I’d love to tell you that the way this guitar (a Fender CD-60) looks is because of me but I would be lying. These are the before pictures, for there are people who don’t just play the instrument but keep it squeaky clean too.
This is a return customer and even on his first visit I had complimented him on how clean he kept his guitar. He had murmured, ‘I try’.
This time around the instrument was in for new strings, a nut change, a new strap button and general maintenance.
Also, the owner complained of a buzz on the ‘B’ string in the 3rd or the 4th fret.
As soon as I heard that I felt like exclaiming, ‘Aa-ha!!!’ but that wouldn’t have been very correct. It would have been like you taking a sick relative to a doctor and he exclaiming ‘Aa-ha!!!’
April and May are the two driest months of the year – at least in these parts of Uttar Pradesh – and the season demands that acoustics be given love, attention, and a drink of water. Even as you are reading this, check the relative humidity. I bet it is between 20% and 35%.
However, for an acoustic guitar to stay in ship shape, the humidity inside the body of the guitar must read between 45% and 55%!
A few days after I worked on this instrument, I began getting calls from prior customers about odd string buzzes that they had not experienced before. I am afraid that soon there’s going to be a string of instruments that will need similar buzzes addressed!
Shall I let you in on a little secret? Even electric guitars get affected by the lack of humidity, but since they have solid bodies, that effect often tends to escape notice.
Anyway, I changed the nut on the guitar and the buzz disappeared, so, it wasn’t the humidity that was the devil in this guitar. And since it got a new nut, I decided to give it a quick set-up too, by adjusting the height of the saddle, so that the action was really comfortable.
The strap button was simple enough: mark, drill and screw on the new button.
However, the owner wished to retain the original strap button too. I asked him again whether I should remove the original one on the shoulder of the guitar but he did not want me to.
So, this instrument left the Garage wearing two strap buttons!
And that is just me, admiring the guitar before I threw on the strings. It got these
Checking with the owner about the health of the guitar a few days ago (as I generally do), I was happy to learn that the owner was very happy with the way it was playing. I think he replied to my message saying, “Probably the best action I’ve had on it so far”!
P.S.: It’s Sunday and I thought before I make this post public, it would be a good idea to check the humidity once. Here is what I saw, and it’s marked in red!