The easy way to great guitar setup
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.
EASY TO FOLLOW
Instrument setup, broken down into simple steps. One after the other.
No messing about. Just follow along from start to finish.
Setups don't have to be joyless chores.
Get your guitar or bass playing great and have some fun along the way.
One guide. One guitar type.
Each Sketchy Setups has only the information you need for your guitar or bass.
Every Sketchy Setups started out with paper, pencil, and ink.
Drawings can show things that photographs can't.
The Easy setup guide just for YOUR guitar or bass
Each Sketchy Setups guide is an easy-to-follow ebook that will steer you through the setup process just for a particular instrument.
No filler and no unneeded information—get the guide for your guitar or bass and learn the steps just for that instrument.
Why read about a Strat tremolo when you're setting up a Tele? Each Sketchy Setups has focussed and simple steps for one type of instrument.
Concentrated Experience, easily digestible
Years of setup experience, concentrated down into short, easy to follow guides.
I’m luthier, Gerry Hayes, and I run Haze Guitars, a busy repair workshop in beautiful Ireland. I’ve worked on thousands of instruments over the years and I've learned a lot about what makes a great setup.
Essentially, I've made the mistakes so you don't have to.
Let's go set up your guitar.
What you'll learn
Each Sketchy Setups guide covers all the steps you need to get your instrument set up, in the right order for the best results.
The issues with nut slots
The best way to set pickups
How to set intonation
Starting points for important measurements
Tips and tricks to make the job easier
What tools you'll need
How to assess and measure the current settings
How to use the truss rod to set neck relief
How to set and balance a tremolo/vibrato bridge
How to set action
Just pick the Sketchy Setups guide for your guitar or bass and walk through the setup process with simple, friendly help at every stage. You’ll get starting points for setup measurements and be encouraged to experiment from there to find the very best setup — The one that's just right for you.
Who is it for?
I've had guitar techs email to tell me they've found these guides really useful but I wrote Sketchy Setups aiming at players just beginning their setup journeys.
There's very little assumed knowledge and everything is explained simply and easily. Each guide is dedicated to a single instrument type so you don't need to worry about anything else.
Best way I can put it: If you're not sure where to start with guitar or bass setup, start with Sketchy Setups.
Check out the sample pages below to get a feel for Sketchy Setups.
Guitar and Bass Setup GUIDEs: Look Inside
Sketchy Setups #1:
The Fender Stratocaster
Step-by-step on the way to getting your Strat playing its best.
Includes really helpful guidance on setting up your Strat's tremolo bridge. Say goodbye to trem-troubles on 2-point or 6-screw bridges.
Vintage or modern, your Strat will feel great.
Sketchy Setups #2:
The Fender Telecaster
The grandaddy of electric guitars. Get your Tele in tip-top shape for brilliantly playable twang.
Contains great info on both modern and vintage-style Telecasters, including advice for action and intonation on the tricky Tele three-saddle bridge.
Sketchy Setups #3:
The Gibson Les Paul, SG, 335, etc.
All of these instruments and more.
Essentially, anything with a tun-o-matic bridge should be easy game after this guide as they all share similar setup traits. You'll also learn about some Gibson quirks that can trip you up along the way.
Get your Gibson playing great.
Sketchy Setups #4:
The Fender Precision and Jazz Basses
Bassists are forgotten too often when it comes to setup advice. The P-bass and J-bass are great instruments and now you can get them in great playing shape.
Full of info for the bottom-end, this guide also includes some additional pointers to look out for when you're setting up a 5-string bass.
Buy Sketchy Setups
IMMEDIATE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD (PDF Format)
Buy 3 and get 1 free
All four Sketchy Setups for the price of three.
Buy the package and you'll pay for three guides and get a fourth, absolutely free. Now that's a good deal.
Includes the following Sketchy Setups guides:
#1: The Fender Stratocaster
#2: The Fender Telecaster
#3: Gibson Guitars
#4: Precision and Jazz Basses
Buy Now: $15
Buy individual guides
#1 Fender Stratocaster
Buy Now: $5
#2 Fender Telecaster
Buy Now: $5
#3 Gibson Guitars
Buy Now: $5
#4 Precision and Jazz Bass
Buy Now: $5
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. So you drew and wrote all of this by hand?
A. Yep—with the exception of the (exact same) copyright information and title text—every page, image, and word was drawn by me. Actually, the script in the titles is a digitised version of my handwriting.
Q. Why would you do such a thing?
A. Because I'm apparently some sort of masochist. I type things now—the last time I wrote this much was when I was in school and my hand's not used to it any more.
Basically, this was a crazy idea that occurred as I was making notes for the first Sketchy Setups. Hand-drawn guides seemed like they would be a more fun, friendly, and accessible way in for people new to doing their own setups.
Q. How do you do it?
A. Partly old-school and partly, erm… new-school. All the pages are hand-drawn with pencils. Then, they’re inked with black ink before being scanned into the computer. Once in, the pages are cleaned up and coloured digitally. Finally, they’re packaged up as a PDF and are ready to be absorbed into the minds of eager, guitar and bass setter-uppers.
Q. Can I just buy one guide and use the information for a different guitar?
A. Well, sort of. It depends a little.
While the ‘concepts’ for some steps will be common across a number of instruments, the practicalities of *how* you perform these steps often differs.
If you’re confident transposing steps from one type of hardware to another then sure, just get one guide.
However, the purpose of these guides is to make setups *easy* and that might not be the case if you’re trying to apply your Gibson’s bridge information to your Strat’s tremolo.
And of course, if you've only got a Tele, just buy the Tele book — that's the reason there are separate guides.
Q. So, is there some information overlap between the guides?
A. Yes—like I said above, the ‘concepts’ for certain steps are certainly similar across many instruments and, if you buy all the guides, you will see an amount of familiar information in each.
However, each guide contains specific information relevant to its subject instrument that can really help you get to grips with it much more easily than ‘generic’ information could.
And, as an aside, every page (even ones containing common concepts) has been drawn and re-drawn, by hand. I felt it was only fair, where there was common information, to re-draw and re-write it each time. Each book is a unique snowflake and my hand is a mangled, claw-like mess.
Q. What size are the downloads?
A. The size of the individual ebook downloads is between 22–30MB. The package bundle downloads as a compressed ZIP file and is approximately 100MB.
Q. Is buying these safe and secure?
A. Sure is. I sell through Gumroad. They take care of all of the nerdy security and encryption stuff. Your purchase will be completely secure. More info on security…
Q. How can I pay for Sketchy Setups?
A. Gumroad handles all of the payments and will accept the usual credit cards as well as PayPal. As much as it pains me to say so, please don't send cash or beer. More info…
Q. Tax got added to the price.
A. Yeah. That sucks. Sorry.
It’s something you’ll have to take up with your government, though. I wish I didn’t have to pay tax too, so you’ve got my vote if you run for office.
Q. How do I read these guides?
A. The guides are in PDF format and can be read on any computer, tablet or smartphone that can read PDFs (that’s pretty much all of them).
Apple iPhones and iPads should have support built in. If your Android device can’t open Sketchy Setups, Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader (Play Store Link) is the—more or less—default app (but there are others if you search).
On the desktop side, again Apple computers will open these natively. Windows 10 should also open PDF files without extra apps and you can get Adobe Acrobat Reader for older versions of Windows.
A final note: There are alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader for most operating systems. Google is your friend if Adobe gives you any grief.
Q. What about Kindles?
A. I haven’t tested Sketchy Setups on an dedicated e-reader/e-ink device. I’d recommend against buying if an e-ink reader is your only method of viewing. While Amazon says that PDFs are supported by newer devices, I believe e-ink Kindles don’t do well with fixed-layout, image-heavy, PDF files.
Kindle reader apps running on iOS, Android, or Windows should be fine, though. I've tested on the Kindle app on my own iOS devices and it's good.
Q. I bought the Sketchy Setups package—what do I do with this ZIP file?
A. A zip file is just a ‘bundled’ folder of files that’s been compressed to make it smaller for transfer. It’s easy to un-package it.
On a Mac, save the file and just double-click it. Ta da!
On a PC, you can also save and double-click it to open. Then just drag the files out to wherever you’d like them to live.
On a mobile device, erm… Well, there are apps that will unzip files on mobile but it's probably safer and easier to do it on a desktop. I would, if it were me.