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Instrument Setup
Day Course

The Setup Day Course Contains all the information on the actions you can take to improve the play-ability of your instrument easily at home with a minimal amount of specialist tools.

You will learn learn in a day how to make adjustments to your instruments so that you can get the most out of all the instruments you have.

This course will teach you how to address the play-ability of your instrument and teach you how to carry out all of the tasks that you can do to improve the string action, tuning stability, string tension, and note accuracy.


Main tasks include cutting of the nut slots, adjusting the truss rod, setting the bridge height and setting the individual strings intonation positions.

By completing these main tasks and others you will improve your instruments play-ability on the course whilst learning about the main types of instruments you will come across, how they work and how they can be adjusted, the things to avoid doing or be cautious of whilst working on instruments.


You will benefit from our years of experience as we help guide you through all of the day's activities.

We will talk about how electrical instruments evolved from their acoustic ancestors, especially concentrating on neck constructions so you can follow the evolution of the truss rod system. I will also talk in brief about the alternative systems that are very rare although there is a small chance you could come across them.

Our Collection

Set up Course information Detail

The setup day course focuses on the adjustments you can make to a strung electrical musical instrument to help it play at its best.

It is ideal if you are able to bring your own instruments along with you so that you can take home the instrument you have improved the play-ability of, if you are unable to supply an instrument we can provide an instrument for you.

We will provide a guide to you, on what to look for when selecting an instrument to bring along with you on our course. This will help you with the decision-making process of choosing the most suitable instrument to bring along with you. You may wish to bring more than one instrument with you if you are unsure about the one to choose after reading our guide, together we will be able to select the best one on the day of the course, it is also possible to split the activities between two instruments if required. You will only be able to complete each stage's tasks on one instrument. You are welcome to work between two instruments if one requires work and the other does not, we will be on hand before your course starts to help you with this.

You require no prior knowledge, tools, or equipment, only the willingness to learn. Everything you will need will be provided for you on the day of the course.

This course has a low level of physical exertion and is suitable for everyone to attend. The course mainly uses standard hand tools with some specialist tools required to complete specific tasks. I like to use as many standard tools as possible as Luthier tools can be unnecessarily expensive when you are starting and there are often alternatives you can use that cost much less to complete the tasks required just as easily. Specialist tools will be introduced to you as a tool designed for a certain job can have advantages over other off-the-shelf tools and this will all be explained upon the day.

Please see the Suggested Tools page for items you may wish to look at once you have completed the course.

We also have a well-stocked shop that will be able to provide you with the right tools after the course if you want to go ahead and make a start on setting up those instruments straight away.

Course Overview

The course covers

  • The history of the guitar focuses on the neck construction, how it came into being, and the variations of neck construction styles. 

  • Maintenance of the electronics with a short explanation of how the most common electrical components work.

  • Cleaning of paintwork, metal components and choice of fretboard nourishment if needed for open breathing timbers.

  • Truss rod explanation and guide to the most common types and a few unusual ones, how to make adjustments whilst explaining the risks and dangers involved.

  • String the instrument, methods that you can use, and the different types of machine heads - tuners and how they can be set and maintained to keep the instrument in tune better.

  • Adjustments to the nut, cutting the nut slots to the correct height and angling if required. Guide on different nut types and a brief look at the different materials they can be made from.

  • Bridge and saddles adjustments, these change the height and length of the sting at the bridge, which sets the string heights and intonation points, we will go into detail in this area to give you a total understanding of the ways that these can be adjusted and set to the perfect positions. With additional explanation about the intonation, the ways it works, and some issues you may come across when completing this task.

  • String stretching and the methods you can use to quickly stabilize the string tuning.

  • Playtesting and perfecting the action what to look for to achieve the lowest possible action of your instrument.

  • Setting pick-up height to their optimal level.

  • Making final adjustments to perfect everything so that you know that everything is as perfect as it can be.

We will provide all the tools and disposable materials required so that you can complete this process.

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