What a setup can do for your guitar (and why it’s important)
Performing a setup simply means making adjustments to your guitar so that it plays optimally. Many times, when you pick up a guitar off the shelf of a music store (or from a friend), it’s difficult to play for various reasons. The strings might be way too high off the fretboard. The intonation may be off so the guitar won’t play in tune all the way up and down the neck. The pickups may be too far away or too close to the strings, causing them to be unbalanced.
A setup will correct these issues through a few simple adjustments. Once set up properly, your guitar will…
- Be at it’s optimum level of playability due to the string action and neck relief. It’s important to note, however, that not all guitars are created equal. Some guitars will play at a higher level than others due to many factors including quality of materials, level of craftsmanship, etc. But most all mass-manufactured guitars these days are made well enough to play pretty nicely.
- Be intoned and play in tune across the entire neck.
- Be balanced in output as you switch pickup positions.
- Achieve greater longevity. Keeping your guitar set up properly will increase it’s lifespan and help prevent things like neck warping.
Finally – it’s also important that you go through these steps in order. Each step builds off one another, and doing them out of order will cause your guitar to be set up improperly.