Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
Comprehensive, interesting and useful book.
on 14 December 2002
This book is not only great reference material written by someone with roughly 40 years of experience in the field of guitar building and repair, it also deals with a wide scope of subjects - from cleaning the finish on your guitar and tips on how to adjust different types of bridges (tune-o-matic, vintage trem, floyd rose etc), to really critical repair jobs like refretting or even complete instructions for routing / installing a floyd rose trem and locking nut. So in a sense, this book also covers customizing / guitar building topics, but the emphasis is of course on repairs and setting up electrics/acoustics. There's a LOT of stuff in this book, but what's so great about it is that you get comprehensive chapters on each subject, whether it's repair or set-up related, which enables you to find what you need - really fast. The set-up procedures for things like adjusting the action are presented in depth and step by step, not just the basics but also explaining what tools and methods can be helpful in order to get consistent, professional results - and, most importantly - what pitfalls to avoid ! While some of the more "advanced" topics (which requires not only the skills but also the tools for the job, like refretting, etc) is aimed more at the professional builder / repair shop; it's really great to read about this stuff - you gain a better understanding of what makes a guitar's playability. There are also a number of interviews with guitar builders, famous players, and their technicians - and these are very interesting to read, without exception. I wish the section on electronics and wiring was a bit more detailed, but then again the author himself says this would be outside of the scope of his book - he also refers to "Guitar Electronics for Musicians", which is a great addition to this book (I bought it as well).
Overall, I think you can hardly go wrong with Mr. Erlewine's book, especially at this down-to-earth price. It not only lives up to its title, you will find there's much more interesting information in it than you'd expect. Moreover the terminology is easily accessible - even for the beginner.
This book is also pleasant to read and I guess you will definitely pick it up again on a regular basis to look something up or just reread a chapter or two... at least, I do ! Highly recommended.