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Articles by John LeVan

Guitar Shop 101: How to Fix a Misaligned 3-Bolt Neck

August 22, 2014
Got a 3-bolt neck that’s out of alignment? Here’s how to make it right.
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Guitar Shop 101: Installing an EVH D-Tuna on a Floyd Rose

July 25, 2014
Want to add dropped-D capability to your Floyd-equipped guitar? Van Halen’s easily installed device lets you instantaneously drop your 6th string a whole-step.
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Guitar Shop 101: Demystifying Truss-Rod Tools

June 13, 2014
Okay, you want to adjust your guitar’s truss rod. What’s the right tool?
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Guitar Shop 101: Tips for Replacing a Strat-Style 5-Way Switch

May 23, 2014
Replacing a 5-way switch can seem like a daunting task. Learn to research your options and do it right!
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Guitar Shop 101: How to File Sharp Fret Ends

April 25, 2014
When a fretboard dries out from low humidity, the wood shrinks, exposing sharp fret ends. Here’s how to deal with this vexing problem.
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Guitar Shop 101: The Guitarist’s Essential Toolkit

March 28, 2014
Here’s a description of the tools you need to handle routine maintenance tasks.
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Guitar Shop 101: How to Install Standard and Locking Strap Buttons

February 28, 2014
Everything you need to know to easily secure your acoustic or electric.
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Guitar Shop 101: How to Install a Soundhole Pickup

January 27, 2014
Magnetic soundhole pickups have come a long way since they were introduced many decades ago. If you’re considering getting one, here’s how to install it the right way.
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Massive Makeover! See a Vibey ’74 Epiphone Get Totally Transformed

December 23, 2013
Can a retired mid-’70s import Epiphone be reborn as a ready-to-rumble rocker?
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Guitar Shop 101: How to Carve an Open-Slot Saddle

December 13, 2013
Learn how to carve a replacement open-slot saddle and deal with the particular challenges of this old-school design.
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Guitar Shop 101: Safe Ways to Clean Your Guitar's Finish

November 29, 2013
When caring for a guitar, your first line of defense is to wipe down its neck, strings, and body after you play. But that’s just the beginning.
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Guitar Shop 101: The Great Guitar Cleanup

October 18, 2013
Learn how to clean and condition your guitar and discover why it’s crucial to stay on top of such routine maintenance.
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Guitar Shop 101: How to Shim a Bolt-On Neck

September 27, 2013
Sometimes a guitar’s bolt-on neck needs a shim. Find out why and learn how to shim a neck the right way.
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Guitar Shop 101: A Player’s Guide to Tuning Keys

August 30, 2013
Upgrading your tuning keys can help you get in tune more easily and stay there. Learn how to choose the correct keys for your guitar.
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How to Install a New Tune-o-matic Bridge

July 26, 2013
No matter what style Tune-o-matic your guitar has, it’s important to regularly inspect the bridge for wear. Eventually, you may need to replace it.
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How to Set Up a Floyd Rose-Style Trem

June 29, 2013
When a Floyd Rose-style tremolo is tilted back against the body—as shown here—you can’t use the system to its full potential.
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How to Intonate a Three-Saddle Tele

June 14, 2013
Vintage-style, straight-bar saddles will never intonate properly—we find a way to fix this issue that doesn’t involve replacing the entire bridge.
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How to Convert a Flattop into a High-Strung Guitar

June 11, 2013
In this step-by-step tutorial, Nashville guitar tech John Levan shows you how to convert a standard acoustic flattop into a high-strung guitar. He also offers valuable tips on checking neck relief and action, carving a bone string nut and filing nut slots, and carving and a bone saddle. Bonus! Want to hear a high-strung guitar in action? Check out the short demo following this how-to video.
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Time for New Bridge Pins?

May 11, 2013
Okay, you’re restringing your acoustic guitar and discover that a bridge pin is stuck. Now what? It could be time for new bridge pins or this could signal problems with
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Import Tuning: 3 Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Strat

April 15, 2013
Replacing key components—such as the pickups, string nut, and tuners—can turn a workhorse guitar into a killer axe!
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