It is always such a pleasure to know that not all people owning classical guitars (slotted headstocks and nylon strings) bought the instrument by mistake.
90% of classical guitars that come to me are people wanting an ‘upgrade’ – steel strings instead of nylon and other such. They wish to sling the guitar over their shoulders and rock out. It takes a lot of patient talking for them to realise that what they own is an altogether different beast from the one they were dreaming of owning.
And so, it is a pleasure when a person comes along who knows exactly how to hold a classical guitar, how to play it and what to play on it.
One such young man landed up at the Lucknow Guitar Garage with a peculiar problem. He had the strings in place but somehow, the saddle had dropped out and had gone missing! That was a new one, even for me.
And, of course, there were other minor irritants: the string ends on the headstock could have been a whole lot neater.
The guitar itself could have been a lot cleaner – the black spots that you see (if you can), are basically dirt deposited on the top of the guitar.
And, of course, the fretboard was a filth dump!
Also, the owner wished for the action on the first fret to come down: so, it was basically a set-up and clean-up job.
With the strings off, I went to work and it is truly amazing to realise how a little bit of time and some elbow grease can make your guitar look like a totally different instrument.
Then came the harder bit of fitting bone in the saddle slot. The saddle blank was a whole lot taller and wider than the slot. Incremental reductions in both dimensions left the saddle standing exactly where I needed it to be.
A fresh set of strings and all was well with the world, only except I broke a string!!!
The owner was quite forgiving though and said he had already ordered a fresh set of strings online. He was happy with where the action sat with the five strings.