So yeah, gigs have disappeared, but this thing is affecting all guitar owners – not just professionals.
For instance – what if you want to buy a guitar or need a guitar repair or setup?
There are people trying to make you think you can (almost) go about life as normal. For instance, Forbes recently published an article about car buying. (Hang on, I’ll bring it back to guitars..) “Even though the CDC says the coronavirus can’t survive on hard surfaces for long..” – actually as of right now, the CDC doesn’t seem to mention a time for COVID-19 but the Journal of Hospital Infections says that similar virus’s can survive from two to five days on hard surfaces (like guitars).
The article made it seem as though it’s still safe to shop at dealerships as before, but like you may want to keep a bit of distance if your salesperson is coughing. But we now kow that you don’t have to be coughing or have any symptoms at all, to be spreading the virus and despite what was previously thought, asymptomatic carriers might be the main transmission method. We also now know that the virus can remain in the air for up to three hours.
The article suggested having the salesperson sit in the back seat, but the CDC says you should keep a distance of six feet. Unless they’re talking about a stretch limo, it would seem that they’re willing to put people’s lives at risk just to sell cars.
So it’s easy to see why you may hesitate to visit your local guitar shop where you would presumably be handling several guitars not knowing who handled them in the previous three days and not knowing who coughed or sneezed in the store in the past three hours.
Since I’m over seventy myself, and since I care about my customers, I’ve decided to drastically change the way I do business.
Instead of having customers come to my house to try out guitars, I now meet them in an open, public place with a portable amp and I keep the recommended distance between us. Every guitar I sell has always been thoroughly cleaned with denatured alcohol or naptha and polished.
In addition, I now wipe down the guitar and strings with denatured alcohol after a customer handles it. I wear gloves when handling guitars I bring to show.
If you’re selling a guitar, I suggest you consider similar measures.
I’ve also started selling guitars online through this website and will soon be selling on Reverb as well.
Sales of new guitars will likely be affected as reported in various guitar media sites such as Guitar.com
What about repairs and service? I’m still playing this “by ear” and I’ll admit I haven’t figured out exactly how to handle service.
But I am going to devote several days to setting up a DIY Guitar Setup section to help players to properly do their own setups.
It bothers me to read forum posts where the “solution” to everything from fret buzz to action issues, is to “tighten your truss rod nut”. I’ve gotten the backbowed necks with stripped truss rods from customers victimized by those posts and often had to tell them that their guitar only needed a setup before, but now is likely not worth repair. Yes, I can extract the nut and fix threads in many cases and I can remove the fretboard and replace or repair the truss rod in others. But removing a fretboard is time consuming and costly – even at my $5 an hour “wages”!
Yes, there are “YouTubes” and web pages out there on how to do your own guitar setups, but many have inaccuracies that can bite you and many are just trying to sell you stuff.
I’ll show you how to make your own tools or where to buy good ones cheaply. I’ll show you the correct steps for guitar setups and exactly how to execute each step. We’ll cover things that most others leave out, like fret level issues, nut slot issues, fret end dressing, intonation and much more – so stay tuned!