What does ‘Setting Up’ my guitar actually mean?



Asked by: Stacie Naber

A guitar setup is a series of adjustments made to an electric or an acoustic guitar to ensure proper health and playability, and is considered “basic maintenance”. Performing a setup addresses changes a guitar goes through over time and returns it to its proper condition.

Why does a guitar need to be set up?





Whether you’re a regular player or not, your guitar will still need a regular setup because the wood of the guitar can still be temperamental even if you don’t play it that often. Professional players tend to face different problems because they’re playing their guitars so often.

How do you tell if your guitar needs a set up?

There are several telltale signs that a guitar is in need of a set-up. If the intonation is off, the action is too high, the guitar buzzes when you fret a note, strings stop vibrating and buzz as you bend them, frets feel sharp, or neck appears warped, then your guitar definitely needs a set-up.

How should a guitar be set up?

Some steps to a basic setup:

  1. Play your instrument. Plug it in and play. …
  2. Evaluate the Neck and Truss Rod Adjustment. …
  3. Adjust Bridge/Saddle Height. …
  4. Check the Nut. …
  5. Check electronics. …
  6. Remove Strings, Tape off Pickups, Polish Frets, and Oil the Fretboard. …
  7. Clean and fix any electronic issues. …
  8. Restring.

How often does your guitar need a setup?

How often should a guitar be set up? A guitar should be set up twice a year. Every guitar can be subject to small changes over time, and if overlooked, these changes only become worse and worse, negatively impacting your playing and enjoyment.

Should all new guitars be set up?





Unless the buyer is extraordinarily fortunate, the answer is always “yes” and a new guitar can need more doing than one that’s been previously set up. Most guitars are made to a price and budget instruments just don’t have the time spent on them to make them play as well as they can.

How much does it cost to setup a guitar?

Prices vary drastically by city, state and country. In America, the average rate for a setup seems to run between $50-$75 USD. This is quite a small price to pay to make sure your guitar is in good condition.

How long does it take to set up a guitar?

A set-up takes 1hr tops…even if there are customers ahead of you this makes no sense. I wouldn’t go to them again. If you’ve never heard of GOOGLE them. Once a guitar has had one good setup it is easy to make basic adjustments yourself such as relief in the neck, intonation and playing action.

Do new acoustic guitars need setup?

In theory, all acoustic guitars should be set up perfectly when they leave the factory – however – in our experience, very few of the guitars delivered to our shop arrive in this condition.

Are guitar setups worth it?

Regardless of the value of your guitar it needs a professional quality setup to play properly. A proper setup will help you to get the most from your practice time and best results when playing. You will find it easier to play, and because the tone is accurate you’ll be able to tell how much you are improving.



Will Guitar Center set up my new guitar?

Yes, Guitar Center will setup your guitar for you for about 40ish bucks.

Do electric guitars need to be set up?

Is an electric guitar setup necessary? Yes, an electric guitar setup is necessary. Whether you play many gigs per month or just practice at home, a setup should maintain the best characteristics of the instrument flourishing and sound better than ever.

How do I set up my electric guitar?

It's time to make the adjustment to flatten the neck to create less of a gap. First loosen tension on the neck by the tuning the guitar. It's a good idea to mark. The truss rod.