Magazine article Guitar Player

Gary Brawer on Maintenance: Get Some Balance in Your Life

Magazine article Guitar Player

Gary Brawer on Maintenance: Get Some Balance in Your Life

Article excerpt

IT CAN BE CHALLENGING enough to find the notes you want to play without your neck being a moving target. Most players at one time or another have had the experience of a neck-heavy guitar. As you are playing, you find you have to hold the neck up with your fretting hand while simultaneously trying to squeeze the guitar up with your picking arm. That is not always possible--and no fun--so here are some tricks you can try to elevate your guitar neck.

I remember in the early days putting fishing weights, chunks of brass, or anything heavy in the control cavity--if the guitar had one--to offset the weight of the neck. I've also drilled large holes along the lower rear side of the instrument and filled them with brass or steel rods--definitely not for everyone, Once I drilled a hole under the rear strap button and glued in a large dowel of brass, then tapped the strap button into that. The same idea on the neck-side strap button can be done but I leave the brass (or whatever material I use) sticking out a little bit to help with the balance.

Another thing you can try is moving the strap buttons around. The results are hard to predict without actually doing it, but here are a couple of ideas. If you're willing to drill a hole, look for the spot on the back or side of the instrument that is the farthest out towards the neck. I have had some luck carefully taping the strap where I think may work before permanently drilling. If there are any existing screws like neck bolts or larger screws that happen to be where you want to try out a strap button, use those first. …

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