googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Mad Scientist Guitar Tech

The Mad Scientist Guitar Tech

    Just as your car needs regular maintenance every once in a while you need to take the old guitar down to a professional guitar tech for a tune up. You can restring a guitar easily enough but to fine tune the intonation you need a high end electronic tuner called a strobe tuner. The basic idea is that the string should be the same length from the nut up by the neck to the twelfth fret as it is from the twelfth fret to the bridge. This involves adjusting the saddle at the bridge forward or back by turning a small screw. Most guitar tuners and most peoples’ ears are not sensitive enough to give an accurate enough reading so you have to have it done by a professional.
    I asked the salesman at Guitar Center in Hollywood if they had a guitar tech on duty and he recommended an independent tech who worked in another building next door. This was many years ago so I’m not saying Guitar Center doesn’t have guitar techs because the one in my neighborhood now does.
    The tech they recommended was a skinny young guy with wild curly brown hair and a crazed look in his eyes. His shop looked like a hurricane hit a junk yard and a friend of his was visiting when I returned to pick up my guitar.
    “What a mess,” his friend said to him while looking around the shop. “But it suits you, you’re a mess too. You look like mad scientist.”
    I noticed something with some sort of Y shaped logo printed on it, pointed to it and said in my best Christopher Lloyd impression, “There’s the flux capacitor, holy one point twenty-one jiggawatts!”

    The tech turned to stare at me with that crazy mad scientist stare and said in a state of wide eyed surprise, “How do you know about the flux capacitor?!”
    “It’s what makes time travel possible,” I answered continuing my Doctor Emmett Brown impression.
    “What? No, really... how do you know about the flux capacitor?!”
    His friend chimed in, “It’s from Back To The Future.”
    “What? What’s that?”
    “You’ve never seen Back To The Future?”
    “No,” he answered before turning back to me. “Tell me how you know about the flux capacitor.”
    “Like he said,” I said, gesturing to his friend. “It’s from the movie Back To The Future. Why do you ask?”
    “Because,” he said, “my great uncle, Lee De Forest, invented a vacuum tube and the flux capacitor acts as a frequency converter in vacuum tubes.”
    It seemed this guy’s relative invented the thing that makes not time travel, but the electric guitar amplifier possible. This guitar tech not only could have played a young Doctor Brown in a prequel, he is actually a descendant from a real “mad scientist”.

    He had asked me what gauge strings I would want him to use to restring my guitar and I said I was concerned about staying in tune so probably a heavier gauge. I mentioned that when I tune up back stage where it is sometimes very cold and then go onstage where the lights have me drenched in sweat after five minutes that the guitar goes out of tune. He explained that the strings, being metal, are not very susceptible to temperature but the wooded neck of the guitar expands and contracts in heat or cold and that it is the neck, not the strings that is causing my tuning problem. He suggested sanding off the finish on the back of the neck which would allow the wood to breath and the neck wouldn’t react so much to temperature changes.
    After he sanded the neck to the bare wood it not only stayed in tune much better but felt great in my hand. It not only sounds better but plays better with much improved action simply because my hand doesn’t drag and sick to the lacquer on the neck when my hands get clammy from nerves or sweaty from the lights.
    Now if I can only get him to build me a time machine.

No comments:

Post a Comment