back around we will wrap under creating

this little string sandwich that keeps

the string

perfectly in place as you tighten it

these next few adjustments are going to

be made in playing position so put the

guitar on your lap how you would when

you're playing it and we are gonna start

with adjusting the truss rod now I know

what you're thinking truss rod my necks

gonna snap this is too dangerous trust

me it is not scary whatsoever

the truss rod adjustment is actually one

of the easiest and most effective

adjustments to make when you're setting

up your guitar here's how we do it so

you want your guitar neck to be

completely straight as an arrow

completely flat so you check if you need

to adjust your truss rod you'll fret

this first fret and then you'll come

down here and fret the last fret and

then we do this little move here which

is checking how much space is in between

the fretboard and the string you'll want

this little bounce on your pinky first

finger on the first fret of the e-string

finger on the very last fret of that

same thick east ring and then use your

pinky to check the bounce and too much

bounce means an adjustment of the truss

rod to tighten it not enough bounce

means to give it some relief you don't

see any space whatsoever and the string

is kind of against the fret board then

you have back bow which means the truss

rod is pulling the headstock backwards

and needs relief if you see a pretty big

space in between the string and the fret

board then you have front bow which

means you need to tighten the truss rod

I would say this guitar is pretty good

but I actually adjusted the truss rod

just to demonstrate this so we actually

have a little bit of front bow going

I'm going to show you how to make this

adjustment very simply most guitars come

with a truss rod adjustment tool to add

relief or loosen the truss rod you'll

push the tool forward to tighten the

truss rod pull the tool toward you looks

perfect to me and it should bring true

now we're gonna take a look at the

action we are going to need a machinist

ruler which uses 32nd of an inch

measurements and for the high e-string

you'll want about 2 30 seconds for the

low e-string we wanted to be about two

and a half thirty seconds which if I

check here it looks to be about three so

this is high I want to pull this action

down a little bit you'll do that by

actually loosening the respective screws

on the saddle and you'll see that it

starts to bring the action of the string

down perfect now we come to adjusting

your pickup height chances are you don't

really have to do this it's more of a

tinkering thing than anything else the

pickup height is going to affect tone

and overall output so pickups are little

microphones the further away your pickup

is from the string the less output

you're going to receive but also a

little bit warmer tone may be the result

if the pickups are higher or closer to

the strings you're gonna have a louder

output but you're going to also have

maybe have a little bit of an abrasive

sound especially in each pickups

frequency range so like if your treble

pickup was really close to your strings

then you're gonna have a really biting

edgy sound which some people like

contrast that with the bass pickup with

the bass pickups real close to the

strings you're gonna have a big boomy

sound which can be good but I generally

like to be straight down the middle when

it comes to pickup height I generally

leave it with the manufacturer and don't

really have to push it too far out of

the way just depending on if you had to

adjust your action and maybe your

pickups are getting in the way you can

push them down a little bit but

generally the rule of thumb is between

two and three thirty seconds on your

machinist ruler between all the pickups

just set them there and then

adjust accordingly based on your ear so

here's the final tip I have for you in

this video and this is the last thing

you want to do when you are adjusting

your guitar setup and that is the

intonation so what we're gonna do is

first a little trick that I picked up

somewhere along the way I think I

actually picked this up when I was

touring the PRS Factory we're gonna turn

our tone knob down to about halfway and

we're gonna put our pickup selection on

the neck pickup and what this does is

essentially dole the overtones in your

guitar signal so if you've ever had a

tuner that kind of like bounces around

then this is gonna take care of that

problem you're getting rid of all those

juicy saturated overtones and

frequencies and pulling them out of the

signal just for a moment while we get

the intonation the tuning correct and by

the way we are gonna want to plug into

an actual physical tuner you don't want

to be using one of the headstock tuners

those just aren't quite as accurate

especially when we're doing something as

delicate as an intonation set so what

we're gonna do is play an a string for

example and we're gonna get that

perfectly in tune first and then with

our playing grip meaning you want to

actually fret the note how you would

play it because that's how you want it

to be in tune you don't want to press

too hard or not hard enough and then

when you actually play the guitar like

you would naturally won't be properly in

turn ated so with our playing grip we're

gonna fret the 12th fret of the a and

well looks like we're perfectly

intimated let's find one that's not

intimated how about the E string cut the

e perfectly in fret the 12th fret and

well maybe this guitar is a bad example

let's try the D string


twelve fret

there we go all right so this is a

little bit sharp so what we want to do

is take our screwdriver and loosen that

saddle and just a small turns all we

need for that amount so as we can see

went a little too far



and we're gonna want to tune that back

up a little bit now this should be

perfectly in tune make that adjustment

to all six strings whichever ones need

it and you are intimated well there you

have it my friends a bunch of

adjustments in maintenance tips from me

to you it's like you have a brand new

instrument isn't that nice until next

time keep shred