5 Reasons You Should DIY Your Own Guitar Repairs
Looking to DIY Your Own Guitar Repairs ? At first glance the guitar might look like an incredibly complicated tool, with so many precisely aligned elements, electronics, and complex parts, you might feel it’s better to just always head to your local music store and have their tech work on it.
But if you take the time to learn a bit more about your instrument’s components and how they all fit together, there is a tremendous amount of maintenance and repairs you can perform by yourself, with just a couple of inexpensive and easily-accessible tools.
These are things you really shouldn’t be afraid of, so today we’ve put together a list of our top 5 reasons why absolutely anyone can DIY their own guitar repairs.
Maintenance: A few tools goes a long way
The guitar has many elements that need to work in sync and in sequence with each other, the neck needs the right amount of relief, then the string height needs to be set based on that, and then the intonation can be set once the action is correct.
These kinds of things slip over time and need re-aligning. But they are considered pretty basic maintenance tasks that usually need to be performed on a guitar every 6 months or so.
With just a little bit of learning and some basic tools, this is something you can perform yourself at home in under an hour which will, over the course of years, save you a tremendous amount of money by removing the need to pay someone else to do it.
So what do you need?
With just a simple phillips head screwdriver, some small allen wrenches, a ruler, a truss rod adjustment tool (many of which are simple allen wrench adjustments these days), and some basic cleaning supplies such as lemon oil or guitar polish, you will be equipped to both set up and maintain your guitar for years to come.
There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to set up and maintain your instrument at home, we encourage you to read a few to get an idea of what the process looks like before trying your hand at it. But there is no need to worry as anyone can do it! You will DIY Your Own Guitar Repairs in no time!
While not considered a part of a typical guitar setup, oftentimes guitars will need some kind of work performed to its electronics, whether it be a broken volume knob, an input jack stops working, or a simple solder joint has come off.
Working with guitar electronics doesn’t require any special skills or training, with nothing but a screwdriver (to remove the backplate) and a soldering iron you have enough to be able to fix or replace all the common electronic issues that crop up with the guitar.
If you’ve never spent time with a soldering iron before we do recommend looking up some basic guides online and practicing a little with any bits of spare wire you have lying around. But again don’t worry, it’s not difficult!
Ordering replacement parts such as a broken volume knob or input jack is very easy too, it’s not like Apple where distributors only want to deal with licensed stores and dealers. A quick google search for the part you need will no doubt throw up a number of stores selling the exact part which you can order directly to your home.
Replacing, fixing and filing guitar nuts
The nut of the guitar can often cause some issues, it’s not unheard of for them to break. Over time the pressure and friction of the strings can wear the groove too deep to where it causes action and buzzing problems. Sometimes gunk and debris builds up in there and it just needs a good clean.
It’s also quite common for people to want to use a thicker gauge of strings only to find the nut slot hasn’t been filed out wide enough.
Regardless of what the issue is, this is something that with the smallest bit of research and training anyone can fix by themselves. The only tools you will require are a thin file (or set of small thin files that fit the thickness you need for each string) and some masking tape to ensure you’re not accidentally filing off anything you shouldn’t be!
In the worst case scenario that the nut has been broken and needs replacing, they are readily available to order online, your local music store might even have one that fits in stock.
Loose strap buttons
The strap buttons on a guitar take a tremendous amount of punishment, the entire weight of the guitar hangs on just those two contact points so of course over time they will take some wear.
Now nine times out of ten all you need is a phillips head screwdriver to re-tighten the strap button screw. But if you find it’s coming loose again and again it means the screw isn’t getting enough bite into the wood, which means it needs to be addressed soon, or you may well find your guitar suddenly falling to its death mid-performance as the strap button fails.
Anyone can do this, you just need to remove the strap button and re-fill the hole with a small piece of hardwood and some wood glue. Any hardwood dowel is great for this. Once it’s dried you can re-screw the strap button in and it’ll have some solid bite into the wood and be secure once more!
This is probably the easiest form of repair anyone can do, many pieces of hardware on the guitar from tuners, tremolo saddles, screws, backplates, whammy bars, you name it! Can all easily be ordered online.
These won’t commonly break, but if they do, don’t be so quick to hand the guitar over to a store, oftentimes they are only attached with simple screws and there’s no reason why you can’t just go and order a new one and replace it yourself.
Of course, there are still things that we recommend you don’t do yourself such as replacing frets or serious structural repairs. But the majority of general maintenance is very doable and we hope you have fun getting a bit more intimate with your instruments!
Photo by Simon Weisser on Unsplash