Guitar Workshop


At Cookes, we take the well-being of your guitar very seriously.  We believe a guitar should be an absolute pleasure to play and, if it’s poorly setup, dirty and troublesome, you’re unlikely to feel inspired to pick it up again next time.  Guitars are just like any other machine in that they need to be given some TLC as time goes by in order to keep them working at peak performance.  So think of a guitar service as an MOT for your instrument to spot flaws, correct problems and make everything shine again.

We all need to do our part in caring for and maintaining our guitars; wiping down strings after playing and cleaning dirt and residue from the body and fretboard are all simple ways to maintain the playability.  But sometimes it’s necessary to give your guitar a bit of a treat and have it completely stripped down, deep cleaned and perfectly set up in order to reinvigorate its performance and your playing.


Service And Example Cost

Full Service (Fixed Bridge & Traditional Tremolo)         £50

Full Service (Floyd Rose)                                                   £75

(Prices exclude cost of strings and any replacement parts that may be required)


Bring your guitar into the shop and have a chat with a member of staff about having it serviced.  Turnaround on guitar servicing tends to be in the region of 7-10 days but our staff will give you an indication of the current wait time; we run a first come, first served queuing system and the length of the queue changes on a daily basis.  Our in-store guitar technician (the only one in the county!) is keen to find out how your instrument is performing currently, including any niggling issues you might be experiencing, and to discover your aspirations as to what you’d like it to do instead.  Here’s how we do this for you:

  • Initial Assessment 

We check your instrument over to examine structural integrity, identify obvious flaws and to find out your aspirations as to what you’d like the guitar to do for you.  We’ll ask you about your playing style and dynamics, discuss suitable string choices to compliment your sound and find out what you’d like us to ‘dial in or out’ of your current guitar setup.  Once work commences, we painstakingly set about making the best of your instrument’s abilities.

  • Neck Maintenance

The fretboard is your main playing surface and gathers the most dirt and residue of any part of the guitar.  We strip away ground-in dirt from the board and length of the frets and apply lemon oil or polish (depending on the wood types) to moisturise and condition your fretboard.  Your frets will be fully examined for dips and scratches and manually buffed to a mirror-like shine with our secret polishing compound, making your fretted notes rich and clear and your bends smooth and effortless.  The tuning machine heads and posts will be checked and tightened to eradicate any loose rattling noises.

  • Body/Electronics Maintenance

The body and hardware of your guitar will be carefully stripped of grease, dirt and residue.  Strap buttons are checked and tightened to make sure your guitar stays safely on its strap.  Electric and electro acoustic guitars will have their electronics and components checked for signs of wear or unwanted noise.  Troublesome parts will be serviced or replaced so that the guitar continues to make only the noises it is meant to.

  • Restringing And Tuning

We’ll fit your chosen brand and variety of string and lightly stretch them in to maximise tuning stability.  Once perfectly tuned, we check that the topnut and saddles allow bright, buzz-free note clarity.

  • Play Through

Here we check the string heights, action and intonation to make sure the guitar plays easily and cleanly, adjusting truss rod, saddle and nut slots accordingly.  Our technician then checks the instrument’s ‘hand feel’ by playing and bending every note on every string and looks for dead spots and buzzes to eliminate.

  • Final Polish And Check

Your fully adjusted guitar now gets a final intensive clean using guitar-specific waxes and polishes to minimise scratches and swirls and bring out a deep, protective lustre.  At this stage we’ll report back any pertinent findings or limitations as to how the guitar performs and will make suggestions regarding onward care and maintenance of your instrument.