Well 2009 is here and the holiday season is coming to a close. Although this is a very hectic time of year I always find a little time for myself to work on a few personal projects. This year I decided to take a night off from everything to tweak a few of my guitars. Now, being in this business for quite awhile I know how important a good setup and fresh strings are. That being said, I can be somewhat remiss when it comes to keeping my own gear in tip-top shape. Sometimes life just gets in the way of important things like working on guitars! I would like to point out that if you are not experienced or comfortable performing any guitar maintenance by all means take it to a reputable and qualified repairman or technician.
I usually perform just a few functions. I check the neck relief, give the frets a light buffing, restring, set the action if needed, and check the intonation. This usually doesn’t take a lot of time as long as your guitar hasn’t been exposed to any extreme weather or climate changes and you are using the same gauge and brand of strings every time. Years ago, when I played out five or six nights a week, I used to restring every two nights always making sure the guitars were thoroughly cleaned up during each restringing. Currently, I have not been playing nearly enough so I have been going longer between string changes. I have recently been using our Gibson Vintage Re-Issue Pure Nickel strings. The Pure Nickel has a somewhat rounder tone than Nickel Plated Steel strings such as our Brite Wires. I’ve found that they have a very long “shelf-life” while on the guitar for when I don’t get my strings changed as often as I should. Like everything, each player has their own preference as to what works for them. Sometimes my preferences change on a weekly basis! When you’re surrounded by great gear every day you have a lot of options to play with! Go figure! The important thing is to find what works for you and make sure your guitar is properly maintained. It’s amazing how sometimes something so simple like fresh strings can inspire one’s creativity.
Everyone have a great weekend (and show your guitar some love).