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1st set up

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Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

Ok ive been playing my first electric for about a year now and ive never had it set first i didnt even know what getting a set up means and im still kinda confused. im to the point now where i dont THINK its beginners buzzing on my bar chords and such....cause i can play it fine on my friends guitars. when i take it to the shop is there anything i should know or ask for and whats like a ballpark price range??

thanks everyone

Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 4921

Ballpark price range is $75 - I've seen them advertised for under $30, and up to $100.

Tell them any concerns you have - what strings/frets are buzzing, what style you play, etc. Do you like a high action, or a low one? Do you alter your tunings to play in drop D (or C or B or A!). And be sure to tell them what gauge and brand of strings you like to use!

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 6

Hey, a setup involves several adjustments:
1.) adjusting the truss rod so the neck is straight or has just the right amount of forward bow ("relief") that you want.
2.)Setting the string height so that there's a consistent amount of buzz on each string, or no buzz at all. It's personal preference. This has a LOT to do with the way the guitar feels. This is refereed to as the guitar's "action."
3.) Setting the intonation. This means making the guitar play so that every note is in as perfect pitch possible consistently up the fingerboard.
The intonation and action are adjusted primarily with the bridge saddles. Moving them up and down will change the action and moving them forward and backward will change the intonation. The truss rod is adjusted by tightening or loosening the truss rod nut, usually in the heel of the neck or at the headstock. Tightening will give the neck back bow, too much is very bad, and loosening will give the neck bow towards the bridge. Moving any one thing though will have an affect on the rest of it.
Sometimes frets or the nut need to be replaced, pickups need to be lowered, or the bridge spring's tension needs to be altered for the guitar to play right. A good guitar tech will know.