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Learn to set up your own guitar

Setting up a guitar doesn't mean returning the instrument to the brand's specifications. It has much more to do with the person playing it than the guitar itself; it's a careful balancing act of string tension, truss rod relief, neck angle, saddle height, and a dozen other variables that affect how the instrument responds to a player's touch. A good setup is more about meeting the needs of the player, than getting the instrument to look like it did when it left the factory.  

So, who better to set up your guitar than you?


Next Class: 03/06/2019, 7pm @ IVAKOTA

What You’ll learn

This class is designed for the playing, teaching, and gigging electric guitarist— if you play more hours a day than you sleep, and the only time your guitar sees the inside of its case is when you’re carrying it to the next gig, this class is for you. We’re going to go over the basic setup techniques to keep your electric guitar in fighting shape.

  • Cleaning, maintaining, repairing, and replacing hardware: A love story

    Electric guitar strings tuned to E Standard on a 26”-scale neck carry well over 100 pounds of tension. As such, the hardware that holds the guitar together needs to be kept up on a regular basis to prevent components falling apart.

  • The balancing act

    Between the truss rod relief, nut slots, neck angle, bridge height, and saddle distance, there are lots of moving parts in setting up a guitar, and lots of potential for wrong turns. The trick to making the guitar work for the player is in the step-by-step process of balancing all the components together. There’s no secrets— just physics.

  • Dialing it in

    Balancing components is one thing, but it’s something entirely different to get the sound you have in your head to come out of the amp. The best place to start is with a guitar that’s set up to your own preferences. We’ll go over string choices, pickup heights, potentiometer and capacitor values, and hardware replacement. Understanding the balancing process is the first step. The rest is entirely up to you.


Sign Up

Admission for this class is a $50 suggested donation, upon signup while availability remains.

The next class will be held at Ivakota, on Wednesday, March 6th 2019, from 7pm to 10pm. If you’re interested in attending this class, kindly fill out the fields below.


This class is more of a hands-on lecture with live examples than a repair-along workshop— While we’ll have the chance to take some guitars as “volunteers” from the attendees, it’s going to be tough to complete a full setup on each instrument in-class.

Participation, however, will be required from all attendees. Everyone in the room is going to get the chance to replace a solder joint, adjust a truss rod, dress a fret end, and file a nut.

Sign up, bring your guitar, ask some questions, and share some knowledge.


For all queries, contact