Guitar, Bass and Ukulele Repairs

My name is Earle Wood and I repair, modify and upgrade guitars, basses and ukuleles in the Baltimore area. I want your instrument to play its best so that you can play your best.

I am a full-time guitar teacher and gigging musician who has spent years working on my own instruments as well as instruments owned by my students. I’ve spent countless hours tweaking, repairing and optimizing guitars, basses and ukuleles, bringing them to a professional musician’s standards.

I can help raise the level of your guitar, bass or ukulele. All you have to do is call, text or email to get started. I give free consultations and estimates on the phone, in-person or over Skype/Zoom.

 

Services

My rates are $75/hr plus the cost of parts and strings unless a flat-rate is given below. I give discounts to current students. I accept cash, check or credit card.

Here’s a list of my services. (If you need something done that you don’t see here, tell me and I’ll tell you if I can do it):

  • Basic Maintenance
    • String Change – $30 flat-rate
      • Includes cost of new strings and can be completed as customer waits.
    • Cleaning – $20 flat rate
      • Includes a comprehensive exterior surface clean and polish.
    • Total Check-Up – $30
      • This is a thorough evaluation of your instrument that is best suited for those of you who aren’t sure if your instrument is worth saving, upgrading or replacing.
  • Advanced Maintenance and Repair
    • Action Adjustment and Intonation
      • I’ll adjust the height of your strings above the fretboard so that the instrument is as easy to play as possible. Afterwards, I’ll adjust the intonation so that the tuning is consistent all over the neck.
    • Single Fret Leveling
      • If you’ve got one fret that buzzes when the rest don’t, you may need a spot-leveling of that fret so that it is the same height as the others.
    • Complete Fret Level
      • If you have more than a few buzz locations on your neck, it may be time for the all of the frets to be leveled as a group. This procedure ensures that every fret is exactly the same level as the others.
    • Fret Polishing
      • I’ll get those frets mirror-like and glassy smooth for luxurious bends by polishing the frets.
    • Nut Slot Optimization
      • If your nut slots are too shallow, the strings’ action will be too high and the notes on the first few frets will be out of tune. I can cut the slots deeper to help make the instrument play better and sound better.
    • Nut Replacement
      • Sometimes nuts crack and need to be replaced. Other times, the slots become too deep causing buzzes at the first fret. You may just want a new material like bone or TUSQ. In those cases, I can remove the old nut and put a new one in for you.
  • Modifications
    • Installation of New Pickups
      • I’ll fire up the soldering iron and install new pickups into your instrument. Volume knobs, tone knobs and switches can also be installed or replaced.
    • Installation of New Hardware
      • I can install new tuning machines, new saddles, strap buttons and more on your guitar. If it can be removed, I can replace it for you.
    • EW Nut Slots Mod
      • Improve your instrument’s tuning stability with my detailed re-shaping of your nut slots. I’ll break out the magnifying glass and nut file to make your strings glide through the nut slots and return back to tune after bending the strings or using the vibrato bar. Your instrument will stay in tune better than ever. This mod is especially helpful for Gibson-style headstocks.

FAQ

Which forms of payment do you accept?
I accept cash, check, credit card and PayPal.

When is payment due?
Payment is due when you pick up the instrument. If parts need to be ordered to complete the work, you must pay for those parts before I order them. You may also order the parts yourself and supply them to me.

How long does a typical job take?
It depends on the amount of work. A basic setup should take an hour or less. Single fret repairs, leveling, crowning and setup can take two hours or longer. Leveling all frets, crowning and set up can take four hours or more. During our consultation, I’ll give you an estimate of the time and cost, and update you during the work if the time and cost deviate from my estimate. I promise not to surprise you with hidden costs.

What if I want to make changes to your work afterwards?
I want you to be happy with the work that I do for you. After my work is completed we’ll review the instrument together and you’ll have the opportunity to ask for any tweaks to the setup. I’ll perform one minor setup adjustment to further adjust the instrument to your liking for free after you’ve had a chance to review it. This includes a truss rod adjustment, action adjustment and re-intonation. Anything beyond that will be treated as a new work order and will cost additional money.

What if I am unsatisfied with your work?
If you are unhappy with my work, you don’t pay. That simple. I stand by my work and I’m sure that you’ll find that your instrument will be improved and playing better than ever.

My instrument sounds different now! What do I do?
Every bit of work performed on an instrument has the potential to change the sound or tone of the instrument. Most repairs involve installing new strings, which will surely sound brighter with more harmonic complexity than the old strings. That’s part of the fun of upgrading, modifying and tweaking your instrument. Some work will cause more changes than others, like changing pickups or string gauges. EW Guitar Repair is not responsible for perceived tonal changes.

What is the turnaround time?
Typically one week, but could be shorter or longer depending on the work load. I’ll give you a clear deadline during our consultation.

How do I know what work you did?
Although some repairs and maintenance will be subtle, others will be obvious to you. In either case, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive spec sheet that outlines your instrument’s condition and geometries as it was given to me, and the geometries after my work is completed. That sheet will also include extensive notes about the work I performed and suggestions for further improvements. It’s like a medical history chart for your instrument!