Watch Black Sabbath Guitar Technician Mike Clement give a detailed tutorial on how to set up your guitar like Tony Iommi’s

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Tony Iommi’s longtime guitar technician Mike Clement has drawn the curtain and revealed the Black Sabbath guitarist electric guitar configuration secrets.

Clément joined Thomann’s Kris Barosci for the latest episode of Guitar Tech Tips, Barosci’s YouTube show on the Thomann channel. During a broad conversation, Clement shared his approach to changing electric guitar strings, adjusting neck relief, and tuning action on Iommi’s Gibson SGs.

He also talks about the importance of Iommi’s custom electric guitar pickups and Laney guitar amps to his sound. Even if you’re not a Black Sabbath fan, there was a wealth of wisdom relevant to anyone who owns a guitar.

Clement has been Iommi’s technician for over 30 years. Prior to joining Iommi, Clement was Motörhead’s technician for three and a half years. Würzel played hard and broke a lot of strings. Lemmy was playing so hard he broke his bass strings.

It was there that he learned that string changes had to be quick and efficient. “I got used to doing them very quickly indeed,” explains Clément. “I could have a string changed, stretched and put back on before a song was finished. “

For a pro like Clément, a large part of his adjustments are made by touch, with his only essential tool being his straight-edged metal ruler to check the relief of the neck. To adjust the relief, he will put it perfectly flat, before winding it up a bit until the strings are just above the strings.

Clement discussed Iommi’s use of light strings and how the Black Sabbath guitarist’s injury in a machining accident affected his guitar playing in the years that followed. Famous, Iommi had to use banjo strings for his treble, at a time when low caliber strings were less available.

“I had big problems when I asked string makers to make me lighter gauge string sets,” Iommi told MusicRadar in 2010. “They kept saying they don’t. couldn’t do it, even though I had made my own setup from banjo strings. I used banjo strings first because I was trying to find something light that I could use, and lowered the gauge so that I used a fifth. [string] like sixth. It worked for me.

Inspired by Django Reinhardt, Iommi persisted, tuning in to create a heavier rock sound, in the process inventing heavy metal.

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