Sketchy Setups on sale for Black Friday

Sketchy Setups on sale for Black Friday

All this talk of Black Friday sales has prompted me to do something too. 

So, all Sketchy Setups guides (including the already discounted bundle) are 20% off for Black Friday. Just use code   crazyblackfriday  at checkout

Don't dilly-dally. That code is crazyblackfriday

Buy Now or read more. 

How a visit to Haze Guitars works

How a visit to Haze Guitars works

Repair appointments here at Haze Guitars work a little differently than most other places. 

The very short story is: 

  • Book an appointment
  • Drop your instrument at your appointment time. 
  • Collect your instrument in a day, or maybe two.

If you want, you can stop reading here. 

However, for a little more information and context on the process, you might find the following useful. 

Intonation Problems? Look To Your Frets!

Intonation Problems? Look To Your Frets!

From time to time I’ll have conversations with players about intonation issues. Often, they’re worried about weird tuning inconsistencies that have crept in to their guitar or bass. Maybe, they’ll even have done the 12th-fret intonation check and found that it seemed ok but the problems persisted. 

Here's why you should consider your frets…

Sketchy Setups Launch - The Day After


Sketchy Setups launch day is over and all I can say is, "Wow."

It was quite a day but everything went great.

Thank you all very much and, of course, if you were good enough to buy Sketchy Setups, thank you very, very much. 

I'm hugely proud and happy with how things went on launch day. It was a bit of a whirlwind of answering email questions, hustling out updates on social medial, updating feeds, and dealing with — only occasional — problems (not like last time I did a launch and PayPal's API processing went down for four hours — stressful). 

All of the guides are doing brilliantly but I thought I'd share a couple of interesting early statistics:

  • The Sketchy Setups Bundle (all four guides) has been the most popular seller so far — it's sold over 50% more than the next most popular. I think it's a great deal and it looks like people agree. 
  • And, after the bundle, the winner in the Sketchy Setups single-sales category is Sketchy Setups #4: The Fender Precision and Jazz Bass. I'm not really surprised by this one as bassists tend to get forgotten about when it comes to setup instruction. I felt very strongly about including a bass guide in this series and I'm really glad to see it's proving popular. 

Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys rock. 

If you haven't already bought but would like to, you can learn more and buy a copy (or four) at the Sketchy Setups page. 

If you aren't currently in a position to buy, but would like to help out, it would be really, really helpful if you could share on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you like to hang out. 

Click to tweet this
Cool guitar and bass setup guides for specific instruments. No filler—just the stuff for your guitar.

Click to tweet this
Finally, a setup guide just for my bass. Sketchy Setups for Fender P and J-Basses.

Or just give a shout out. Thank you.



Sketchy Setups Now Available

It's done. 

It took some head-scratching and a very late night but Sketchy Setups is now available.

It's twenty-eight, digital pages of hand-drawn illustrations showing the easy way to set up your Strat (don't worry—more instruments will be available soon).

So, if you've always wanted to set up your own instrument, Sketchy Setups will guide you through it, in as simple and friendly a way as possible.

Sketchy Setups #1: The Fender Strat is on sale for $4 (twenty percent off) right now.

This offer only lasts for the next day, though, so get moving. Offer ends on the 7th August at noon Eastern Time.

Get your discounted copy of Sketchy Setups here – Just click the buy link.

It would be a massive favour if you could give me a shout-out on whatever social media place you hang around it. That would help me out hugely and I'd really appreciate it. 

It'd be great if you could say something nice and include the link

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You rock!

Now I'm off to curl up somewhere and gnaw nervously on my fingernails. 

Thank you again. 

Sketchy Setups Launches Tomorrow

Wow, my hand hurts. 

But, I'm working through the pain because Sketchy Setups launches tomorrow. 

I'm currently putting the finishing touches to the download package, but I think it's coming together nicely.

My aim was to write a simple and fun guide to let anyone setup a guitar. No digging through thick books, no trying to make sense of the manufacturer's vague instructions, no searching for the pearls among millions of forum posts. 

Easy and no fuss. 

I've hand drawn and written everything in this guide to give a friendly, painless, path to great setup. 

I'll post tomorrow as soon as it's available. There are a couple of photos of original inked (pre-scanning) pages below.

I'm excited. And nervous. And tired. Mostly excited, though. 

Wishlist Books

I recently found out about these two books. Guitar geeks, take note. Friends and partners of guitar geeks, you might still make it in time for Christmas.

Amazon links included down the bottom if you're interested. Or, just search for them on Amazon or the book seller of your choice (like there's one that Amazon hasn't kicked to  death). 

I've ordered one and wish-listed the other for after the crazy season. 


The Fender Archives

Listed as a 'scrapbook' of Fender history. It's crammed full of stuff like handwritten letters, production totals, personal logbooks, in-house memos, Leo Fender's drawing-board sketches and lots more. It sounds pretty interesting and mine is already on its way to me. Hopefully it'll arrive around the same time as Santa. 


Brian May's Red Special

Many of you will probably know that the young Brian May built his iconic guitar with his dad. This book looks at that process as well as the guitar's history and life. Even better, though, is that it's accompanied by original diagrams, sketches and notes dating from the building of the guitar, as well as close-ups and (get this) x-rays. Seriously, x-rays! Why wouldn't you buy this?

Amazon links for products mentioned:

  • The Fender Archives: US | UK
  • Brian May’s Red Special: US | UK

These Amazon links have my affiliate code attached. If you click them and buy stuff, Amazon give me a few cents. It doesn’t cost you any more and it means that, every now and then, I get to buy some tea or something. If this bothers you, feel free to just open Amazon and search for the stuff yourself.

Rickenbacker Truss Rod Adjustment

Adjusting neck relief on a Rickenbacker built before September 1984 can be a source of stress.

The truss rods used before that date have some quirks and can cause a little confusion. Let's take a look at how they work and how they can be adjusted safely. 

Early Rickenbacker Truss Rod Operation

Early Ricky truss rods were made from a single metal bar folded in two, back along its length. At the ‘open’ end, one rod was left just a little longer than the other. This longer bar was threaded for an adjustment nut.

How a Rickenbacker truss rod works

When the adjustment nut is tightened, it forces a metal ‘spacer block’ to push against the shorter bar. The shorter bar, in turn, is forced into a bow. When installed in the neck, that bowing bar can correct for the neck-bow caused by string tension.

Pre-1984 Rickenbacker truss rods

Rickenbacker generally installs two of these rods in each guitar neck. Adjustment is at the headstock end, under that big truss rod cover. You can often identify these rods: Behind the aluminium spacer block, you can see two channels cut in the neck wood. In the gap between the spacer and the start of the fingerboard, you’ll generally see the end of the shorter bar (the one that gets forced out).

Adjusting A Rickenbacker Truss Rod

These rods aren’t the strongest in the world. Don’t try to adjust your Ricky neck like you would a modern instrument. Just tightening those truss rods against string tension is a good way to ruin them or cause the fingerboard to separate from the neck (which, to be fair, it can occasionally do anyway).

You’ve got to ‘help’ your neck into position before you tighten the adjustment nuts on the rods. While not strong enough to actually move the neck into position, the rods can usually hold it there once you do the hard work for them.

To safely adjust your Rickenbacker neck:

  • Place a towel on a sturdy table or worktop and lie your guitar or bass on this with its neck extending off the edge. Obviously, be careful that it doesn’t topple off.
  • Have a friend hold the body firmly to the table while you pull down (carefully) on the headstock. What you’re doing is manually pulling the neck into a slight back-bow. Watch the strings move towards the frets as you pull down. Don’t go crazy—you don’t want a broken neck.
  • Keeping the pressure on the headstock, use your other hand to tighten the truss rod nuts. Just snug them up—don’t over tighten.
  • Check your tuning and see how your neck looks and plays. It might be necessary to repeat these steps if you haven’t gotten all the way to where you want it. That’s ok—taking it slowly is best.

Dual Truss Rods

Yep, most Rickenbackers will have two rods in the neck. Each rod can be adjusted individually. The claim is that you can set a slightly different relief for the bass and treble sides (to give a little more relief for the wound strings, for instance). If you can make this work reliably and repeatably, good for you. I'd advise you to equalise the tension and set the rods so bass and treble relief is the same.

Newer Rickenbackers

Truss rods in a POST-1984 Rickenbacker

After ’84, Rickys have come with a more traditional truss rod installed. These are more sturdy and can generally be adjusted under tension the same as most modern instruments. These rods can usually be identified by a thinner, steel spacer—more akin to a long ’washer’—in place of the aluminium block of old, and by the fact that the rod ‘channel’, and therefore the rod itself, isn’t visible in the neck wood.

Ebook Download City

Hey, everyone.

Yesterday was a bit hectic. My first book, Truss Rods Made Easy launched and was available here for free download. Other than one small hiccup for the very early risers/GMT+9ers, things went really well. 

To those of you who have already downloaded, I'll say a hugely genuine, "thank you." I really appreciate your taking the time and trusting me. I hope you like the book and find it useful. I'd love to hear any feedback or thoughts you might have. I'm

Thanks also to everybody who tweeted, liked, +ed, and emailed. Cheers. You guys rock! I understand word is spreading through a few forums already which is great—feel free to tell your own forumfriends, your redditpals, or your stumblechums.  ;-)

As this is a digital download, I'm relatively sure I won't run out of stock so I'm hoping that more and more people will continue to download over the coming months and years. In time, perhaps we can make the world a truss rod-friendly place. I have a dream, people!

Thanks again everyone.

If you haven't downloaded your copy, or you had any problems, pop here and have a go. 


Truss Rods Made Easy Released

Now Available for
Free Download

My brand new book, Truss Rods Made Easy is now available for FREE download. This guide contains everything you need to understand this most mysterious of guitar subjects.

Don't suffer any more misinformation about your guitar's truss rod—download Truss Rods Made Easy now.