Woody’s Workshop : Guitar Maintenance Basics

A new series about guitar maintenance by Woody Phifer

This month we begin a multi-part series on minor instrument repair and maintenance. We are honored by having luthier extraordinaire, Woody Phifer, (himself an R.Cocco string endorsee) lead us through this informative journey.

The Care and Feeding of Your Instrument

Every musician needs to know how to perform basic maintenance on his instrument. There are three levels of instrument repair knowledge: basic, intermediate and expert.

Nobody is asking you to build an instrument from a sapling but can you setup your own axe? If you can, then you are at the basic level.

In this 4 part series Woody is going to delve into the basic maintenance and repair issues that every musician should be able to handle.

Here are just a few examples of the topics Woody will discuss:

Maintenance Q&A

  1. Should I loosen the tension on strings or truss rod before flying or shipping an instrument?
  2. What type of oil should I use on the fretboard and adjustable hardware?
  3. What’s the best gig bag to use for air travel?
  4. What’s the best nine volt battery to use?
  5. What size allen key or nut driver do I need for my Fender or Gibson
  6. What can the player do about the common finger board and finish shrinkage that
    leads to rough or sharp fret edges as an instrument ages?

Setup & Intonation Basics:

  1. Adjusting pickup height;
  2. Setting nut height;
  3. Matching string height to the radius of the fingerboard;
  4. Adjusting the neck to remedy fret buzz and neck bow;
  5. Troubleshooting a ground hum problem;
  6. Installing and replacing switches and pots.

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