Monday, 5 July 2010

RC's guitar workshop

A niece of mine plays guitar - I have taught her on and off, according to her levels of enthusiasm which naturally fluctuate wildly. She is a teenager after all!

Anyway, word got to me that her guitar needed to be restrung. She can't do it herself (her guitar is incredibly fiddly in this way) and the guy at the guitar shop was going to charge her £30 to do it.

No worries, I'll do it!

Sat down with it on Saturday afternoon. Unbolted stuff and removed the old strings.

Started putting on the new strings. Going fine. Ah, one of the tuners is loose - sorted.

Started tuning it up - but no matter what I did it never worded - tuning one string put the rest out.

Then I realised what was happening.

You see her guitar has got a trem system - the bar that you move to make the note go "Wawawawawawawawaaaa" or make a note drop low and up again. This relies on having springs inside to pull the note back to where it started. Her springs were, um, not in a very good way, shall we say. By the look of them she had been practicing "dive-bombing" (i.e. dropping the notes as low as possible). In the end I stripped the springs out of one of my own guitars to fix hers.

Tuning could then resume, and the guitar was as good as new.

With hind sight, the guy at the shop must have known what he was facing! If not, I suspect the bill would have been rather more in the end! Will she notice? Will she thank me? Maybe!

After that, I restrung one of my own guitars (not the one with no springs - must get some more springs on the way home!) and gave it a good clean and polish. As I put it back together I fiddled with the string height to see how low I could get it - the result was incredible! It is now like playing thin air! I love that guitar!

And I might be looking for a new one soon too! Mrs RC says she wants to get me a new one this year! Do I really deserve a woman this great?

Do I?

Go on, say it - you now you want to! :-)

7 comments:

terri said...

Okay, okay...I'll say it. You DO deserve a woman that great!

Nice work on restringing your niece's guitar. It sounds like a job that requires bundles of patience.

agg79 said...

What a guy! Cannibalizing (I'm still stuck on the zombie theme) your own guitar to help your niece out.

And Mrs RC WANTS to get you a new guitar? You need to hold on to Mrs RC as tight as you can. In my book, she's what we call a "keeper".

Rock Chef said...

Terri - Aw, thanks! Glad you got in before some of the others!

agg79 - She is definitely a "keeper" - I have been holding on tight for 25 years now!

wigsf said...

I will hold back judgement until I find out what kind of guitar she wants to get you. She gets you a PRS or something, then that's a heckuva great lady. If she gets you some generic Strat knock-off that can't hold a tune, then, I dunno.

Rock Chef said...

wigsf - She will let me choose - obviously with a price limit. I already have a (very good) Strat copy...

TechnoBabe said...

The only thing that matters is that Mrs RC thinks you deserve the best and she loves you. Way cool. I watch hubby change strings and pass things from one guitar to the other one so I actually understood what you were saying.

Rock Chef said...

wigsf - She will just tell me how much I can spend and let me do the choosing :-)

Technobabe - Thanks! I tried to describe it in plain Ehglish, glad it worked for you at least!