To repair an acoustic guitar you first have to inspect all parts of the instrument, including the belly, neck, fingerboard, bridge and even the insides to determine what adjustments you'll need to make. Troubleshoot your guitar with the aid of this free video on instrument tuning and maintenance.
Hi, I'm Ryan Lynn of East Side Guitar Repair in Portland, Oregon, and today I'm going to show you how to evaluate the condition and playability of an acoustic steel string guitar in case you need a repair done. When evaluating an acoustic steel string guitar, there's some obvious things that you can look for right on first inspection. You just want to give it a good quick look over to see if there's anything obvious like cracks or broken head stocks, anything like that that kind of sticks out. Next thing I'll do is I'll look to see if there is any air gap underneath the bridge. If the bride is coming up, you might need to have it reglued or have it replaced. Then what I'll do is I'll look at the belly of the instrument. I'll see if there's excessive belly, what's called belly right here. If it's really excessive, that's a sign that there's some bracing issues and that those will need to be addressed, and also you can see if there's a scoop right here, where this sags down. That's another telltale sign. Then, next, I'll sight down the neck to make sure that the trajectory of the neck is good. If I see that the neck is angled and that the end of the fingerboard looks like it's going into the top I might not want to buy this guitar. I want to see the trajectory of the fingerboard of the edge of the fingerboard, go to about the top of the bridge. Next I'll check relief. I do that by fretting the first fret and fretting the twelfth fret with my thumb and I look at the gap in between the sixth fret and the bottom of the, the bottom of the string. I want to see about the thickness of a business card in between the string and the fret. This one has good relief. Next I'll check the condition of the nut in the saddle. The nut on this one looks good and the saddle on this one is chipped. I'm going to have this one replaced. Then I'll check the tuners. I'll just make sure that they're nice and smooth and that they tune correctly. After I've done all that I want to inspect the inside of the guitar. I do that by taking an inspection mirror which you can get at a local hardware store and a flashlight and I'll look inside the guitar to see if there's anything obvious, excessive bridge plate wear, broken braces, loose braces, loose curfing, anything like that. There's nothing telltale about this guitar so it looks pretty good. And then I will check for fret wear. I'll make sure that the frets aren't excessively worn or pitted. Then I'll go ahead and play through the guitar, usually up and down the neck just to make sure that there's no buzzy frets or that the guitar plays in tune. So then, I'll just go ahead and do a general play through. I'm Ryan Lynn of East side Guitar Repair, and thanks for watching.