Q: Why use the 1st fret and the 12th instead of the 15th fret for measuring and adjusting the relief in your neck?
A: We respect the different ways manufacturers and repair techs approach neck relief. With Master Guitar Tech Geoff Luttrell along with other top repair techs we developed our KISS method using the 1st and 12th fret and measuring at the 6th fret to accommodate most all guitars using a common measurement. The relief of the neck at the 6th fret is in the middle of the span between the 1st and 12th fret.
Q: Can I use a regular capo at the first fret if I do not have a pick capo?
A: The pick capo allows you to hold the string down on top of the 1st fret with just enough tension and is easy to slip in without worrying about where it sits on the fret and how much tension is on it. Yes, you can use a regular capo but you need to make sure it is holding down the string directly on top of the 1st fret using the least amount of tension otherwise you will get an inaccurate reading.
Q: I have done all the proper steps in the KISS method and my instrument has fret buzz, dead notes, intonation problems, or other playability issues. What could this be?
A: The KISS setup method is based on doing all the steps in order and having level frets. For example, if you do the String Action Height adjustment only and you have fret buzz, it may be because you did not adjust your Truss Rod. Make sure you follow all the steps in the setup process. You can find the proper steps in our Setup Hub https://www.musicnomadcare.com/How-To-Advice/Setup-Hub/The-Setup-Flow/
For worn or un-even frets you will have to compensate for that until you are able to get fretwork done. To achieve clean notes and no buzzing without fretwork, you will need to raise the action until you achieve no buzz. More relief in the neck and higher string action can solve this but is harder to play and can lead to intonation issues. Another cause for buzzing can be that your nut slots are too low or were cut too low. If you are having any of these issues, we recommend you take your guitar to a qualified repair shop.