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Building a guitar: kit or from scratch?

Nick Coyle

Building a guitar: kit or from scratch?

Whether you’ve been playing for a long time or are relatively new to guitar, building your own guitar can be an appealing idea if you love the idea of having a custom-made instrument. It’s definitely not as simple as purchasing a pre-made guitar, but you’ll have far more control of the subtle aspects of the instrument, and it can be a very enjoyable and educational process to put the instrument together yourself.   Another reason that many people opt to build their own guitar is that it can be a cheaper way to have the guitar you want, rather than...

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Solid body, hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars: the differences explained

Nick Coyle

Solid body, hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars: the differences explained

For guitarists or aspiring guitar players, there are many factors that determine which guitar is right for you. One of the most fundamental of these factors is the type of guitar body: solid, hollow, or semi-hollow. Each of these three types of guitar bodies has its advantages and disadvantages, and each will be ideal for different genres and playing styles. Before choosing a guitar type, it’s so important for you as a musician to consider the type of music you’ll predominantly be playing, so you can identify the tone and style you want to produce. The type of guitar body...

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What a guitar's tone knob really does

Nick Coyle

What a guitar's tone knob really does

Have you ever really thought about what the tone knob on your guitar does? If you’re like most players, you've probably got the general idea that it makes your guitar's tone more or less “bright." Of course, “tone” can be a bit of a vague concept, one which different musicians interpret and describe differently. Generally, guitarists use the term “brightness” to refer to tone that could be described as thin, light or twangy. The opposite of a “bright” tone would be a deeper, richer tone. So when most guitarists adjust their guitar's tone knob, they think in these terms: turning...

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Guitar setup: when is it worth paying for?

Nick Coyle

Guitar setup: when is it worth paying for?

So you’ve finally got your new guitar—whether you bought a finished model or built one yourself, it's likely that the only thing on your mind is playing it until your fingers bleed. So the last thing you probably want to do is take it in to the shop and be without your new ax while it gets set up.  But what if you could set up your guitar yourself? Many guitarists have the impression that setting up a guitar is a scary, mysterious process the be performed only by experienced luthiers and guitar techs. And indeed, some of the adjustments you may make...

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Coil-splitting and coil-tapping

Nick Coyle

Coil-splitting and coil-tapping

If you’re a guitar player, you’re undoubtedly aware of how important—and often, difficult—it is to get the right tone from your guitar. And you’re probably also aware of how important pickups are to your tone. The two basic types of pickup are single-coils and humbuckers, each of which produces a distinct sound. Traditionally, in order to achieve both sounds, you need a guitar—or multiple guitars—equipped with both types of pickups. Of course, this isn’t the end of the world, as plenty of guitars have both humbuckers and single-coil pickups. But a pickup’s position—that is, whether it’s closer to the bridge...

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