Guitar Repairs You Shouldn't Attempt Yourself - dummies

Guitar Repairs You Shouldn’t Attempt Yourself

By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell

At some point, every instrument, including the guitar, requires some kind of repair. Although you can fix a wide variety of guitar problems yourself, some repairs always require a qualified repairperson to fix (assuming that anyone can repair them at all). The most common of these are

  • Fixing finish cracks.

  • Repairing dings and scratches that are severe and go through the finish to the wood.

  • Filing worn frets: If frets start to develop grooves or crevices, they need a pro to file or replace them.

  • Fixing pickup failure or weakening: If one pickup is seriously out of balance with another, you have possible magnetic damage to the pickup itself, or one of the electronic components in a pickup fails.

  • Fixing dirty volume and tone knob connections: If vigorously turning the knobs back and forth no longer eliminates the crackle, the pots need professional cleaning.

  • Solving grounding problems: You’ve checked the cavity and no wires are loose, but you still have inordinate noise problems.

  • Fixing severe neck distortion, such as twisting or severe bowing.

  • Healing injuries and breakages, such as the nut, fingerboard, or headstock.

  • Refinishing or restoring your guitar’s wood: Don’t even get near your guitar’s finish with a sander or wood chemicals.

  • Rewiring your electronics: You decide, say, to replace your five-way with on/off switches, install a coil-tap and phase-reversal switch if any two adjacent pickups are active, plus insert a presence-boost knob in place of the second volume control . . . . Are you sure you don’t just want to buy a new electric guitar?

If you have any anxiety about performing any repair or maintenance routine, take the guitar to a repairperson. A repairperson can tell you whether the problem is something you can fix yourself and maybe even show you how to do it correctly the next time the problem occurs. You’re much better off being safe (and out a couple bucks) than taking a chance of damaging your guitar.