Braak: 1. Guys at Sam Ash: FUCKING ZERO!

Posted: November 9, 2009 in Braak
Tags: ,

So, it’s important for you all to know.  I have, since birth, been a tinkerer.  I know, it seems weird–how can a guy SO BRILLIANT in intellectual pursuits also be handy with tools and crafts and such?  Well, your skepticism is warranted, as I’m pretty lousy at fixing things.  Seriously, this guy?  That’s me.

But the fact is that I like trying to fix things and build things and improve things, and so when a problem comes up, it is I, Braak! who steps up to the plate.  All of this brings us to Jeanine’s guitar.

This is Jeanine’s guitar, here:

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It is an old Kay f-hole archtop acoustic, if that means anything to you.  It belonged to her grandfather, and it was stringless when I found it, pronounced dead and warped by Jeanine’s friend who knows about guitars!

Now, fortunately for both of us, I don’t know anything about guitars.  Undeterred, I restrung the sucker, reattached the bridge, and began to understand the problem they were describing.  See, the neck of the guitar was curved slightly, so even though I put new strings on, the action was unmanageably high–meaning the strings were held by the warp of the neck so far up from the fretboard that is was practically impossible to play.

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You can kind of see that in this picture!

So, I went to the guys at Sam Ash, and said, “Hey, I’ve got this guitar, it’s an acoustic guitar with a weird kind of a bridge thing, neck is bent, action high, what do I do?”

“Bring it in,” he said, “and we’ll have a look at it!”  They have an $18 bench fee, so, yeah.

“All right, but before that, maybe what should I do?”

“Well, you don’t really have an acoustic guitar,” LIAR! “so bring it in so we can take a look at it.”

“Okay.  Until then, though.  It looks like that guitar over there, only DOESN’T HAVE ANY ELECTRIC PICKUPS” (that’s how you know it’s an acoustic).  “How would you fix that one if the bridge were too high?”

“Well, if you bring it in, we might be able to lower the bridge.”

“The bridge is as low as it can get.”

“You can adjust the truss, in the neck, which is a metal bar that can change the angle of the neck a little.  You should bring it in, because if you screw that up you’ll snap the neck.”

“There is no truss.”

“If the neck is warped, and there’s no trust, then all you can do is burn the guitar.  Why don’t you bring it in so we can look at it?”

Hahah, bullshit I am going to pay you guys twenty bucks to tell me that I have to burn my guitar.  This is my feeling on the subject:  if the guitar can’t be fixed, then it can’t be broken, either, right?  It’s not like Jeanine wants to go on tour with the thing–she just wants to learn how to play the guitar on an instrument that belonged to her grandad.

Well, shit.  I am a genius, after all, I can do this.  So, I got out a Dremel (because I will buy ANY tool that claims to have multiple distinct uses), and an Exacto knife. I got the drum sander out, sanded about a quarter of an inch off the bridge, then carved six new notches in it with the Exacto knife.  Then I restrung that sucker up and tuned it.

Here is the big surprise:  it WORKS.  Usually, when I do something like this, it turns out about three-quarters of the way through the process that I’ve overlooked some essential element, something that anyone who knew about guitars would know, but of course I didn’t, and now it’s too late to fix.  NOT THIS TIME MOTHERFUCKERS!  This thing worked exactly the way I predicted it should!

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Can you tell from this picture?  No, of course you can’t.  BUT IT WORKED.  Yes, the neck is still warped, so the action is a little high in the middle of the fretboard.  But it’s not so high you can’t play it, and that’s all that’s important.

Do you hear me, douchebag at Sam Ash?  I fucking FIXED it.  AHAHAAHAHAHAAHAH!

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Comments
  1. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Long live Jeanine’s guitar! It might sound a tad different than it should and will require more tuning adjustments than usual, but if notes can be played on it, success! Catch-all advice for working with stringed instruments; if an element’s too taut, the notes will sound wacked and something will pop. The end.

    Oh and yeah, this was all very brilliant, innovative and inspired of you. You should learn a song to play for Mr. Sam Ash. Something in the key of “victory”.

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