How To Set Up Your Acoustic Guitar To Match Your Playing Style

Technique: Acoustic Guitar Set-Up

Your preferred playing style - whether strumming with a pick or fingerstyle - has an impact on how your acoustic guitar needs to be set up. There's no "one size fits all" approach, just as no single string gauge suits everyone. In this video, master luthier Ron Ruggiero (who apprenticed under Roger Sadowsky and now operates Ruggiero’s Guitar Workshop in Yardley, PA.) shows the steps necessary to get your instrument playing exactly as you needed.

Even if you're not confident enough to tackle an acoustic guitar set-up yourself, Ron's methodical approach to fret relief, saddle and action adjustment will help you understand all of the elements involved in the perfect set-up. If you decide to have a luthier look after your acoustic guitar, you'll be in a great place to describe exactly how you want adjustments to be made.

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate Acoustic Guitar

Strings Played

Acoustic Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating, Light Gauge
Acoustic 80/20 Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating, Light Gauge

MORE Restringing and Repair TIPS & TRICKS

  • Changing your String Gauge

    It's very good idea to experiment with different gauging – but it's essential that you prepare your instrument's setup before changing your gauge.

  • Tuning New Strings Up To Pitch

    To prevent endless tweaking, your first move is to grasp each string where it passes over the pickups and gently pull it upwards away from the body, so eliminating slack at the nut, bridge and tuners.

  • How to String a Guitar