I'm not in school at the moment but i've been doing a little bit of refurbishing of old instruments and I want to gain some knowledge on whatever it is that you guys study to know as much as you know. Whenever I ask for advice on here for things like pickups, I get answers from people who seem to be acquainted with terms like "ohms", "resistance", "polarity", and other things of that sort. How do you pick up on things like that?

I got myself a library card recently so I could go pick up some books on whatever it is I should be learning. I've also been doing some general labor so this could result in some extra income if I can become good enough at it. Until then, I just want to be able to switch out my guitars' pickups, be able to change out(I forget what you call it) my tube amp's tubes, and make a guitar's intonation as perfect as possible(which has nothing to do with electronics).

Any advice/recommendations?
take a basic electronics class and youll pretty much understand everything about the inner workings of an electric guitar. if you can find an audio-specific electronics class, which is what im currently taking, youll benefit even more.

you may not want to take a class just for that purpose, and you totally dont have to if you just keep reading threads on other people doing it and asks some questions, but i can assure you that the electronics class is beneficial in a lot more than just your music. I have fixed all kinds of old broken electronic stuff since i started, and im only halfway through the semester.

if you dont opt for the class, then my biggest advice would be to take it one thing at a time. Dont try and learn everything all at once. Just find a starting point, like what pickup polarity it, and you may find other terms withing the explanation for polarity that you dont understand, so go google those, then come back to the polarity thing. eventually, youll get it all down... youll probably have to read things multiple times btw.
Last edited by ciano16 at Oct 25, 2014,
Here's a great book to learn about electronics. The volumes are downloadable for free and the whole thing is available as a free android (and probably apple) app as well.

This is more of an online "lab notebook" but is a wealth of info on specific effects and some amps.

Those are all I can think of right now. I haven't messed with this stuff in a long while so I've forgotten some things...
Learning it all depends on the type of person you are really, most of the electronic stuff you mentioned is basic high school stuff really. I don't fully understand all of it but know enough to understand the context in a guitar.

As for the physical work (swapping pickups, tubes, intonation) my best advise would be try. Google how to and try. Those tasks are all pretty straight forward (aside from biasing power tubes if necessary) and not high on the difficulty scale IMO. The hardest part would be getting the soldering skills down on the pickup wiring really.

Now this all takes into account the way I learn (I can read something 400 times but won't really get it until I physically do it myself)
You have a library card, so get a book on electronics. maybe something like "an introduction to" electronics or "basic" electronics. then maybe get another book like electric guitar wiring book. I say book because it's nice to be able to go back and reread.