|I am Jay Jay the Guitar Tech. I was born and raised just outside of Rochester, NY.
I have been working on guitars for a bit over 25 years under the business name of Jays Guitar - Repair and Customizing.
I specialize in custom modifications, repairs and basic maintenance.
Over the last 25 years I have done work for 1000's of people both locally and all across the US.
I have worked for guitarists and bassists in live settings and recording studio settings as well.
I have my repair shop located at my home in North Chili, NY. I also work out of American Music Centre in Greece NY. I love doing what I do for a
living and I am always learning something new still to this day.
I also enjoy being able to share my knowledge with those that want to pick my brain.
Around 2012 I started diving into building custom guitars, basses and custom instrument cases.
I am currently in the process of kicking off a small boutique line of guitars and basses so, stay tuned for more info on that.
If you are interested in following my journey as a guitar tech feel free to follow me on FaceBook or better yet, keep reading Metal Meat Magazine to
catch my one and only tech
column as well as periodic how to/informational videos.
I encourage anyone with questions or comments to please send an e-mail to ASKJJ@METALMEAT.COM.
|By Jay Jay the Guitar Tech
|Wazzup, my metal brothers and sisters? It has been a couple months since my last
communication and to be honest, I had a little bit of “writers block” and as a lot of you know,
writers block of any form sucks. It doesn’t matter if you are writing music, lyrics, a book or in
this case a magazine article.
My great friend and guitar building partner Noel, suggested that I write about common
issues that I see from day to day in my repair shop. Well, I went from having writers block to
a flood of ideas causing, circuit overload! The cool thing is a week or two later I was
contacted by Metal Meat’s founding father and creator, David Henninger who was having
electronic issues with one of his guitars. While I had David’s guitar in my shop, another
client called me who was also having similar issues and well, !!BAM!! I found this month’s
topic, “Avoiding Electric Guitar/Bass Electronic Issues”.
|The majority of the time when I have an electric guitar or bass on my bench with
suspected electronic issues, before I even open up the instrument, I check two
areas. I check the ¼” output jack to see if the nut is loose (a loose jack can
make it so you have poor plug to jack connection) and second I twist all of the
knobs from 0 – 10 to see if the potentiometers or “POTs” want to twist further
than the stopping point of the knob (Loose Nut).
9 times out of 10 these are the two most common areas that will cause
electronic issues which will most likely make the instrument’s sound cut in and
out if plugged into an amplifier of some kind.
Here are the “Meat and Potatoes” of my most common discoveries upon
opening the electronics cavity.
There are one or two broken wires either off of a POT or off of the jack and
there are 3 most likely ways this could happen.
1. When the client tightened the loose nut on the POT or jack, he or she never
held the back of the POT or jack inside the cavity while tightening the nut.
2. The client neglected to try and tighten said nut and then twisted their POT
too far which would hyper-extend the wiring, ultimately causing a wire or two to
disconnect or worse, causing a lug to break off of the POT or Jack.
3. While the client was trying to tighten the nut the correct way, (holding the
back of the component while tightening the nut) they accidentally loosened,
broke a wire or two and or bent or broke off a lug to one of the components with
The moral of my rambling is, if you find that you have a loose nut, before you
go wrenching down on the nut MAKE SURE you are preventing the nut from
twisting the entire component around in the cavity. The twisting is what causes
loose and or broken wires. You also need to make sure that when you reach
into the cavity that your fingers don’t break or loosen the wires while you are
trying to hold the component from twisting. It can be a bit of a juggling act for
sure, but accidents happen and when they happen, your favorite guitar tech is
there to help get you back in business.
Some quick advice I have before I sign off for now is check all nuts and screws
on your instruments. This basic yet needed maintenance is essential to the
health of your instrument. The best time to check all the nut and screws is
when you are changing your strings. Make it a habit when you have the strings
off, to wipe down the entire instrument, check all of the nuts and screw, look for
anything that may cause the instrument to malfunction at the wrong time. The
key is to catch the issues on your down time so, you aren’t stuck on stage
wondering, “WTF, why is my sound cutting out?” or “Why did my tuning peg fall
OK my fellow axe slingers, if you have any questions or comments as always,
please send me an e-mail at ASKJJ@METALMEAT.COM.... ‘Til next time my
Metal Meat brothers and sisters, Keep those grills hot, the metal loud and the
pits brutal! PEACE!!
Jay Jay The Guitar Tech