I had been playing guitar for almost 20 years before I really sat down and figured out everything I needed to know in doing a proper guitar set up. Intonation, neck and truss rod adjustments, setting up the action on the fingerboard, trem set up and all that stuff. I always just took my guitars into the local shop and had it done for me.
That’s all fine and good but after 19 years, I figured that it was time.
The first thing I did was did some looking into what tools and supplies I would need to get started. I settled on the Gigmate Guitar Tool Kit because it was not only fairly reasonable priced at less than $30, it had all the tools I would need, but it had some great reviews too! It also has this cool “Trem Poker” tool to help get strings out of your trem when/if they get stuck while changing strings (i don’t know about you but I have had problems where the ball end of a string gets stuck in there and can be a pain to get free – this tool is great for this!)
The next thing I needed were some gauges. This is what I picked up:
1. String action gauge: Estone String Action Gauge Ruler Guide Setup Guitar Measuring Fork Bass Luthier Tool
2. Radius Gauges (set of 9):
3. Guitar Neck Straight Edge
One thing that I haven’t purchased yet but it is on my list is a mat for doing the work – one of the ones that holds that guitars neck up so that it is easy to work on:
But this Planet Waves Guitar Headstand, which is just a prop for your neck is a helluva lot cheaper so I might go with it instead:
Finally, I had to teach myself how to actually do it. Well, I did some searching online looking for free resources and there are some good ones out there. However, I wanted something that offered a little more. I ended up finding the Learn & Master Guitar Setup And Maintenance 3-Dvd Set which ended up being a little pricey but definitely worth it considering it is going to cost you about the same amount just to get your set up done at your local shop.