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Guitar set up -where did you learn?

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Hey everyone. I've been playing guitar for 25 years. I have a couple of gibson guitars - amongst others. I have a red Es 335 and a vintage burst 339! I have always trusted my local guitar tech for set up and and minor mods. However, he has now retired and moved away! Ya I know. There is some young kid in the shop now that charges and arm and a leg for his work.


Where did you learn? I've always wanted to take a course...but in the small town I live its just not available. The videos on youtube seem very "standard" and and I havn't found any specific for the two models I mentioned.


Is there a dvd series out there that focuses on the semi hollow set ups and mods? I would love to be able to tweak my own guitars...but I want to learn from someone that knows the es 335 and 339 especially well. I dont want to watch a video on someone setting up a Jem 777 or something like that hahaha!!!


Any links about measurements of string heights relating to string gauges or videos that I would be able to purchase - I would appreciate. Tools needed ...how to use the tools etc...Thanks for your time


take care


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Setting up the action on a 335 or 339 is really no different than on a Les Paul or SG.


I just learned by trial and error. It's very simple to do. I just set it as low as I can get it where it doesn't buzz much. On my SG that's pretty low.


I typically do this during string changes (especially when I have to remove the bridge to open the pickguard or something). I put the high and low e strings on and start adjusting from there (at tension). It's easy to set the low e perfect that way but I usually adjust the treble strings a bit finer afterwards.


Then of course the stopbar just goes as low as possible without having the strings bent over the back of the bridge.


I haven't touched the truss rod though. It's scary...

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Over the years I asked questions and picked things up. I can handle maintaining a setup, but if something changes on one of my guitars a bit too much, I take it to a pro. Some things to check - correctly cut nut (a problem over the last few years with Gibsons - nut slots sometimes not cut deep enough); saddles notched correctly; relief and/or straightness of the neck; level frets; action and/or bridge height; stop height; intonation; pup height.


As R9 said, check out some guides - Dan Erelwine.



Pet peeve -

Nut slots cut too high shows up here from time to time in a question about some strings being out of tune when fretted - particularly 'G'. Symptom - intonation is good, but chords fingered in the first 3 or 4 frets are not in tune - some of the fretted strings are sharp. I've run into enough nut slot problems that I eventually bought a set of nut files for 10s.

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I learned thru lots of research, a little practice. NOW, I do my

own set ups and mods, rebuilds, refinishes, etc.


Over time I started seeing the same questions coming up repeatedly

on a variety of topics. So, I started collecting, organizing, and posting

the links in ONE PLACE for quick access by other forum members.

This was turned into a STICKY by the MODs at the time, so I continue to

update, upgrade, and organize.


I'm a former Gibby owner (3), and a current EPI and others owner.


The STICKY I refer to is in the "EPIPHONE LOUNGE", and is called

the "DO-IT-YOURSELF" Thread. All categories, sub-categories, and links

are contained in the Opening Post.


Epiphone Lounge/"Do-it-Yourself" Sticky:



Regarding Guitar Set-ups, go to EPI "DIY" thread, scroll down to

"Guitar Set-UP/Truss Rod Adjustment" category... There are 6 links to

use/view, perhaps one would be helpful.


The thread was created with the ultimate goal for it to be used by ANYONE

who needs info contained therein. Check it out, LOTS of categories, good for

quick "pit stop" if doing research.

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Ritchie Fliegler's Guide to Guitar & Amp Maintenance showed me all the tricks I've needed over the years. I only give guitars to a luthier for refretting or resetting the neck, because those tools are just too expensive. Setting action & intonation, truss rod adjustment, pickup/pot/switch/jack replacement... garden variety maintenance is easy as a mofo once you put your mind to it and start tinkering.

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Books, Magazines, DVD Tutorial along with Trial and Err. Plus advice from Guitar Forums. I don't mean to sing Fenders Praise on Gibsons site, but Fender has all the Specs and Tips on set ups right on their site. I looked around and couldn't find that here. Henry might want to consider a Specs Page....unless I just couldn't find it, then Nevermind.

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On my own. Trail and Error.


Same here. I was always too broke to pay to have stuff fixed or setup.

I tinkered on my own, asked other players.

There was no internet when I was a kid.

I would go hang out at the guitar shop and ask the repair guy questions and he would sometimes let me watch.

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