paperback mystery novel, this little reference book is packed with techniques, photos, and diagrams that show you how to keep your electric 6-string in top playing condition. Using easy-to-understand terms and a teacherly tone, author John LeVan (who runs a busy guitar repair shop near Nashville’s Music Row) explains such essentials as how to properly clean and string a guitar, set intonation, determine optimum pickup height, and wrangle trem springs. The chapter on trussrod adjustment is especially useful. Once you’ve digested the illustrated step-by-step procedures, you’ll be able to tweak your guitar to accommodate different string gauges—something we all tinker with at some point.
LeVan also explains how to maintain your guitar’s health using a hygrometer and humidifier, and even covers such tricky tasks as filling a worn nut slot, carving a new nut, and replacing tuners. Electric Guitar Care and Setup also boasts a section on spotting potential problems in a used instrument, a comprehensive list of tools (all photographed) required for each project, and a fat glossary of terms. If you own a nylon or steel-string, LeVan’s Classic Guitar Care and Setup and Acoustic Guitar Care and Setup offer similar material targeted specifically to these instruments. (Mel Bay).