Keeping an instrument in playable condition.

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16
votes
4answers
2k views

Acoustic guitar - how to wind strings on the tuning posts

While writing an answer to this question, I did a little web searching and found that the way I was taught 29 years ago to wind the strings isn't necessarily the best. On an acoustic guitar, I tend ...
3
votes
1answer
391 views

Steel-string parlor guitar - effect on tuning stability when changing string gauge?

I have an acoustic guitar that's currently strung with .012 gauge strings. I'd like to change that to lighter strings (around .010) and lower the action a bit. (This is my secondary acoustic, and I'd ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

Correct process for replacing guitar strings

The steps I follow whenever I'm replacing guitar strings come from a diverse set of advices that I got in person, online or whatever, and I never asked any professional about them. I do it like this: ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it okay to sit on guitar combo amplifier?

I just bought a 1x10" Marshall combo guitar amp, and I've read in articles that many guitarists sit on their amps. Is it okay to sit on it? Is there any chance of breaking it as a result?
4
votes
3answers
139 views

Is it a bad idea to attach my strap just above the nut?

This question is mainly for my banjo but it seems to apply to my guitar as well. For me it is most comfortable to have the left end of the strap attached to just above the nut on the neck. Is this a ...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

Do guitar strings wear when not used?

Do strings wear because of the pressure applied to them or any other factor, or do they stay in quite the same shape as long as you don't use them?
21
votes
5answers
19k views

How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?

I think this would be a wonderfully instructive question to people who are new to tube amplifiers. In short, how do I know that it's time to change a tube, and what's a good strategy for figuring out ...
6
votes
3answers
341 views

What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?

Here is the sound I'm talking about. I get this sound, unless I strum ridiculously lightly, on different amp volume settings, with no gain, ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

Dip-polishing silver-nickel keys

I'm working on restoring an old clarinet. The keys are badly tarnished - I've been working on them using a cloth and metal polish, but: It's very time consuming; I'm finding it impossible to get ...
9
votes
6answers
8k views

Do I need to have my guitar re-set up if I change the string gauge

I'm a newbie transitioning to intermediate and I have a rather nice strat with 11 gauge strings. I'd like to try lighter strings but someone told me changing gauge will require the guitar to be re-set ...
5
votes
2answers
98 views

Floyd Rose string tension and action question

I've been playing for quite some time, but have always owned and played non-trem guitars. These days, I'm in a kind of band where some whammy is of great use, so I picked up a Jackson Warrior with a ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

When does a guitar neck bend happen and how to prevent it?

We all know guitar necks bend and it is the worst thing that can happen to a guitarist but I would like to know what all the reasons that can cause it are? Some that I have heard are: (please explain ...
42
votes
16answers
14k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Fix loose bridge saddle screw

One of the bridge height adjustment screws keeps coming loose on my Precision Bass (leftmost screw in the picture). The screw doesn’t feel loose when the height is properly adjusted, but the E saddle ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Guitar's individual bridge saddle intonation cannot be adjusted further

I picked up a cheap (used) guitar on which the intonation was all out of wack. I've followed the instructions in this answer about fixing the intonation using the adjuster screws on the bridge. My ...
6
votes
3answers
210 views

Is it okay if I play guitar/bass with wet fretting hand?

I know to keep a guitar/bass is not to play with wet hands. But, is it okay to play just with fretting hand a bit wet? I'm thinking about the neck, will it affect the tone?
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Guitar making weird noise

I have a normal acoustic Yamaha Guitar (starter version). It was working fine until now (5 months). All of a sudden the 2nd string is making weird noises when picked but only when the 6th string is ...
3
votes
1answer
321 views

String buzzing even after straightening neck from shop

I had my guitar's neck straightened from a shop, the action now is very comfortable as compared to before but I'm still getting buzzing before the 12th frets on all strings but its too much in the G ...
3
votes
4answers
129 views

How can I make my guitar stay in tune when it is unused?

I wonder, when I put my guitar somewhere, without anybody else drop my tuning, the tuning sometimes drop down a bit. How to make the tuning just stick on the right tune? Is there any tips or tricks? ...
18
votes
4answers
1k views

When should I be concerned about calibrating the bias of vacuum tubes in an amplifier?

I think it would be useful to discuss the concept of bias as it pertains to guitar amplifiers. I have read some articles saying that you should always rebias your amplifier when you change the power ...
2
votes
2answers
193 views

Guitar bridge lifting should I take the strings off?

I was about to put my Great Divide acoustic guitar in the back of my car when someone said something to me and I got distracted (you can see where this is going). I then proceeded to back out of my ...
4
votes
1answer
263 views

Can Adjusting the Truss rod of the guitar crack the neck?

I wonder if anyone can help me here. I bought a used guitar from Ebay and it looked fine at first sight. The action needed adjusting and I tune to Eb so I decided to adjust the truss-rod. I turned it ...
12
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
61 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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
120 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?
48
votes
18answers
5k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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
273 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
879 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

How to remove all traces of rosin from a bow ?

I saw once the case of a beginner violinist that turned out to be allergic to a specific type of rosin that came with his student violin outfit. Another hypoallergenic rosin was purchased and they ...
6
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

My guitar sounds off tune

Lately, I noticed that my excellent acoustic guitar is always sounding off tune even when I have tuned it with keyboard and even electronic tuner. Another thing I noticed is that when I play the ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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). ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

How to accurately intonate a 3 saddle telecaster?

I have a traditional 3 saddle telecaster bridge. With two strings on each saddle my intonation is always a slight compromise. This is OK on the first four strings, but the bass strings are noticeably ...
17
votes
8answers
11k views

What is intonation and how can I find out if my guitar has correct intonation?

What is intonation? What is the best way to check my intonation and fix it if necessary?
10
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
574 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
4answers
9k views

What are the repercussions of using really thick gauge strings on my electric guitar?

I have a Jackson King V JS32T electric guitar in blue, see the linked text for specs and the look of it. Anyway, it came with 0.09-0.42 strings and I've been using 0.13-0.56's on it for a little ...
5
votes
3answers
4k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

How to disassemble a tuba for cleaning

When I remove the valves of a piston tuba, do I remove the spring also?
3
votes
11answers
6k views

Strange guitar warble sound

I have a Jackson Dinky DK2M with two Seymour Duncan Humbucker pickups and a floyd rose tremolo on it. It is producing a strange `warble' noise on G string, especially on higher frets like 12th, 15th, ...
4
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
196 views

Valiha maintenance

I recently got my hands on a valiha (an string instrument from Madagascar) which seems quite old, despite still working. I would have loved to change the strings since they seem a little bit old, but ...
2
votes
3answers
131 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
6k views

Cleaning a tarnished flute

My flute is tarnished and needs to be cleaned... I was afraid if I polished it, I would break something on it. I read online that it's a bad idea to remove tarnish on a flute yourself as you can ruin ...
3
votes
1answer
294 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 ...