The Best Guitar Lessons London

Learn To Play The Right Way

Learning how to play guitar will enrich your life in a number of ways. There are social, personal, and health benefits to learning to play the right way. What’s even better is that it is easier than you think, if you take class at our guitar school. Guitar lessons in London can teach you a skill that you will have for the rest of your life. There are so many great reasons to learn how to play te guitar. Here are some that should motivate you to get out and start taking classes as soon as possible.

The Best Guitar Lessons London

The Best Guitar Lessons London

Bringing People Together

The guitar has an almost-magical way of bringing people together and creating a vibe. Everyone can easily connect through music, with the guitar being able to unite people and have everyone singing along to catchy songs. You can also make new friends by showing off your guitar-playing skills to other people, including to someone you would like to win the favor of.

Personal Benefits

When you learn to play guitar the right way, you can even improve your concentration and memory. Your hand-eye coordination skyrockets and you gain a sense of confidence about your abilities as a person. Imagine being able to come up with a brand new song that nobody has ever done before. Playing the guitar opens up a whole new creative world for you to explore and enjoy.

Health Benefits

Playing the guitar can be incredibly therapeutic for you. Coming home after a long day of working or being at school and playing the guitar can melt your stress away. Escape from the anxiety of your day by playing your favorite songs, or jamming out with some of your friends. It feels incredible to play the songs you love. Relieve emotional pain by channeling that sadness and sorrow into music.

Take Guitar Lessons

Learning to play the guitar is easier than you may think, especially with the guidance of a guitar teacher. You will get to enjoy the remarkable rewards of learning to play the guitar. You can learn brilliant techniques that will raise your self-esteem and impress others. Taking guitar lessons in London at London guitar school can be your ticket to learning a new life-long skill that you provide you with creative enjoyment for the rest of your life.

Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

Acoustic guitar – proper Techniques and Repertoire

Are you a fan of acoustic guitar? Perhaps this is the most universally loved musical instrument and the first you think of when it comes to parties or bonfires on the beach. With just six strings, a wooden sound box and a fretboard put in your hands an entire repertoire of beautiful songs to play and sing with your friends. Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire.

Here at Guitar Lessons London you can learn how to properly play classical guitar and discover the best techniques to improve your music skills. Our teacher James will be happy to reveal you all the secrets behind this fantastic musical instrument and help you become a good musician.

Like anything else, playing guitar requires dedication and perseverance. Anyway, our lessons are perfectly conceived to make you learn while having fun, so don’t worry of being judged!

Are you curious to know everything about acoustic guitar?Here are a few examples of the playing techniquesyou can learn at Guitar Lessons London:

Acoustic Guitar Techniques

1) Don’t grasp the guitar handle!

If you are a complete beginner, you will discover soon that pressing guitar strings can make your fingers hurt a little. To avoid this you will probably have the tendency to hold the guitar handle with all the hand, putting your thumb around it to be more comfortable.

Well, sorry for your fingers but… this is not the correct position! Our teacher will explain you that the correct position of the hand is with your thumb behind tha handle, so you can press the strings only with your fingertips. Yes, it hurts at the beginning, but it’s totally worth it!

2) Fingerstyle melodies, arpeggios…

As you progress with your lessons, you will learn that there are a lot of different ways of playing guitar and each one produces a different sound effect.

James will show you how to do properly fingerstyle by pinching strings without a plectrum. Also, he will explain you the meaning of terms that may sound to you weird at the beginning, such as “triads”, “arpeggio”…

3) Last but not least, be patient!

It is comprehensible that you look forward to play your favourite song and that some basic chords may seem boring, but don’t hurry: progress will come quickly and you’ll be able to perform in front of your friends and show everyone what you’ve learned.

Classical guitar repertoire

Speaking about songs, which are the best pieces to play? Well, classical guitar repertoire is so large that you’re spoilt for choice! It covers a lot of music genresand ranges from rock music, folk, oldies and much more.

Just to mention some titles:

  • Hotel California (Eagles)
  • Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  • Blowin’ in the Wind (Bob Dylan)
  • Smells like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  • American Pie (Don McLean)

Whathever music genre you like, you can certainly find something beautiful to play for your own pleasure and the one of those who are listening to you.

Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

Acoustic Guitar Techniques and Repertoire

If you would like to know more, contact us and book your first acoustic guitar lesson at Guitar Lessons London!

Take guitar Lessons in London

4 Reasons why you should take guitar Lessons in London

Have you ever learned to play guitar? Well, you definitely should!

Playing guitar is not only a beautiful hobby for all ages but also a fantastic way to express your musical talent through both technique and creativity.

Guitar Lessons London is the perfect place to take guitar lessonsand improve your music skills. Our experienced teacher James will be happy to teach you to play guitar, showing you the right techniques and helping you to find your own style.

Whether you want to practice with the basic chords or to play a soulful guitar solo, here you can find what you’re looking for. Our courses are aimed to both children and adults and cover all levels, from complete beginner to advanced.

Moreover, here you can choose your favourite style. Are you a fan of classical guitar? Or you prefer the energetic sound of the electric? Whatever is the style of your choice, at Guitar Lessons London you can find the best guitar tuition of the city.

Would you like to know more? Here are 4 simple reasons why our courses are so professional and well structured:

1) Our flexibility and accessibility

Our school is based in London, but we are able toteach you wherever you like, so you can take your lesson at your preferred music studio or simply in the comfort of your home. So, if you have difficult to reach our studio, there is absolutely no problem, we can reach you! 

Also, you have the possibility to take one-to-one lessons or group classes, according to your needs. You just need to contact usand we can advise you the most appropriate course for your level and necessities. And if you don’t own a guitar, no problem, you can use one of ours to start your lessons.

2) Your continuous improvement

Don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner,  you won’t stay that way for a long time. At Guitar Lessons London you can learn everything about playing guitar, from the correct position of the hands on the strings to strumming patterns.

Your progress will be visible and continuous and you wil become a good guitarist very quickly. Practicing with our teacher will help you to achieve your goals, whether you want to get a degree or just to play for fun. 

3) Speaking about fun…

…would you like to make new friends and share with them your common passion? Guitar Lessons London is the right place! Here you have the opportunity to meet people who love playing guitar like you and have fun together. 

Also,Todd is such a talented and patient teacher and creates during his lessons a relaxed and encouraging atmosphere. No worry of not being good at: whether you decide to take private lessons or group classses, you can develop your music skills and become a strong and confident musician. 

4) Simply because playing guitar is a magic musical instrument!

Just think about it: when someone’s playing a guitar, a little crowd of people always gathers around. Guitar sound is unmistakable and makes you immediately want to sing together. 

Taking guitar lessons in London allows you to play and sing your favourite songs for your friends and family or even to perform on a stage in front of a real audience. Maybe you’ll become a famous rockstar, who knows!

Guitar Lessons Gift Voucher

Guitar Lesson Gift Vouchers

Guitar Lessons Gift Voucher. When you receive an LGA gift voucher you receive the ultimate musical present. When purchasing a gift card for a loved one, you are not just giving them a thoughtful present, but also a wealth of memories to enjoy for years to come. It is an experience that keeps on giving.

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Gift Certificate Guitar Lesson


Guitar Lessons Gift Vouchers

Guitar Lessons Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers for Guitar Lessons

Treat the musician in your life with a guitar lesson gift voucher. Our vouchers lets the lucky recipient choose the experience that will really enhance their guitar playing. Experiences can make incredible gifts – if you get them right. It is impossible to go wrong with the enriching possibilities guitar lessons can offer. If you get creative and try something different by gifting someone guitar lessons you could be providing a loved with more than just a gift for life. You’re also gifting them an abundance of pleasure, entertainment, and learning experiences. Patient and caring guitar tuition, perfect for YOU.

Guitar Lesson Gift Vouchers


Guitar Lessons Marylebone

Guitar Lessons In Marylebone

Guitar Lessons Marylebone London. When you are looking for trusted guitar tuition in Marylebone make sure you contact your local long standing tutors London Guitar Academy.  We have been teaching students in Marylebone for over 20 years. We teach all ages and our dedicated teachers are will perfect for you. We aim to be the best music school in the country. Get started on guitar this week.

Guitar Lessons In Marylebone

Gift Certificate Guitar Lesson

Marylebone Guitar Lessons

Learn from a team of dedicated, experienced and highly motivated teachers driven to get you great results with fun, structured learning, that will have you playing the songs you love soon.

Marylebone Guitar Lessons

  • All of our guitar tutors are fully trained to teach both acoustic and electric guitar
  • Guitar Lessons Marylebone offers tuition to all ages
  • Private Lessons And Step By Step Classes
  • You will learn to play the acoustic/electric/classical guitar with an experienced professional guitarist
  • Learn to play the guitar and improve your skills
  • Guitar School offering beginner, intermediate and advanced level classes and private lessons to kids, teens and adults
  • Lessons from beginner to advanced, in your own home or our studio
  • London’s most immersive, beneficial, and impactful guitar lessons

Guitar Lessons Dalston

Dalston Guitar Lessons

Learn To Play Your Favourite Songs With Help From Our Expert Tutor Brian in Dalston London E8. Brian is nurturing, kind teacher who will give real confidence in your guitar playing. Helping you progress way faster than you thought possible. Private lessons are based on student-directed goals with a focus on improving musicianship.

Dalston Guitar Lessons

Guitar Lessons Dalston. Our pupils  become more confident in their playing with LGA’s patient, encouraging, friendly, and supportive demeanour that makes learning to play the guitar fun. Lessons are available for students at all skill levels.

Guitar lessons Shoreditch

Shoreditch Guitar lessons

Learn To Play Guitar With reliable, trusted, Lessons From London’s Top Guitar School. Get started today with your first lesson. Get the great results you want from your guitar lessons in Shoreditch whether you’re just starting out, or have been playing for years. Our tuition is affordable, step by step, personally structured,  guitar lessons for adults, teens & kids from beginner, intermediate, to advanced. Begin by learning the songs YOU want to play with friendly, professional musicians.

Guitar Lessons Shoreditch London

Guitar Lessons Shoreditch

Guitar Lessons & Classes in Shoreditch

Shoreditch Guitar Teachers

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Guitar Lessons Near Me

Guitar Lessons Near Me London

Guitar Lessons Near Me. Supercharge your guitar playing with the very best guitar lessons London has to offer. All styles of music are taught, both electric and acoustic guitar in country, blues, rock, jazz, fingerstyle, as well as musical improvisation. You will learn guitar from an experienced teacher who will listen to what you want to achieve on the guitar and help you achieve them. Our lessons more enjoyable and fun. Call James for the best value-for-money  music lessons for kids, teenagers and adults guitar lessons in the London.

Guitar Lessons Near Me

Guitar Lessons Near Me


Guitar Lessons Leyton

Guitar Lessons in Leyton

Guitar Lessons Leyton with our local tutor Peter Davies. Peter’s is super passionate about the guitar and his home studio is located on Huxley Road, Leyton, London E10 5QY, a few minutes walk from Leyton tube. Get private lessons from a friendly, trained professional musician and learn what you want to learn in a comfortable one on one setting. Pete if fully DBS checked.

Guitar Lessons Leyton

Leyton Guitar Tuition

Leyton Guitar Tuition

Leyton Guitar Tuition

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Daphne Blue Stratocaster

Repair log – EBAY purchase, Daphne Blue ‘Stratocaster’ assembled from parts.

Owner – James Stratton, London Guitar Academy, 07957 230354,

Purchased for £500, estimated parts value £889.21

© Terry Relph-Knight 09/05/19

Weight =  3.5kg or  7.72lbs.

An EBAY purchase Stratocaster style guitar, presumably assembled by the EBAY seller, from various bits. It is not surprising that the original owner / assembler sold this guitar, because they had made such a poor job of assembling it that it didn’t play well or sound good. Fortunately most of the parts they used are high quality and the damage caused by poor workmanship can be fixed.

The guitar has a high action. The most obvious thing wrong with it is that the neck is not screwed down / has not been properly fitted into the neck pocket. There is a visible gap between the neck and the bottom of the pocket of 1.5mm on the bass side narrowing to about 0.5mm. 

Although the neck probably came with a nut fitted, it had been removed and a very poor attempt made at replacing it with a Graph Tech white Tusq nut, now trashed.

The Fender locking tuners were all sitting at odd angles on the headstock because the holes for the dual locating pins on each tuner had not been accurately drilled.

The guitar was fitted with a 1.22m thick, gold anodised Aluminium pick guard. A poor choice  because eddy currents in metal pick guards muffle tone, as confirmed by later measurements. 

The volume and tone controls sound like they are the wrong taper (first tone is wired to the neck and middle pickups, the second tone is wired to the bridge pickup). Later measurement shows they are all 250K 10% log law pots and the wiring is neat, tidy and apparently without flaws, so I’m not sure why the control characteristics seemed odd, it may be a grounding issue. 

Whoever wired up the pick guard (obviously it wasn’t the previous owner as the wiring is quite neat and tidy) did not fit a daisy chain ground wire across the back of the pots. The anodising on the aluminium pick guard is a very good insulator, so the guard cannot be relied on to ground the pots. And if the guard itself is not solidly grounded it won’t act as an electrical shield. 

Repair log – EBAY purchase, Daphne Blue ‘Stratocaster’ assembled from parts.

Repair log – EBAY purchase, Daphne Blue ‘Stratocaster’ assembled from parts.

Body – The body has MJT stamped in the neck pocket and is from MJT Aged Finishes of Carthage, Missouri, USA. This body is (probably) a two piece Alder body, finished in a very heavily reliced Daphne blue with a white undercoat. Fitted with standard reliced strap buttons – the button on the upper horn was fitted upside down. There is no tremolo cavity cover and no screw holes have been made to fit one, which is fortunate because the previous owner drilled the holes for the two bridge spring tension screws at quite a steep angle and the springs and spring claw protrude above the level of the back of the guitar. Although fitted with a modern Fender two point vibrato bridge, the body was originally drilled with six holes for the screws of a traditional vibrato bridge and four of those holes remain, between the two-point posts. Originally routed for three single coils, the bridge pickup route has been expanded to a humbucker route, after the body was painted. None of the body cavities are screened.

Neck – There are no identifying manufacturers marks on the neck. It is a single piece, heavily flamed (tiger flame) maple, 9.5 inch radius neck with 21 medium jumbo frets. Abalone dot fret markers, all off centre towards the bass side of the neck by about 1mm. Dark skunk stripe with some staining from the stripe bleeding over into the maple by 2 or 3mm on either side of the stripe. The stripe stops before the end of the truss rod route inside the heel and the remainder is filled with an off cut and some other filler. Finished in a high gloss. The truss rod is a bi-flex rod adjusted at the neck heel (4mm hex key adjustment). I think the neck is a cheap Chinese neck similar to necks listing on EBAY for £88. Like many guitar related Chinese products it looks amazing on first look but has several flaws, poor fretting being the most critical. Bogus water slide Fender decals have been applied to the headstock and roughly over sprayed (Voodoo Decals £5.15 on EBAY).

Hardware – Three, modern stagger, Fender Custom Shop pickups with cream covers (middle pickup is RWRP for hum cancellation in the in-between positions). Prices for a set of Custom Shop pickups vary, but £122 is perhaps typical for a set of Custom 54’s. The pickups are mounted in a gold anodised aluminium pick guard with SLF 4.28.16 written on the back in black felt tip. Cream knobs and switch tip. The tip of the screw-in trem arm is a non matching white (the arm has some unpleasant looking goop on it). The tremolo/vibrato bridge looks like a genuine Fender two point trem with a chamfered steel block and block sintered steel saddles with offset intonation screws. The two bridge pivot posts are screwed down as tight as they will go into their threaded inserts. 3 springs fitted. The neck plate is a square, four bolt Fender Corona plate, with a fifth hole for micro-tilt adjustment, unused on this guitar as delivered (I have now added a Micro-tilt kit).

Fender branded locking tuners, staggered 3 tall for the low strings 3 high for the trebles – typically £ 71.99 a set. The bevelled washers on three of the tuners are fitted upside down. One white Graph Tech string tree.

250K nominal value CTS pots all 10% log law, Volume, 281.2K tone, 233.3K bridge tone. OAK 5 way switch. The three cream with gold lettering knobs are the universal fit type with smooth centre holes. Although these smooth hole knobs can be problematic, they seem to fit tightly on the control shafts for the moment. There is no daisy chain ground between the pot cases, circuit ground relies on the mechanical connection between the pot case to the front metalwork and then through the anodised pick guard.


Pickup measurements 

A set of three Fender Custom Shop pickups

The first set of measurements are no strings, with the pickups mounted in the old aluminium guard. The second column measurements are with the pickups mounted in a plastic pick guard, no strings.

NeckD.C. resistance = 6.2K

L in H (Al, plastic) Q (Al, plastic) ESR in K (Al, plastic)

100Hz 2.503 2.499 0.25 0.25 6.26 6.25

120Hz 2.5 2.506 0.3 0.302 6.27 6.25

1000hz 2.381 2.525 1.957 2.39 7.64 6.61

Magnet polarity = South

Low E gauss = 1110 gauss

High E gauss = 1110 gauss

Middle D.C. resistance = 6.28K

L in H (Al, plastic) Q (Al, plastic) ESR in K (Al, plastic)

100Hz 2.579 2.583 0.255 0.256 6.35 6.33

120Hz 2.573 2.587 0.304 0.308 6.36 6.33

1000hz 2.429 2.605 1.953 2.44 7.81 6.68

Magnet polarity = North

Low E gauss = 1110 gauss

High E gauss = 1110 gauss

Bridge D.C. resistance = 6.47

  L in H (Al, plastic) Q (Al, plastic) ESR in K (Al, plastic)

100Hz 2.686 2.69 0.258 0.259 6.52 6.5

120Hz 2.684 2.684 0.309 0.311 6.53 6.5

1000hz 2.539 2.712 1.99 2.48 8.01 6.84

Magnet polarity = South

Low E gauss = 1180 gauss

High E gauss = 1110

The magnet strengths indicate they are Alnico 5, so these aren’t Fat 60’s. The low E and high E are extraordinarily well balanced for strength. Which may just be coincidence, or an indication of the care taken in manufacturing the Custom Shop pickups. At these strengths the damping effect of the magnet field on the strings is quite noticeable and the pickups must be set low in the pick guard to avoid the low E from warbling / pulsing. 

As the measurements show the aluminium pick guard has a significant damping effect on the higher  frequencies, about 8% lower inductance at 1000Hz. Compared to the Bare Knuckle Mothers Milk pickup set – neck and middle are around 2.3H and the bridge is 3H at 1000Hz – in the clients other Strat, these pickups will be a little darker in the neck and mid (2.5H, 2.6H) and a little brighter for the bridge (2.7H).

Fender custom shop pickups

Fat 50’s Alnico 5 Neck: 6.0K 2.4H. Middle: 6.3K 2.75H. Bridge: 6.2K 2.8H Formvar wire, Black Forbon flatware

Fat 60’s* Alnico 2 Formvar wire, Black Forbon flatware

Custom ‘54 Alnico 5 Neck/Middle Pickups: 5.9K 2.4H. Bridge: 6.5K 2.75H Formvar wire, Black Forbon flatware

Custom ‘69* Alnico 5 5.8K 2.2H Enamel wire, Grey Forbon flatware

Texas Special*Alnico 5 Neck Pickup: 6.2K 2.4H. Middle: 6.5K 2.6H. Bridge: 6.5-7.1K 3.58H

Enamel wire, Black Forbon flatware

The three pickups in the guitar are only labelled with a Fender Custom Shop sticker. They have Formvar magnet wire wound on black Forbon flatware. Identifying exactly which set of Fender Custom Shop pickups they are can be determined by a process of elimination comparing the magnet wire type, the flatwork colour and the measurements of the pickups, with the Fender published specifications above. Right away the Custom ‘69 and the Texas Specials are eliminated because the pickups in the guitar have Formvar magnet wire, not Plain Enamel. 

The closest match between the measurement and the published Fender specs is the Custom ‘54s.

Work done – Disassembled the guitar. Screened all the body cavities with self adhesive copper tape. 

Transferred the pickups and electronics from the old aluminium pick guard to the new orange ‘Big Cat’ pattern plastic pick guard (actually the pattern looks like amber toned blotchy vintage tortoise shell). Modified the tone control wiring so tone one is on the neck pickup and tone two is on the bridge, partly because the protruding tone-two, bare wire link on the back of the pickup selector switch was shorting to the copper tape screening. Previous to screening this was pressing on the bare wood of the control cavity and didn’t allow perfect seating for the pick guard. Replaced all the rusty pick guard screws with stainless steel screws, which I spin polished.

Also spin polished the heads of the four original stainless steel neck screws.

Sanded the neck and body neck pocket to improve the neck fit. Used a blade scraper to remove the hump from the back of the neck where it fits the pocket, which made a big difference to the fit. Drilled out the over large screw hole in the neck, plugged it with a glued in hardwood dowel, re-drilled the screw hole the correct size and threaded the neck screw in with a little wax. Reinforced all four screw holes in the neck with superglue.  Drilled the neck pocket in the body and fitted an M5 T nut ( three for £2.43 or £1.08 each) and M5 by 8mm grub screw (£0.16 each, 3mm hex key for adjustment) Micro-tilt neck angle adjustment. Drilled a shallow 19mm diameter hole on the back of the neck heel and glued in a 5p coin to act as a Micro-tilt pressure plate. Reversed the upside down strap button.


Corrected the uneven tuner fit by plugging all 12 tuner locating pin holes and then re-drilling them, so the tuners now sit in a straight line. Reversed the three upside down tuner washers. 

Removed the old, very poorly fitted Graph Tech nut, cleaned the lumps of glue from the nut slot and replaced the nut with a new Hosco bone nut. Smoothed the sharp ends of the nut and filed the nut slots for correct string height.

Improved the fit of all the frets using a Stewmac Jaws Fret Press and smoothed numerous sharp fret ends. Unfortunately the first experiment with the fret press and 7.25” radius brass caul to put extra pressure on the high fret ends resulted in one fret, fret 6, ending up far too low under the high E string. By switching to a 9.5 inch caul I managed to get the rest of the frets levelled.

Ended up carefully pulling fret 6, re-lacquering the chip in the lacquer under the high E and re-inserting the fret. Adding a drop of glue in the fret slot for strength and pressing it carefully home with the fret press and the 9.5 inch caul.

Disassembled, cleaned and reassembled the vibrato bridge. Removed the thick layer of grey paint from the top of the bridge inertia block.

Re-assembled the guitar, fitted a set of strings and set the neck angle and truss rod for relief. Adjusted bridge springs for vibrato action and the bridge saddles for string height and for intonation. Set the pickup heights.

The Setup

Although some people set the two point vibrato bridges parallel to the guitar body by raising the two pivot posts I decided to set up the bridge on this guitar as recommended by Fender, which is with an up tilt, like the vintage six screw bridges.

I wanted the saddle grub screws to be no more than level with the tops of the saddles to not dig in to the players palm, so I set the saddles fairly high while also following the 9.5 inch fretboard radius. The two bridge posts are screwed in to the brass inserts almost as far as they will go and the spring tension (with the three original springs) is set to float the bridge plate about the same as a six screw vintage bridge (actually 2.5mm from the body to the underside of the back of the bridge plate). There’s 14mm from the end of the vibrato cavity to the top of the spring claw. 

As is usual with most after market necks, the frets on this one had never been levelled and careful work with the Stewmac Jaws fret press and a fret hammer allowed me to correct the poorly set frets without having to remove material from the top of the frets through fret levelling.

I filed down the string slots in the Hosco replacement bone nut by eye, depressing each string beyond the second fret and looking for minimum clearance over the first fret. I had meant to use my Stewmac nut slotting kit, but could not find it. 

The Chinese neck has a bi-flex truss rod with access at the heel, which means you have to remove the neck from the body and adjust the truss rod by trial and error, without string tension. Without string tension and with the rod in the neutral / slack position this neck has a visible back or convex bow. Unfortunately, with string tension, the ideal of just a small amount of forward bow is in the grey area of having a completely slack truss rod, at least with 9 to 42 strings. With the rod just starting to tension up in the clockwise direction, the neck is dead straight under string tension. Eventually set the rod perhaps 1/3rd of a turn anti-clockwise, just on the point bending the neck forwards. I’m really trying to get just a little forward bow.

Ideally you want the truss rod to mostly affect the bow of the neck between the nut and the twelfth fret. In the case of this neck, at the more extreme settings the rod bends the entire neck, resulting in the higher frets sloping upwards.

The measured fret height is 0.033 (0.838mm re-measured 0.88mm) by 0.096 inches (2.438mm re-measured 2.42mm) wide and allowing 0.02 to 0.018 clearance bass to treble that puts the required nut slots and string height at the nut at 0.053 to 0.051.

With the bridge and truss rod set I can make small adjustments to the neck angle with the Micro-tilt to get the perfect low action. Eventually settled on 0.06 inch low E and high E at the twelfth fret open string.

Pickup heights – As mentioned these Fender Custom shop pickups are really strongly charged and very even across the pickups and I had trouble with the low E in particular warbling or pulsing because of damping from the pickups magnetic field (tuners go nuts). The Fender standard pickup heights are as follows (from bottom of strings to magnet poles, strings fretted at the last fret) –


Bass Side Treble Side

Texas Specials 8/64″ (3.2 mm) 6/64″ (2.4 mm)

Vintage style 6/64″ (2.4 mm) 5/64″ (2 mm)

Standard Single-Coil 5/64″ (2 mm) 4/64″ (1.6 mm)

This guitar 3.5mm 2.4mm


I think the neck is a cheap Chinese job – the installation of the skunk stripe truss rod filler is a bit crude. An extra piece of wood, plus some wood filer, has been used where the stripe runs in to the heel of the neck. As I later discovered this is part of a hump in the middle of the heel and the neck would not fit the neck pocket until this hump was scrapped away. It looks like some stain was wiped over the stripe to darken it, after it was glued in to the back of the neck, and this has also stained the maple around it. The bi-flex truss rod adjusts at the heel, 4mm hex key. The hex socket is set a little way into the neck with a short tube or collar in front of it. The truss rod is probably held in place by this collar. It didn’t seem as though the rod had ever been adjusted. Nut looks a bit mangled. Bogus Fender decals have been applied to the headstock, presumably by the previous owner. The Fender logo is orange with a black outline. 

The Fender all-maple necks are fretted, levelled and re-crowned before the lacquer is applied. Then (if you are lucky) the lacquer is scrapped and polished off the crown of the frets. This does at least secure the frets in place, with the lacquer acting as a glue. On this Chinese neck the frets have been installed after the neck was lacquered. In fact it is difficult to work out how they finished and fretted the neck. It almost looks as though the fretting was the very last process after the fret slots had been cut, the ends of the slots plugged with filler and the neck sprayed and polished. All the frets have the tang cut back about 2mm or so from the ends. The fretting isn’t brilliant, with sharp ends and almost all of the frets are high, not fully seated in the fret slots at either end.

The neck looks identical to this EBAY listing – £88

The measured fret height above the fretboard is 0.033 inches.

The previous owner drilled the locating holes in the back of the headstock for the two peg tuners and made a very poor job of it. All the tuners are skewed to a greater or lesser degree. I eventually plugged all the tuner holes and re-drilled them to correct the odd angles on the tuners.

The very high action on this guitar as delivered, is largely due to a very poor neck fit with a large visible gap between the back of the neck and the neck pocket, the neck tilting forwards as a result. Neck fit is not helped by the fact that the back of the neck, where it is supposed to fit the body pocket, is not flat, but has a central hump over the skunk stripe. Apart from the poor fit, the neck screw under the biggest gap is completely loose. The hole in the neck for this screw has been drilled oversize and the neck screw just drops into it. 

As part of rebuilding this guitar, and since the neck plate has the required access hole, I decided to fit a micro-tilt system. The micro-tilt kit I purchased is supplied without a pressure plate for the neck, a 5p coin is suggested. I fitted the T Nut and grub screw (3mm hex key) in the body, drilled a shallow 19mm hole in the neck and superglued in a 5p coin. 

The nut, an after market white Graph Tech, is a mess, only half seated in the nut slot and oddly shaped on top where it has been filed because it was sticking up because of the poor fit in the slot.

With the nut removed the nut slot is clogged with chunks of glue. I cleaned out and enlarged the slot and then fitted a new Hosco bone nut. From the EBAY listing these necks do come with a fitted nut so it seems the original owner removed the nut the neck shipped with in order to fit a white Tusq Graph Tech nut (and then made a horrible mess of it).

It is difficult to correct all the neck problems without marring the high gloss finish. 

The body is from MJT Aged Finishes, run by brothers Mark and Matt Jenny, are based in Carthage, Missouri, USA. MJT specialises in reliced finish bodies and necks. MJT does sell via EBAY with bids currently running from $45 up to $300. Their direct order price for this type of body and finish is $385 (plus shipping, taxes and handling to the UK). This body is (probably) a two piece Alder body  finished in a very heavily reliced Daphne blue, white undercoat. Fitted with standard reliced strap buttons – the button on the upper horn is upside down. There is no tremolo cavity cover and no screw holes to fit one. Although fitted with a modern Fender two point vibrato bridge, the body was original drilled with six holes for the screws of a traditional vibrato bridge and four of those holes remain between the two point posts. Now routed for single/single/humbucker, the original bridge pickup single coil route has been expanded to a humbucker route after the body was painted. None of the body cavities are screened.

The vibrato bridge had a layer of dirt under the saddles and had been assembled with the various intonation springs in the wrong order. 

I disassembled and cleaned all the parts, soaking the saddles, grub screws, screws and springs in WD40. Unscrewed the steel inertia block from the bridge plate and sanded off the thick layer of grey paint from the top of the block to allow metal to metal contact from block to plate. Reassembled the block and plate with a thin coating of wax on top of the block to inhibit rust.

As received the saddles had; 

Grub screwsSpringIntonation screw – all lengths in mm.

E 6 7 15

A 8 8 15

D 8 8 15

G 8 8 15

B 8 6 15

E 6 9 15

The low E should have the 6mm short spring and the next shortest, the 7mm should be on the G, longest spring, the 9mm, on the high E. The 6mm grub screws should be fitted to the the two E saddles, as they were. 

About Fender Gold Anodised aluminium pick guards

The Fender after market gold anodised aluminium guards are around 1.2mm thick and electrically the aluminium is a very good conductor, although the anodised layer is a mechanically tough electrical insulator. The hard anodised layer stiffens the aluminium so I suppose there might be an audible difference compared to raw aluminium because of the acoustic effect of a stiffer guard, but the main effect on tone is due to eddy currents circulating in the aluminium, creating an opposing magnetic field that damps the high end from the pickups. This damping effect is both audible and quite easily measured.

You should not rely on the anodised aluminium as a ground connection between the pots because the anodised layer is such a good insulator. 

In the past Fender briefly used, and then dropped, gold anodised aluminium pick guards, as well as fitting much thinner aluminium sheets under plastic pick guards. I believe that Leo Fender chose to do this for the purposes of electrical screening. It is often said that Fender stopped using the gold guards because players would eventually wear through the anodised layer and the exposed aluminium would then leave black marks on their fingers. However, I suspect these pick guards were dropped because they robbed too much of the high end and made the guitars sound lifeless. The thinner aluminium shields used under the plastic guards provided good electrical shielding and, although they produced some eddy current damping, because they were thinner than the full aluminium pick guard, the damping effect was only just enough to make the guitars sound just that bit ‘sweeter’ without killing the treble altogether.

I transferred all the electronics from the gold aluminium pick guard across to the ‘Big Cat’ plastic guard. On initial installation of the guard, following copper screening all the body cavities, I had no signal out of the guitar. As it turns out the live contact of the output jack was shorting to the screening and a link of bare wire on the back of the pickup selector switch – switches the second tone control to the mid or bridge pickup – was shorting to the bottom of the control cavity.

Parts – 09/05/19 Big Cat orange pick guard £13.99 via EBAY from Supermusic57 paid PayPal transaction number 55L13968FC525004F.


Fender may use, or have used, a couple of sizes for the micro-tilt. Here is one

Accepts standard 3/32″ hex wrench for adjustment. Material: 18-8 Stainless Steel, Size: 10-32 x ½” dome point. The spiked nut inserts are called T-nuts

13/05/19 Ordered two micro-tilt ‘kits’ from EBAY bloodstoneguitar Item number: 162838470735  delivery 16th 17th . Total: £7.98 (note – these are metric and without a push plate for the back of the neck)

Pick guard – £13.99

Micro-tilt – £3.99

Strings – £6.00

Hosco bone nut – £7 plus 80p post

Copper screening tape – £4.00

13 x stainless steel pick guard screws. – £2.00

Parts total – £37.78

Labour – £150.00

Total – £187.78

Estimate of the parts value of the guitar

Tuners – £71.99

Neck – £88

Graph Tech Tusq nut – £9.99

Bogus Fender decals (Voodoo Decals) – £5.15

Body – $485 = £373

Pickups – £122

Neck plate and screws – £11.90

Strap buttons – £1.97

Pick guard gold aluminium – £59.04

13 pick guard screws – £2.80

3 x 250K pots – £15.30

Tone cap – £2.50

3 Fender UFO knobs – £8.00

5 way switch – £10.48

Output jack – £3.60

Jack plate – £3.50

Fender vibrato bridge – £99.99

Total – £889.21

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