sketchy setups

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. 

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 available now

Sketchy Setups Launches

I'm massively proud and excited to announce the new series of Sketchy Setups guides is now available. This series contains four guides, each focussed on a particular instrument type. 

  • #1: The Fender Stratocaster
  • #2: The Fender Telecaster
  • #3: The Gibson Les Paul, SG, 335, etc.
  • #4: The Fender Precision and Jazz Bass

Imagine your best friend was a setup guru…

And wrote a book just for you…

Sketchy Setups are friendly and straightforward guides to getting your guitar or bass playing its best. No need to wade through massive books, trying to find the relevant parts for your guitar. No trying to make sense of the manufacturer's vague instructions. No searching for the pearls among millions of forum posts.

Perfect if you want a great playing instrument without having to take a degree in Advanced Guitary Stuff.

Just great guitar and bass setup. Easy-peasy.


Sketchy Setups is a bit different to other setup guides. For a start, you can just get the information you want — just the info for your instrument. Why read about Gibson tailpieces when you're setting up a Jazz Bass?

And Sketchy Setups is completely hand-drawn. Even though these are digital guides, each page began as paper, pencil, and ink. This makes it easier to illustrate things that would be difficult in photographs and keeps everything nice and easy-going. Setups don't have to be chores. 


Sketchy Setups are available to buy right now. Each guide costs $5 or you can buy a bundle of all four for $15. There is a heap more information, some page-samples, and some frequently asked questions on the Sketchy Setups page. Check it out



I don't often ask for shares but it'd be massively fantastic and incredibly helpful if you could tell your friends about Sketchy Setups. 

If you could click the Twitter or Facebook images below to share, I'd really appreciate it.

Or just give a shout-out wherever you hang out. 

Thanks a lot.

Sketchy Setups — Four New Setup Guides

Gather 'round for a story…

When I started my own setups, a looooong time ago, things weren’t always easy. 

Information was thin on the ground. In the pre-internet age, you had to rely on gleaning snippets of advice from musicians you knew or met. Amazing results weren’t guaranteed.

Then the internet came along (yes, I’m that old, you damn kids). That was interesting. At first, you could read the whole thing in a day but gradually, you’d find sites with little nuggets of guitar information. Of course, many of these nuggets were from guys like the ones I’d met locally—now, they just happened to be guys from different places. Similar results. 

The amount of information on the internet grew. Forum sites shared heaps of tips and tricks and you could often find massively usefully stuff there. As is often the way with public forums, though, a lot of their content was parroted myths and half-truths, personal opinion masquerading as fact, or just plain wrong… 

“You should always do X. You should never do Y. If you touch the truss-rod, it will spell the end of existence.”

So what do you do if you want to get reliable, useful, simple information on guitar or bass setup?

Well (ahem), I may be able to help…

New Sketchy Setups Guides Launch Tomorrow

I can't wait. 

I promised more Sketchy Setups and here they are. Available from Tuesday, 19th July you'll now be able to get the setup skinny on four instrument types. 

  • Sketchy Setups #1: The Fender Stratocaster
  • Sketchy Setups #2: The Fender Telecaster
  • Sketchy Setups #3: The Gibson Les Paul, SG, 335, etc.
  • Sketchy Setups #4: The Fender Precision and Jazz Bass

Each of these setup guides is focussed on just one instrument or instrument 'type'. Why would you want to read about a Strat tremolo when you're setting up a Les Paul? Is it useful to learn about a Gibson tailpiece when you're working on your P-Bass? Just the right information for your guitar or bass. 

Hand-drawn setup guides

Every one of these guides started out with paper, pencil, and ink. They are hand-drawn and hand-written. Even the setup information that's common to all instruments was re-drawn each time (so each guide is a unique snowflake). 

Illustrating like this let me show things that would have been impossible or less clear in a photograph. And it has the added benefit of giving a laid-back and friendly feel to the guides. 

More information will follow…

All new Sketchy Setups available from Tuesday, July 19th. More information will follow between now and then.

Upgrade from early versions

Anyone who bought a copy of Sketchy Setups #1: The Fender Stratocaster will get a free upgrade to the new version. If you haven't received an email from me already, you'll get one soon (check your spam folders and contact me if you haven't heard by launch-day on the 19th July). Thank you to all the buyers of version 1 — I really appreciate your trust.



Buzz-Free Guitar Setup

You’ve seen the article headlines… Three Steps to Buzz-Free Setup, or How To Setup Your Guitar With No Buzz, or Banish the Buzz, or whatever.

Well, here is my article headline:

The Promise of Buzz-Free Guitar Setup

The only problem is it’s a promise I can’t deliver on.

Nobody can.

Headlines like this just serve to cement the perception that there is a perfect setup that will allow every guitarist (or bassist—you’re not getting off the hook, low-enders) to play perfectly cleanly with no problems.

Now, let me clarify this a little.

There is a perfect setup that will let YOU play perfectly cleanly. Most of the time.

That setup might not allow the same for someone else, though.

Just because you can sweep-pick out a lightning fast run, wonderfully cleanly, on your guitar doesn’t mean I can pick it up and ham-fistedly hammer out a blues-rock solo without a ton of fret buzz.

And the ‘most of the time’ thing I mentioned above… That’s important. Different songs might call for different techniques, especially if you’re doing covers, and a setup that’s absolutely perfect for one style might not be great for another—it's not just for tone that a player might use different instruments for different songs.

Here’s the thing:

There is no universal perfect setup

If I can get players to internalise this, I’ll go to my grave a happy man because I’ll have done some good in the world.

There is no perfect setup.

There is only a perfect setup for you.

Most of the time.

And this means you have to consider your style and your setup needs. Consider these and find a balance between the two.

Super-low action and super-straight necks might not be for you if you tend to dig in, if you’ve a heavy attack, if you play music that requires a hefty pick-hand.

Or if you still really, really want super-low action in these circumstances, you’ll probably need to become comfortable with some fret-buzz. It’s not the end of the world, after all (despite what we’ve all been lead to believe).

And all of this applies double for acoustic instruments, by the way.

Spare a thought for your guitar tech

Here’s the way the conversation goes:

Player: “I want really low action. Like really low.”

Tech: “Can do, but you understand that as we lower the action, we increase the risk of-“

Player: “Ah-buh-buh-buh-buh. No technical mumbo-jumbo. Here’s a pile of money. Level the frets or whatever it is you do. Low, I say!”

Tech: “Yeah, but you need to understand that buzz may be an issue depending on-“

Door slams as Player leaves.

Later, Player collects guitar…

Player: “Dude. It’s buzzing!”

Ok, nobody really does that but you get the idea.

Or cut out the guitar tech and do it yourself. There are a lot of advantages to setting up your own guitar or bass.

The Bottom Line

The best tech in the world cannot promise a buzz-free guitar if the setup’s not right for you.

The best fret-job in the world will buzz if it’s not right for you.

The best setup in the world is the one that’s right for you.

Think about it.

Gerry’s in Setup-Mode

I’ve been thinking about nothing but setups for the last little while. That’s why I’ve been motivated to write this email. I’m up to my neck in new Sketchy Setups guides. I promised I’d have more and they’re ready for release.

Sketchy Setups are great if you're going to start doing your own setups (which is always a great idea as you can tweak until your guitar or bass is perfect for you). Check out Sketchy Setups for a super easy and friendly guide to getting your guitar playing great.