No, that is a stupid joke. That is not optimizing your guitar, that is something that you should be doing anyway, so let’s move on :)
With a dull pencil, you can fill the slots where the string leaves the nut towards the tuners. This is very helpful to keep your guitar in better tune.
Maybe you have heard a small screech when you tune your guitar. That is probably a string adjusting to the new tension, and that is not what you want. Detuning can also happen right after tuning, and you don’t want it happening in the middle of recording a great song.
(extra tip: always tune up to the note you need, not down. Tune it from flat up, not from sharp down. That way your guitar will stay in tune a lot better.)
Adjust the string height by filing down the bridge.
A new acoustic guitar is likely to have a pretty high string action.
You can check this by pressing down on the last fret of the fretboard and pressing down on top of the soundhole. If you have some movement before the string hits the last fret, the bridge can be lowered.
Adjust the string height by the nut
A quick and easy trick, but it will give you a super improved playability.
Check the height of the strings by pressing them down one by one on the third fret, and tap on the second fret to see the room you have. (Check the video below) the minimum amount should be no bigger than a credit card thickness (around .5 millimeter)
A little trickier, but may be necessary, adjust the truss rod.
After you have filed the nut, press down on the first fret and the last fret of the low E string.
That way, you use it as a ruler. Check the height of the string on top of the 7th fret. It should be no higher than a business card/credit card (or 0.5 mm)
This is just a guideline, but you should be somewhere around that height. In case of doubt, you want to have more height instead of less. With less height than that, chances are that your strings will hit the frets, which is not preferable.
Turn the truss rod by small increments counterclockwise to relieve the neck; clockwise to straighten it. Do this with care, and If you need to use to much force, let a luthier do this for you.
Check if the strings are correctly seated below the pins.
There is a sure way to put the strings below the pins; if you just push them down on the string, they might snap back when tuned, or when you are playing that awesome solo on stage :)
Bend them a little before putting them in the hole, the insert the pin and make sure that it does not push down on the bottom end of the string.
Last quick list of tips
You already know to clean your guitar, clean the strings after you have played for a while and to put your guitar in a stand, not upright against the wall
(do…not …ever…do…that….!!, it could be terrible for your neck. Worst case scenario, it could warp)
You already know that, so I will not go over it too long :)
As always, keep making awesome music and share it with the world.
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