Learn how you can use use a guitar gauge to setup your guitar.
Setting up a guitar with a guitar gauge is an essential process for any guitarist, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner. The guitar gauge is a tool that helps you adjust the action, or string height, of your guitar, which can greatly affect the playability and sound of your instrument. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of setting up your guitar with a guitar gauge.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials To get started, you will need a few essential tools: a guitar gauge, a set of hex wrenches, and a capo.
A guitar gauge is a small, handheld device that measures the height of the strings at various points on the neck. You can purchase a guitar gauge at any music store or online retailer. Hex wrenches, also known as Allen wrenches, are used to adjust the height of the strings and are typically included with the guitar when you purchase it. Finally, a capo is used to hold down the strings at a specific fret while you make adjustments.
Step 2: Check the Neck Relief The first step in setting up your guitar is to check the neck relief.
This refers to the curvature of the neck, which affects the action of the strings. To check the neck relief, hold down the low E string at the first and 14th frets and measure the distance between the string and the top of the 7th fret. A properly adjusted neck should have a gap of approximately 0.010 to 0.014 inches. If the gap is too large or small, you will need to adjust the truss rod to correct the curvature of the neck.
Step 3: Check the String Height Next, you will need to check the string height at the first and last frets using the guitar gauge.
Place the gauge on top of the first fret and measure the distance between the bottom of the gauge and the top of the fret. The ideal distance for the first fret is approximately 0.022 inches. Next, move the gauge to the last fret and measure the distance between the bottom of the gauge and the top of the fret. The ideal distance for the last fret is approximately 0.078 inches.
Step 4: Adjust the String Height If the string height is not within the ideal range, you will need to adjust the height of the strings using the hex wrenches.
The hex wrenches are used to adjust the individual saddle height on the bridge. If the string height is too high, turn the hex wrench counterclockwise to lower the saddle. If the string height is too low, turn the hex wrench clockwise to raise the saddle. Make sure to make small adjustments and recheck the string height each time to avoid over-adjusting.
Step 5: Check the Intonation Finally, you will need to check the intonation of the guitar, which refers to the accuracy of the notes played on different frets.
To check the intonation, place the capo on the first fret and play the low E string at the 12th fret. Check if the note is in tune using a tuner. If the note is sharp or flat, adjust the saddle by moving it forward or backward until the note is in tune. Repeat this process for all the strings.
In conclusion, setting up a guitar with a guitar gauge is a simple but crucial process for any guitarist. By following these steps, you can adjust the action and intonation of your guitar to optimize playability and sound. Remember to make small adjustments and recheck the measurements each time to avoid over-adjusting, and always consult a professional if you are unsure about any of the steps. With a little patience and practice, you can keep your guitar playing its best for years to come