Guitar and Amp Summer Maintenance

My Tele on the bench.

Hey everybody…Billy Penn the Pennalizer sez it’s time to check your gear to see if it may need some maintenance. We are one month into the summer gigging season and before we go any further we all should give our gear a once over.

First thing we should check are the guitars. Without a doubt summer is here….it has been about 95 degrees up here in NJ every day with high humidity so I recommend checking your guitar’s neck. Make sure that the truss rod is adjusted properly. While we are on the subject of guitars here is a common sense tip: Do not leave your guitars inside a hot vehicle!! The inside of your car can get well over 100 degrees and the extreme temperature can cause major damage. Transporting them to and from gigs and rehearsals is fine but do not let them stay in a hot car for any length of time. So check out your guitars and pay special attention to the neck. You can also take it to your local tech to have it checked if you do not know what to look for or know how to make adjustments.

Second thing to check is your amps. I think that amps are lower maintenance than guitars during the season but while we are in maintenance mode might as well check ’em out. Start by making sure that all nuts, bolts and screws are tight especially the speaker mounting nuts or screws. Visually inspect the tubes if your amp has them to make sure they are seated properly in their sockets. Another thing to look at are the pots and jacks. Make sure their nuts are tight. If your amp has a reverb tank in a vinyl bag then check to see that it is not torn or loose.

Lastly we should give all cables and pedals a little love. Check to see if any of your pedals footswitches or nuts for the jacks are loose….also check knobs and pots. Visually inspect your cables for any cracks or damage to the outer insulation.

If you do this quick inspection and light maintenance regularly throughout the summer gigging season you will get through it without any problems. All of this should only take about 15 minutes or so unless there is an issue to attend to like a truss rod adjustment. If you guys have any questions email me and I will help you out. Have a great 2010 summer gigging season….and don’t forget to ROCK IT..!!!