When you bring your fretted instrument to Fret Boss Guitar Works, we will discuss how we can make your instrument the best it can be for you personally.
If you’re comfortable doing so, I will ask you to play for me so I can better determine how to properly set up your individual instrument for your personal style. If you’re not comfortable playing for others, that’s no problem. We will look at a range of options to improve the performance of your musical instrument and determine together the plan of action that is best for you.
The following should give you a general idea of what I can do for your fretted instruments. My goal is always to make your instrument play as well as it possibly can for you personally.
Customized Set Ups & Basic Repairs:
Guitars, mandolins, bass guitars, banjos—even expensive ones—often come out of the factory in less than optimal playing condition. A set-up job makes a huge difference in playability, especially when it’s personalized to make it right for your playing style. This can include things like adjustments to the saddle height, truss rod, nut slot height, pick-up height and other fine tuning operations.
These are basic set-up techniques for when the instrument is in good mechanical condition. From there, we move on to the next level of what can make guitars really play right—predictable repairs, primarily fret work. Instruments often come from the factory with less than ideal fret planes (the level of the frets) and, over time, playing will cause the frets to wear unevenly. Often, instruments can be greatly improved by milling the existing frets to a level plane, thus allowing for a lower action without fret buzz or dead notes.
Deeper Guitar Repair:
Stringed instruments are under constant stress, experiencing in the neighborhood of 150 lbs. of pull when strung up to pitch. Inevitably over time, bridges pull up, necks warp, braces come loose—these are predictable stress injuries. The next level of guitar repair includes fret replacement (a “re-fret”), neck repair, fret board leveling, regluing loose braces and bridges, repairing cracks… I could go on.
Helping Instruments Recover from Traumatic Events:
A cave man in a bar sits on your mandolin. Your rock star bass player uses your telecaster to beat down a hotel wall. Your child uses your ’57 Les Paul for a boat paddle. Your Grandpa left a 1938 D-18 in the attic for twenty summers. Your two-year-old mistakes your banjo for a kettle drum. These things happen and may require major surgery. However, a full recovery is usually possible.
Professional disclaimer: All the set up and fine tuning in the world will not make a difference unless you pick up your instrument and practice!!