The Go Far Guitar Newsletter is sent out periodically by email to Go Far Guitar students and anyone who requests to receive it. The purpose of the newsletter is to keep the reader up to date with school specials, events and other useful information. Below are some of the articles found in past newsletters. If you want to receive this free newsletter go to the Contact page of this web site, type in your contact information and write "Send me your newsletter" in the questions or comments box. We will send it to you as soon as possible.
How To Fix Those Pesky Strap Buttons! A lot of guitars and bass guitars are made of light woods like ash. Since it is the strap button's job to hold the instrument's weight plus the weight of your arms pressing on it, a strap button that is loose or that pops out entirely can be a fairly common occurrence, and annoying to say the least. Here is a simple way to repair it that will cost you almost nothing. If the strap button has not fallen out already, loosen the screw in the center of it and remove the strap button. Take a close look at the screw and if it is stripped or bent, it is best to replace it. Then, get yourself a couple of wooden toothpicks and cut them in half. Take some wood glue and thin it out a little with a few drops of water. Coat the tooth picks with the glue and place them into the screw hole on the instrument you are repairing. Be sure to press them in securely. Using something flat like a guitar pick to push with can help. Let this dry, preferably overnight. Once dry, place the screw through the strap button and then coat the threads with a little soap. Gently screw the button back on to the instrument and that should fix it! Put on a strap and see how it holds.
Electric Guitar Teacher's Starving Musician Trick #101 While we are on the subject of strap buttons, are you getting frustrated from your strap slipping off the strap button on your guitar, but you do not want to spend a lot of money on a set of strap locks? Well then, try this very inexpensive alternative. Put the strap on the strap button like you normally would, then take one of those square plastic bread tie thingies that are used to keep a loaf of bread inside its plastic bag, and push it on to the strap button over the strap. You may need to try several types of these plastic squares until you find one that fits snugly. OK, I admit that it looks goofy, but it still works pretty well and it is substantially better than having your guitar tumble to the floor in a middle of a solo!
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How To Change Your Guitar Strings the Best Way
Your guitar strings need to be changed about every three to six months. Changing your strings yourself is easy if you know the steps. Here are some guidelines for most steel string acoustic and electric guitars.
First, (obviously) you will need to take the old strings off. If the strings you are replacing still have some life to them, unwrap them from the tuning pegs, disconnect them from the bridge, coil each string into a circle and save them as a temporary replacement should one of the new strings break. If the strings you are replacing are beyond help, you can loosen them enough to relieve the tension and then cut them with wire cutters for faster string removal.
Once the strings are off it is an great time to clean your instrument. Ideally, use guitar polish and a soft rag, though some folks think furniture polish works just as well. When you turn the instrument upside down to clean the back make sure parts of the bridge or the nut don?t fall off! On some instruments they will.
Once the guitar is clean, thread a new string through the bridge and up the neck through the eye hole of the tuning peg. Make sure you are using the correct string. Especially with electric strings the first three strings can look very similar. Leave a little bit of slack. Wind the string in a counter-clockwise direction just enough so that the string begins to coil and then take the excess string back in the opposite direction and pull the end of the string up under the string. This holds the string in place as you tighten it. Now tighten the string in a counter-clockwise direction until taught. Using a string winder will save you loads of time. Continue the process until all of the strings are replaced. Watch your eyes around all those string ends poking up in the air!
Now tune the instrument using a comparative pitch or tuner. Pinch a string with your fingers and thumb and then very carefully and with very little force, pull the string a little bit away from the neck to stretch it out. Do this with all of the strings and then retune the instrument.
Now that you know you have all the new strings in the right place, either coil the end of the string into a tight circle or cut the excess off with wire cutters. If you decide to cut off the excess, leave about a quarter of an inch and use needle-nose pliers to point the end tip downward toward the instrument. It is really easy to puncture your fingertip on one of those string ends if you leave them facing upward which takes all of the joy out of playing the instrument for a while.
You did it! Now enjoy playing your guitar and that rich bright new-string sound.