For questions about keeping an instrument or related gear in playable condition.

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10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I set up a bass guitar?

How do I set up the pickups, neck, etc. in an electric bass guitar? I'm not concerned with producing a particular sound as I am with keeping the neck from warping, prevent string buzz, improving ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Finding guitar technicians

I’ve often seen advice to locate a good guitar technician or luthier to perform setups and routine maintenance. For example, Ali Maxwell advises, in “How do I set up an electric guitar?”: The ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I set up an electric guitar?

How do I set up the pickups, neck, etc. in an electric guitar? I'm not concerned with producing a particular sound as I am with keeping the neck from warping, prevent string buzz, improving ...
2
votes
3answers
311 views

How often should I wax my bass?

When I bought my bass, it came with a surface finisher (beeswax). I've been waxing my bass about once every month/month and a half. Why should I wax my bass and how often is it recommended I do it?
5
votes
1answer
390 views

What is a good string height for a mountain dulcimer?

27" scale, tuned DAd. Just ordered the nut and saddle and don't know how much I should sand them down as I'm not really a dulcimer player. Thanks in advance
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you identify string gauge?

A friend broke a string on her bowed psaltery (a small zither-like instrument) and needs to replace it. Problem: what gauge? The source of the instrument is unknown and it didn't come with spare ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Voice trills unintentionally when singing high-pitched notes

I'm not an experienced singer, so I suppose I've got plenty of knowledge missing when it comes to keeping my voice in shape. Whenever I try to sing a high-pitched note, my voice inadvertently starts ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Will steel strings wear out my nickel frets ?

I have bought some coated strings because I wanted to try that out. After my purchase I noticed that the package says the uncoated strings are stainless steel. Since my frets are made out of nickel ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

How does the piano middle pedal work? Is there a standard symbol for it?

What are the mechanics behind the middle piano pedal? I have been using the middle pedal for a variety of music, it is wonderful, but I can't figure out how it works (I mean the mechanical process). ...
8
votes
3answers
995 views

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator?

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator when the radiator is hot? If so, why? Also, is there anything else that happens when you place an instrument near a hot radiator?
7
votes
2answers
207 views

Storing a flute

I haven't played my flute in several years, but it is a fairly high-quality open-holed silver instrument. During this time, it is already a bit tarnished and grimy, and I want to make sure that I am ...
12
votes
1answer
711 views

How should I inspect a used piano prior to purchase?

I am considering finding a used grand (or baby grand) piano to purchase. This will be a standard acoustic piano, not an electronic version that "looks like" a grand piano. I am an experienced ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Is there a way to lengthen the lifespan of my strings? [duplicate]

I have acidic fingers and my strings wear out rather quickly. I am using Elixir which is a lot better than most other brands, but after around two weeks it loses the clean sound, becomes hard (or ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

With a Floyd Rose bridge, how big of a difference in string gauge will require a new set-up?

I have a new Schecter Hellraiser Extreme that came with stock 10-46's. I prefer a hybrid 9-46 (only the thinnest 3 strings are different guage) -to bend a bit better.... Is that minor enough change ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Switching my strings from 10's to 9's - am I in for more fret buzz?

So, I'm playing an Agile 200 Les Paul copy (tune o matic bridge). I've had 10's on it and sadly it has some fret buzz. I recently got it set up to eliminate the buzz and the tech got it pretty close. ...
1
vote
2answers
292 views

Is there a chance for heavy violin strings to harm the instrument?

Is there anything like that that heavy or other kinds of violin-strings should break down the instrument?
7
votes
2answers
175 views

cleaning trombone slide where outer slide is under the inner slide

I have been playing for some time, but have never found a good way to clean the inner slide up inside the part where the outer slide is under the metal in first position I've tried tooth picks and ...
5
votes
2answers
188 views

How to disassemble a tuba for cleaning

When I remove the valves of a piston tuba, do I remove the spring also?
4
votes
1answer
383 views

Electric Violin care

I'm a beginner violinist. I'm planning to buy a used electric violin, but I don't know much about them. Is the maintenance for an electric violin the same as with the acoustic one? Any tips on how ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Bass guitar amp power socket issues

I have a rather unusual question. I have a Fender Affinity Jazz Bass starter kit and it comes with a 15W amp - "Rumble 15 Bass Combo Amp". I also have a cat in the house, and every time I don't cover ...
3
votes
1answer
584 views

Is it safe to use silicone spray as valve oil?

I used silicone spray to lubricate my trumpet's pistons. It's easier to spray the lubricant on the valves, but can silicone spray damage my trumpet? What about other general purpose lubricants? I ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Should I oil my woodwinds?

I have a clarinet and a recorder, both made of wood. The clarinet is five and the recorder 25 years old. I just learned that I should oil from David Pino's "The Clarinet and Clarinet Playing". ...
2
votes
2answers
71 views

Instrument self polished from contact with body

My mahogany guitar came unpolished from the factory. After several years of play, certain areas are now quite shiny -- from self-polishing due to contact with my body during play. Especially the back ...
7
votes
1answer
415 views

Should I replace unwound strings on my acoustic guitar as often as the wound ones?

The wound strings wear off quite fast, and start sounding dull even faster, so I replace them quite often. But whenever I do so, I replace the unwound strings as well, even though at that point, they ...
5
votes
1answer
512 views

How to stop my double bass pedals from squeaking?

I have had my double kick pedal for at least a year and a half now and I've started to notice a squeaking when the left pedal is pressed (the slave pedal.) I've tried oiling the bearings and it ...
6
votes
1answer
592 views

Acceptable temperatures for an electric guitar

There are plenty of subjects related to storing a guitar in various conditions, but most talk about exposure to direct sunlight or other notable sources of heat or are a bit vague. My problem is that ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Using bass strings on guitar

Would it be safe to use a 0.065 bass string as a B string(tuned to Bb) on a 7 string guitar with a scale length of 26.5?
10
votes
4answers
352 views

What is a guitar truss rod?

What is the "truss rod" on a guitar? Do truss rods vary for an acoustic, electric, or classical guitar?
2
votes
2answers
68 views

Drumkit maintenance

I was reading questions randomly and this one grabbed my attention: Piano Maintenance Accordingly, you put glasses of water in the piano to help keep the humidity steady, so that its wood lasts ...
6
votes
3answers
167 views

Piano Maintenance

What should be done to maintain an upright piano? I am not asking about tuning it, but what can be done so it does not have to be tuned as often? I heard someone once say about a particular piano ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?

Obviously acoustic and classical guitars don't have external pickups that need to be setup, but are there any other adjustments that need to be done on a regular basis? There doesn't seem to be a ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What am I doing wrong when tuning the violin using a web application?

I don't know anything about violins, and I won't have time for a tutor until much later. When attempting to tune my violin, I was advised to get a digital violin tuner. Alright. But before I go get ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Saxophone sometimes out of tune by nearly a fourth

Our band's saxophonist has a bizzare intermittent fault with his soprano sax (so normally uses his tenor or alto sax). Sometimes it's fine and sings beautifully, but other times it'll be out of tune ...
7
votes
2answers
843 views

What purpose does adjusting the violin bow tension serve?

A violin bow has a screw that allows you to adjust the hairs' tension. Like a tuning peg so to speak. When I just got mine, I didn't pay attention to it. I worked with the tuning pegs because I knew ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Adjusting clarinet or saxophone reeds

How do various techniques and equipments for adjusting reeds compare? e.g. (blade perpendicular strokes) (Tom Ridenour's Tools + ...
5
votes
2answers
516 views

Effect of Rubbing Alcohol Upon Reeds

Apparently it is common to briefly soak reeds in rubbing alcohol to disinfect them. This could be due to sickness, reed-sharing, etc. Any thoughts on how damaging this would be to the cane?
3
votes
1answer
349 views

Is there any PC software that I can use to help edit Roland RD700NX sets/perform maintenance?

I've just downloaded the V2 software for my RD 700NX and see the RD-NX Editor seems to only work on the iPad. I've searched and can't find anything, but does anyone know of any way to edit my ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

12-string acoustic guitar - how do nut and saddle materials affect tone?

I'm doing some work on a 12-string acoustic guitar, and am planning to replace the nut and saddle. I need to raise the action a little bit for the E and B strings, and also want to change to a ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Adding a new pot to my guitar

I am willing to add another tone potentiometer to my guitar and I wanted to know what is the best way to add a hole in the pickguard for the new pot. Is there a dedicated tool for this task? What is ...
19
votes
8answers
12k views

Cleaning the fretboard of an electric guitar

I have had my electric guitar for several years and I noticed that there is some "sweat dirt" on the fretboard of the guitar, so the inlay is less shiny. I'd like to clean that without taking the ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Right way of resting a guitar

While not using or after using, what is the right way of resting a guitar. If I lean it towards a wall, is it right to lean it with the strings facing the walls or otherwise? Is it fine to hang the ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Acoustic guitar damaged by impact. How to repair?

Introduction My acoustic guitar has suffered damage at four locations. It still sounds very good, and it is more than twenty years old. The damage done The different damage locations are pictured ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to Calibrate / Setup an Electric Guitar?

Even with new strings, my guitar makes some sort of buzzing noise on higher strings. I was told it needs to be set up. What are the steps or where can I find a good guide to do this?
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Any issues with restringing a right-handed ukelele to be left-handed?

I know that you wouldn't necessarily jump on doing this on a guitar, but I'm wondering on a fairly inexpensive ukelele if the strings could be reversed without issue.
5
votes
2answers
220 views

Keyboard keys failing.

I have a Roland EM-1B and some keys are failing... I disassembled it, and the sensors are working correctly, even with velocity. If I press them directly with my fingers they work, also in locations ...
5
votes
1answer
528 views

Can playing in cold weather damage a drum set / skins?

My set is in the garage, and now that it's winter, temperatures have been between 10 C and -10 C (50 F and 14 F). Is it OK to play the drums at such low temperatures, or will it cause damage to the ...
1
vote
2answers
922 views

How do I figure out whether my guitar tuning machine heads are failing on me?

What are the symptoms of low quality guitar machine heads? I know it can be the nut that's causing the problem, but besides that, how can I know whether changing the machine heads will help my guitar ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Remove Mouthpiece Tarnish

I have a fifty year old F.E. Olds & Sons Ambassador cornet. It lay unused for 30+ years (it is now oiled and greased properly). There is considerable tarnish on the mouthpiece and on the slides. ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

How do I clean the windway on my recorder?

I have a plastic soprano recorder about ten years old. Over the years its accumulated some dirt or something in the windway. it has a straight windway. What is the best way to clean it out? Could any ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Should I take the weather into account when I replace guitar strings?

I have been told that the strings in a guitar should be replaced at least every six months (I know this can be subjective). I have a classical guitar which has been several years with the same ...