Two volumes of the unique publication Guitar Care are heading to the Czech market before Christmas. These are the first comprehensive books in the Czech Republic that give informative and entertaining advice on how and on what basis to choose a guitar, how to care for the instrument properly, how to upgrade it, how its individual components work or even how to eliminate string plucking.
The author of the books, Zdenek Lev, has many years of experience in complete guitar servicing and has handled thousands of instruments. His books were preceded by the popular blog Guitar Care and the YouTube series Lion’s Guitar Workshop. All of this is now being published in book form.
In the first part of the book, guitarists will learn how and on what basis to choose a guitar, how to properly tune an instrument to get the most out of it, and the role of proper string selection. Zdenek Lev also discusses the problem of drying out and humidifying the instrument, as many people keep their guitars in a block of flats, where the environment is usually drier. This can also affect the condition of the guitar. “The setup of most guitars changes spontaneously over time, and it’s good to monitor these changes. Environmental influences such as dryness or humidity, frequent travelling with the instrument or the way the guitar is stored can also affect the change,” explains Zdeněk Lev. Regular servicing, which consists of detailed adjustments, should be entrusted to experts, he says. However, guitarists can adjust certain parts, such as the finish, themselves without much difficulty. That is why this book was written.
“After years of working as a guitar technician, I realized that we lacked a comprehensive publication that would simply advise how guitars work, what can be adjusted and tuned on them, and how this will ultimately allow us to take the capabilities of the guitar itself and the player who plays it to a higher level,” explains Lev, who also enjoys fighting against the myths that appear in the musician’s environment or on various forums. “So I started writing about all of that,” says the guitarist, who then goes on to cover more technical topics in the second part of the book. How the different parts of a guitar work, how they can be repaired or improved, or what tools to use when servicing a guitar.
Beginners and more advanced guitarists alike will also appreciate tips on what to look out for when buying a second-hand guitar, whether it makes sense to refurbish old and discarded guitars, or advice on how to never treat a guitar and how to store it properly. Then, at the end of the book, Lev has collected funny catchphrases and situations that “get guitar techs in their knees”.