How to Tell if a Guitar Needs Work

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If your guitar needs work it will probably display one of a few clear signs. Find out how to tell if a guitar needs work with help from an award-winning, critically-acclaimed musician in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Guitar Tips & Maintenance
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Jessica Delfino. I am a musician in New York City. I also teach guitar and ukelele and you can find out more information about that at, that's So today we're going to talk about how to tell if a guitar needs work. Well there's a few different ways you can tell. Obviously if you pick up a guitar and there's a hole in it or it's obviously damaged in some way it probably needs work but if a guitar looks pretty good and pretty solid, there are a few simple ways you can tell. So if you are playing the guitar and the strings are constantly going out of tune and you just cannot keep the thing in tune, it probably needs to be looked at. Another way to be able to tell if a guitar is very sound and solid is you can pick it up and actually look down the neck of the guitar and you can also turn it sideways and look and see what the neck looks like and if the neck is warped in some way, if it's bent or bowed, that could be one of the reasons that the strings are going out of tune and it's a pretty easy way to tell. You can do that just by doing things like this, by looking sideways at the neck and seeing if it looks even, looking down the neck like that and seeing if the strings and everything look even and if you have a level or a ruler if your eye isn't that great, you can just check it with a level or a ruler. So that's one way. Now if the guitar has some kind of electronic component to it like a tuner or a pickup or something like that and you are plugging it in, you can't seem to get the tuner or the pickup to work, it may be a broken electronic part but it also could just need a battery. That's something that people look over, they don't even think about that a lot of times but it could be that simple. Most of the time if you go to a local guitar shop and I really recommend always if you can, supporting local guitar businesses, they'll be able to look at it and know these guys are old rock pros, they probably have been playing guitar for years and years and they can pick up a guitar in just a few minutes and tell if something is wrong with it. Also you can Google, always, every question I ever wanted to know the answer to I have found on Google. It's a modern miracle really. So if you have any questions about your guitar you can also Google it and I'm sure you'll be able to find a million answers. That's basically how to tell if something is wrong with a guitar. Happy playing, lots of luck to you. Thank you for watching.


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