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Tools for guitar players?

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  • Tools for guitar players?

    My son's birthday is coming up and he is getting pretty serious with playing guitar. He mentioned he is kind of tired of having a bunch of different tools floating around to change strings, make bridge adjustments, etc. so I am thinking about getting him a multi-tool for this. I am way out of my knowledge base so does anyone have any recommendations or thoughts on what would be good/useful/etc.? If it matters, he plays both electric and acoustic guitars.

    Thanks in advance

    Rick Stevens
    Billet Fluid Line Clamps: www.lsbilletworks.com

    - FFR Mark III Cobra Replica (aka Rayne)
    - 68 Mustang Coupe - drag car under construction
    - 2012 F250 Powerstroke

  • #2
    I bet Gene has a few great suggestions.
    '70 Mach 1 - '72 Sprint - '94 F-150 XL -'97 E-150 - '18 Edge SEL AWD

    My Mach's restoration progress
    My Sprint's restoration progress
    ”Mercy for the guilty is cruelty to the innocent.” ~ Adam Smith

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    • #3
      Most pre-made kits are absolute crap unless you pay BIG $$$! That said, here's a good list of what forever lives on my guitar bench and is mostly duplicated for mobile use. Bear in mind that the stuff on my bench is mostly Snap-On, but the mobile stuff tends to be more "utility grade" stuff, to allow for loss/theft/stupidity while having a couple Totties!

      A) Good set of small side cutters, needle nose and slip joint pliers.
      B) Good #0, #1 & #2 phillips screwdrivers and matching flat blade units.
      C) Full sets of both metric & SAE allen wrenches, with the indexes and the implorement to use said indexes properly.
      D) Nice 6 inch machinists rule, graduated down to 64ths of an inch.
      E) Reasonable digital caliper. A metal Harbor Freight unit will suffice.
      F) Set of flat feeler gauges.
      G) An adjustable capo. He probably already has this.
      H) A string peg winder. This is kinda personal and he may want to choose what he likes best.
      I) A good electronic tuner, from either Boss, Korg or Peterson. Again kinda personal, but ultimately crucial.


      That's a good list for general and basic maintenance and setups and should be kept separate from automotive tools and other heavy duty usage to avoid chemical issues and dulling/rounding off of tips, cutting/gripping surfaces, etc. If he REALLY gets into it, he will be looking into doing his own nut, bridge saddle & fret work, which includes more specialized files, gadgets & doo-dads that can get sorta pricey and requires some good research to understand what is being paid for. The file sets alone can start out in the $100 to infinity range, depending. I strongly suggest you steering him towards a few good websites to read and share tips, skills and experiences. These can be great tools, in and of themselves. The best I've found, with the fewest flamers (yes, guitarists can be flamers, just like auto enthusiasts) are:

      http://www.mylespaul.com Especially the "Luthier's Corner" sub-forum. Some of the finest guitar builders, luthiers and guitar techs anywhere on the internestwebs!
      http://www.strat-talk.com/forums/ Not just for Fender Stratocaster owners, but centered around them and similar guitars.
      http://www.tdpri.com/forums/ Centered around Fender Telecasters, but a wide range of sub-forums. Lots of great builders here also.

      Now, given your known and respected penchant for fine handiwork and being a fellow tool and craft type of junkie, along with the natural assumption that at least some of that has rubbed off on your son............. "While fine tools do not a Craftsman make, they certainly can enhance the pleasure of said Craftsman!" I'm not very well versed in the acoustic guitar realm, but there are some voracious experts on them frequenting the above websites, along with some of the more famous guitarists and builders on the planet. Those sites are fantastic resources for all things with strings!

      While I've always enjoyed working on cars and guitars almost as much as driving and playing them, guitar "work" has been gradually replacing my "Automotive Jones" as my required mobility for working on cars has steadily decreased. Tweakin' & twiddlin' on the finer points of guitars can be as rewarding as finely tuning a race car!

      Also, if/when he joins any of those sites, let me know his user name so I can bust his chops a bit! My name toggles between "The Ballzz" and "Gene Ballzz" on various sites. And FWIW, you'd likely be surprised by how many guitarists are also rabid Hot Rod/Automotive/Tool Junkies!

      Just My $.02 (well maybe $.03 or $.04) & Likely Worth Even Less!
      Gene
      Last edited by horseballz; 01-10-2018, 05:03 PM.
      To quote my big brother: "Gettin' Old Ain't For Sissies"
      '68 coupe/5.0/T5
      '69 F250
      '56 Chebbie 3200 P/U
      '03 Miata (wife's ride)

      Comment


      • #4
        Awesome, thanks Gene!

        He's into it, way into it. He is a junior in college pursuing a music composition degree. I have some video on my phone but that doesn't do justice to anything. Once I get a recording from his last performance, I will find a way to send it over.

        Rick Stevens
        Billet Fluid Line Clamps: www.lsbilletworks.com

        - FFR Mark III Cobra Replica (aka Rayne)
        - 68 Mustang Coupe - drag car under construction
        - 2012 F250 Powerstroke

        Comment


        • #5
          Well then, he's not just a beginner! Then I'd get him the good Snap On stuff and engrave (or have it engraved, though I suspect you're adept at this kinda thing ) "HIS NAME'S Guitar World" or such. And at least a nice set of nut files can be quite valuable. Don't buy the files on hype/advertising, but allow me, or your son if he knows, to steer you towards the good ones. The shape of the bottom of the slots they cut is super crucial. Most guitarists, even highly experienced ones, don't realize what they've been missing until they experience a properly cut nut! In addition to properly leveled frets, a great nut is one of the most critical, yet most often overlooked/misunderstood aspects of having a truly great playing and tuning guitar! FYI, the nut is the piece of bone or similar that is near the upper end of the neck, near the tuning machines that the strings get guided through.

          As far as sending any music, any MP3 file, AAC file or music that plays in itunes can easily be sent as an email attachment. If you've misplaced my email addy, just let me know and I'll PM it to you. and as mentioned earlier, getting him involved in the web communities I linked can provide a veritable wealth of info for those receptive to such things!

          Cheers To A Good & Supportive Dad!
          Gene
          To quote my big brother: "Gettin' Old Ain't For Sissies"
          '68 coupe/5.0/T5
          '69 F250
          '56 Chebbie 3200 P/U
          '03 Miata (wife's ride)

          Comment

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