Miami Electric Guitar Lessons | Stratocaster Upgrades

So many questions have come up during my Miami Electric guitar lessons about the Mexican Strat versus American Strat. And the number one question was, “Well, what would I do to upgrade a Mexican Strat?” And I know everyone suggests over and over again, upgrading the pickups. And although that is important, that’s a sound thing. But for me, the way it plays, is really more important to me because that’s where I get my inspiration right away from is how it plays. Then, the sound comes in second. So let’s go ahead and see what things we could do to make your Mexican Strat better for your Miami electric guitar lessons.

Miami Electric Guitar Lessons Advice

Miami electric guitar lessonsEspecially, without breaking the bank. Well, I would do two things that are very important to me. First, I would put a locking set of fender tuning keys. Now, there’s a reason why I say this. These will directly fit, which we’ll explain in a second, so you don’t need a tech or anyone. You can do this yourself in about fifteen minutes inside your Miami electric guitar lessons. The second thing is another fender part, I will flash the part right now. It’s a fender part you can order. It’s a bow nut from Fender, made for the vintage reissue fender strats. And you should be able to pop it right in the Mexico nut. Is just pretty straight forward. And we’ll show you how to pop that out and stick this one in and do that just as easy. So basically, what you want to do is just take off the old tuners. Use a socket wrench. You could use that. I have this tool which is the ESP tool you can get at StewMac or just I think on Amazon. And it pretty much does the job. As you see. And then once they’re loose, you can do it by hand. It’s pretty straightforward. And this is what I want to show you.


Take that off. Take your thumb, push that down. And you’ll see these two tangs right there. I just put this together real fast just so I know where it’s at. The two holes are gonna be for the tangs. Let’s do that. Alright, so the important thing you remember about the locking tuners from Fender is that they’re staggered. I cover this subject in depth durning Miami electric guitar lessons. In other words, they are going down as we go. So you’ll notice that you just wanna take the box and hold it like this. When you flip this up, you’ll see that this one has a three. Can you see the number three? That let’s you know that’s the short one. Then of course, I think the beginning one will be a number one. You could see it’s just one little line. It’s pretty hard to see. So now what we’re gonna do is take this tuner, just the way it sits. And take out this. And they’re kind of stuck in there so you just kind of get them out.


OK, ready? Just like I said, and let’s flip her over. So you see how it lines up? These two are just gonna fit straight into that, like that. Just like the rest. Go and keep your thumb depressed on it so it doesn’t fall through. Again, you’re just gonna go ahead… And now, with your tool, whether it be your socket wrench or what, you’ll just go ahead and tighten that up. And there you go. We have the locking tuner. I put one here so you can see. You just wanna turn this, right, so it’s down a little bit. About that far. All you wanna do now is run your string right through the tuner hole and pull it as tight as possible during your Miami electric guitar lessons. OK? So no slack. Check out this. We have no slack, whatsoever. We’re pulling as hard as we can. And then, at the same time, we’ll reach under here> And turn this until it locks in position. And I just bend it straight up. Now it’s locked. Go ahead and just tighten it up a little bit in your Miami electric guitar lessons. And you’ll notice, when you look here on the tuner, it get’s the pitch very quickly. So what you wanna use is a pair of pliers or some Vise Grips and very carefully not to chip the fret board, grab onto the nut where you can get as much meat as possible. Do not clamp this down too hard and then pull straight up, OK? Now, on the Mexican ones, if they’re glued in, it should be done with Titebond or something soft enough in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Now if you’re a little concerned about it, you may want to heat it up a little bit with your hairdryer before you pull it out. And then, to put the new nut in, this is gonna be the new bone nut from Fender. The part number is here.

Miami Electric Guitar Lessons Tips

And essentially, all we’re gonna do is use a toothpick, a little bit of Titebond, just apply… Do not use superglue. Although, if you feel confident, you could put a dot of superglue in there during your Miami electric guitar lessons. But you know what, to me, it’s too easy. Titebond is great. Plus, the Titebond will fill in any of the gaps when you place it in. And you’re just gonna press it right in. Press it right in nice and tight. And then, what I like to do is then put the E-string and the E-string on a low tension to kind of center and hold it down. And if you feel the need you may have to shape it or cut into it, go from there. So if don’t have any nut files to actually cut the grooves in case you need that, what I want you to use is 400 Grit Sandpaper. Something like this. Super easy.


And I want you to just wrap it as tightly as you can around the actual string in your Miami electric guitar lessons. This is the 42 gauge string. And then put it right into the slot and use the string as… right? And just remember, a little bit goes a long way. So when you see even a little bit of dust, then try. if you’re not an expert at this yet, you need to just take little baby steps. Or buy at least two nuts so you know if you mess up on the first one, you know what to do on the second one. And again, that’s a fast way, instead of a nut file. Since you don’t need files to cut grooves, they’re already cut from Fender.


You just need to be able to smooth and widen them a little bit in your Miami electric guitar lessons. And I do prefer that when you’re sanding this, instead of going flat like this, come at an angle. Sand at an angle like this. And again, use the string, the girth of the string. See that little bit there? Use the girth of the string to kind of file that spot in there. So the most important thing when I’m talking about upgrades to a made in Mexico Strat is some strats, what happens is we get what we call fret sprout. Now, this is common with all guitars in Miami electric guitar lessons. It has nothing to do with being made in Mexico. But it’s something you want to address with a guitar that you shouldn’t see as much in American series. But we’ll go from there. What that is, is when they cut the frets, they cut them to the width of the fret board. OK? Well, what happens is the fret board shrinks because it’s wood and then the frets, we call it sprout, pop out. Well, really they didn’t pop out, the fret board shrank.


So if you’re feeling the sides of your fret board, they’re sticking out rough or they’re sharp, this is something that if you have a little patience in the afternoon, you can do it very inexpensively with two things in your Miami electric guitar lessons. You need some painter’s tape and a cuticle file that you can get at Walgreens. OK? So essentially, all you wanna do is take your painter’s tape and carefully and very nicely, cover what is gonna be very important, your fret board. Now, most guitar players that do this will do the entire fret board. It’s up to you. If you don’t wanna do the entire fret board with tape, you could use tape and then tear it off and do the next section, next section. What I want you to do is basically, especially if you have a maple fret board, that’s why I’m using maple, maple’s the hardest, go ahead and tape the ends like so using a flat surface. And think of it like painting a house or anything you ever painted where anything you don’t want paint on, you’re gonna go ahead and cover up. Push really firm in your Miami electric guitar lessons . Painter’s tape won’t hurt anything, I promise. Not even the rosewood. Sometimes the rosewood, after you’ve pulled the painter’s tape off, will need some oil or something. And again, just look and make sure you’re covered.

miami electric guitar lessonsThen once you do that, take the rough end side of your cuticle file, right. And just file those ends. And again, at this point, we’re not talking about a rough enough sandpaper to do any significant damage in your Miami electric guitar lessons. If you have a nicer cuticle file like this, you’ll have three kinds, then we’ll go to the second kind. And again, kind of now we’re just catching all the rough spots we caught with the rough sand. And then lastly, watch this, we use the fine end which will probably be 12,000. If I was guessing, this is probably 2,400. This is probably 3,600 to 4,000. And this is 8,000 to 12,000. So if that helps, if you wanna know what the sandpaper variant their using is.


And again, just using this you could just buff the whole thing. You can even use some steel wool at the end if you’d like. And that will get all that off. And what’s beautiful is if you do everything right, even if it’s not perfect, it’ll get you by in your Miami electric guitar lessons. And if you take it in for service, now you know what is entailed in doing that. Another huge improvement you can do, especially if you’re gigging is do this. Take your, basically, these two screws out. And what I like to do then is make sure you grab just a basic cloth. Pull this out. You don’t need to do anything in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Put the cloth underneath it. So what we’re gonna do here is cut these. The reason is because it’ll get a strong connection. There’s enough wire to mess with. Super easy, right? We have the old one.


Let’s go ahead and take it off. So al you want to do is just take a socket wrench, put it right there. Hold it there. This is gonna be super easy. If you notice, I’m using a plastic one. This is one I just use in the shop. It’s fast. It’s easy. And the rest by hand in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Now, here’s what I wanna show you. So the part you wanna get, and I’ll put a link to that as well, is an actual Switchcraft American made input jack and it is much better in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Just looking at the quality of the thickness of the pieces. It’s just a better switch. You can feel it immediately when you touch it. So we’re just gonna go ahead and (0:09:50.8) that in. And here’s a cool tip, what you always wanna remember is the shaft of the input jack is ground. This is the signal.


The crown, right? This piece right here. That black piece of plastic, that is the piece of plastic that is separating the metal here from here in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Again, this will always be ground, this will always be hot. Hot and ground. So why is that important? Well, it’s important because when you look at an input jack, you can tell which parts touch these cables. So we put it in here. We could see this part touches. This part’s touching the hot. See how it’s just touching right in that spot? This hot. And this part, the part’s that touching the shaft, this is the ground in your Miami electric guitar lessons. So that is your tang for your ground and that is a tang for your hot. It will always work this way, OK?


So again, super easy. This will always be ground, this is hot. And that’s why when you grab your cable and you’re trying to touch to see if it works when it’s in the amp, you’re always touching the end, that’s the hot part. Ground. And again, that’s how it works. So essentially, you’re gonna put your ground wire to the part that is touching the shaft. And the hot wire to the part that touches the tip of the input jack. OK, so a couple things to remember. When you’re soldering with wires that are attached to the guitar, in other words you’re working in a close environment to the guitar, you need to make sure you put this rag or something over the top of the guitar in your Miami electric guitar lessons. Especially with solder. The center of the solder has, basically, a chemical that will spit all over the guitar.


And it’s very important that you go ahead and add solder to the actual wires. And the reason that is, is because that’ll make a better connection when you attach it to the input jack. Now, on the input jack, you can go ahead if you’d like and start with it actually being in the input jack tray in your Miami electric guitar lessons. The only thing that’s important is that when you line it up, you definitely want this piece right here, downward facing because it’s got to fit into the slot. And that’s gonna help you later in your Miami electric guitar lessons. So now, all you wanna do now, you could see this, we want to make sure we solder the actual… These are the tangs that the wire’s are gonna connect to. We wanna start with having them have already have soldered. And again, we already identified, black is gonna be ground and it will go to the shaft part. And I like, everybody’s a little different, I like to solder outside-in. I always come from the wire from the side. Then come right in. See? And just cause I know the wires are then out of the way, which is nice. And do not blow on the solder. You could get cold solder joints. You just wait for the temperature to actual die down itself.


And if it’s too hot and liquidy, your gun’s too hot in your Miami electric guitar lessons. And see what I was talking about how this is gonna line up just like at the bottom. And you make sure the wires are out of the way, you put it straight down and that’s it. OK, so another huge thing you could do which is strap locks. Once you make an investment in a guitar, you may wanna put strap locks. Now, strap locks, there’s gonna be different kinds. There’s gonna be the Dunlap style, there will be the Schaller style. If it makes you feel any better, Fender uses a Schaller-like knock-off style in your Miami electric guitar lessons.


Essentially, all you wanna do is take out your old strap button and take the dust out of there. And then what I like to do is take a toothpick. Again, this something you can do from home, that’s the important part. Sorry, toothpick and some Titebond. I break off the pointy end. Sometimes I cut it which is actually better in your Miami electric guitar lessons. And just again, a little liberal with the Titebond. Stick it inside there. And then what we wanna do is just cut it off with wire cutters to make it nice and smooth. Now, that we’ve done that, we’ll go ahead and grab the strap lock which is gonna be the receiver end of your strap locks. And line it in with the hole and use some force because now that toothpick’s in the way. And it’s gonna be soft because the glue. That’s why I like the glue because it makes it soft. Then you bite in there. And then trust me, now it’s in there, so when you put your strap lock on, I mean it’s there. And more importantly, this is what I like to see in your Miami electric guitar lessons. So that’s your strap lock.