Thursday, November 20, 2008

(Review) WIRED: Guitar Care + Repair DVD

I received the two items I ordered today...

  1. "Rock House Wired: Guitar Care + Repair" (DVD)
  2. "Edly's Music Theory for Practical People". (Paperback)
I am going to review the Rock House product today, seeing as I watched the DVD today. Other products purchased in the past won't be reviewed until I am through with them obviously! LOL

I will start the "Music Theory" book tomorrow, since today I concentrated on watching this DVD 3 times. Just to make sure I had what it needed to tell me down! :-)

I will go over an outline first, then add my comments after you get the initial rundown.

When you look through "bonus features" area, (which I always do first.) you will see a short overview from John McCarthy on Basic Maintenance, which covers the following areas:

Guitar Care

  • Changing Your Strings
  • String Care
  • Effects of Humidity
  • Travel & Storage
There is also a section there for Bass Care
  • Changing Your Strings
  • Minor Adjustments
  • Truss Rod
  • Travel & Storage
But that did not apply to me, but I am sure it will for many others who play that particular instrument.

The main content of the DVD discusses these areas after an introduction:
  • Parts of the Guitar
Guitar Setup
  • Guitar Set-Up (Why & When)
  • Cleaning & Polishing
  • Cleaning the Electronics
  • Neck Adjustment/Truss Rod (Intro & Electric Truss Rod)
  • Neck Adjustment
  • Truss Rod (Acoustic)
  • The Nut
  • String Gauge/Adjusting the Nut
  • Action
  • Intonation
  • Pickup Height
Specific Overview
  • Tremelo
Diagnosing Problems
  • Humidity
  • Fret Repair & Replacement
  • Bowed Neck
  • Braces, Body Buzz & Bindings
Common Acoustic Problem
  • The Bridge/Lifting
Upgrade Overview
  • Upgrading Parts
Repair & Upgrade Parts
  • Input Jack
  • Changing Pickups
  • Pots
  • Upgrading a Switch
The DVD is hosted by Joe Palombo with the instruction coming from Guitar Luthier Ken Nash from Guitar Mechanic, in New London, Ct.

If you are a beginner like myself, someone who has little to no experience with a guitar, then this DVD IS A MUST HAVE! I can honestly say that the info I received on this DVD not only answered many questions that I had yet to ask, but filled in a lot of gaps in areas that I was going to inquire about later on. Again, if you are at "ground zero" like myself, you can't live without this, you will not regret it.

Most of the information provided here applies to the electric guitar, which is ok for me, because even though I started with an acoustic, I will be moving to an electric one day, so it is good to have all this info UP FRONT before my purchase. And this is going to make my decision as to which electric to buy, a much better informed one as well.

Ken makes it clear that many of the things that need to be done repair wise when needing to be done to an acoustic, should be done by a Luthier, and I agree with him wholeheartedly after seeing this DVD. Many of the things discussed require special tools, and special training when needing to be done to an acoustic. But for the electric owner, the tips and instruction provided here will save much time and money when you see that they can be done by you.

So what did I learn?
  1. I now know what "Action" is.
  2. I now know what "Intonation" is.
  3. I need to do more cleaning & polishing then I am doing now.
  4. I now know how important neck adjustment is.
  5. Changing the gauge of strings requires a very important change in the nut.
  6. I now see how that Tremelo really works.
  7. I need to be very diligent about keeping an eye on the changes in the guitar as time marches on. Many repairs are inevitable over time, and require you to keep a look out for them as the part begin to wear.
  8. Each part of the guitar plays a very important role in the whole.
  9. Repairs and upgrades can make a big difference, and there is no reason why you can't do some of them yourself, which will get you a little more personally bonded to the instrument over time, when you personally get to know every nook and cranny yourself.
  10. If you are unsure about doing any of the repairs, you will always be better off taking the instrument to a Luthier.
  11. Be sure to always consult the guitar manufacturer for any specs, recommendations, suggestions, and instructions that they might offer, that they have found works well with their particular product. This DVD is great, and is indeed a must have, but never keep the guitar maker, or part makers opinion out of the loop, because no one know their product, better than they do!
And... As with ALL Rock House DVD's, you get a free membership to their lesson support area at the website, with has more additional information, lessons, backing tracks, and every possible resource up the wazoo!

I haven't gotten much practice in today, because of the amount of time I spent with the DVD throughout the day, but I will be getting some in tonight! That F major Open Chord is calling my name, but like Judas says... "If you think I'll let it go your mad, you got another thing coming!"


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