Hopefully you have kept an eye out (or two) for the announcement of the launch of STEVE SOEST’S section of the blog called “KEEPIN IT REAL” which will have all kinds of GREAT “REAL LIFE” GUITAR INFO that YOU CAN PUT TO USE.

Well, the day has arrived!  The stars and the planets have aligned and the only thing found written in the works of Nostradamus is that he said,”Keepin’ It Real” will be VERY COOL.” Thanks, Nostry!!!

I have always thought in the back of my mind (“cheese and onions“) that if I had ever had the darkening of the horizon soaked up by the spherical bodies within my orbits (the viewing sockets of my facial melon), I could always play the blues under the moniker “Blind Lemon Jackson” or even more pertinent to the situation, “Blind Melon Jackson”, especially at the rate the hair continues to fall off the top of my noggin. Fortunately the day has arrived without me having to keep any eyes out for it. “KEEPIN’ IT REAL” IS HERE AND ALL IS GOOD.

Welcome to KEEPIN’ IT REAL. This area of the blog will deal with just that, the art of keepin’ it real like the title says in Jacktalk. Some HOW TO VIDEOS will also be a part of this section as well as resources for you to check out later.

Jackaboutguitars is extremely pleased to announce The PREMIER ISSUE by the (wait for it) “LEGENDARY STEVE SOEST” who will be fielding your questions about guitars in his new column “KEEPIN’ IT REAL” right here on Jackaboutguitars.

Your questions can be emailed to Steve via: [email protected]

Chris Pilcher of Oregon wrote in and asks:

Really enjoyed your article about Steve Soest. Great to hear that this will be a continuing exchange. Can’t even begin to imagine the lessons he has learned throughout his career. Would love to get some advice about general guitar set-up. Without taking away clients of course ;)

Soooo… Steve, do you have any advice about order of set-up. For example, do you intonate before or after you adjust string height? When do you adjust the neck in this process as well, before or after adjusting height at the bridge?

Hey Chris – Thanks for your interest and question! I do have a preferred sequence of adjustments when it comes to setting up a guitar or bass.

The first thing I do when the client arrives with the instrument is to do an in-hand inspection, look it over, plug it in and test it (if it’s an electric), then ask the owner several questions regarding problems he’s experiencing with the instrument, his playing style, string gauge, tunings, what his expectations are, etc.

At that point there’s usually a discussion regarding the laws of physics as related to the guitar in general, and I’ll make some suggestions as to what I think needs to be done to make the guitar healthy again.

When the instrument makes it on to my bench, I’ll look it over once again, make some measurements if necessary, and then remove the old strings. The tuning machines are inspected, lubed ( if necessary) and the tuner bushings are tightened (if it has die-cast tuners). From there, I’ll clean and lube the control pots, align and tighten the nuts if they’re loose, burnish the switch contacts, making sure the switch nuts are tight, and then clean and lube the input jack and tighten the nut , making sure it’s aligned properly so there’s no resistance when the cable is plugged in.

The next step is to inspect the frets and fingerboard. If the frets are worn or uneven ( causing string buzz) I’ve probably already suggested to the customer that the guitar needs a complete fret dress. If not, I’ll clean (and hydrate/oil) the fingerboard and clean or buff the frets.

Next, the guitar gets re-strung with the gauge of choice, and the string are thoroughly

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