As passionate guitarists, we all are deeply attached to our guitars. More often than not, we end up owning a collection of a few acoustic guitars and we cannot deny enjoying it. However, the essence of playing a well toned acoustic guitar depends entirely on the way it is maintained. Maintaining an acoustic guitar carefully helps your guitar tone last through seasons beautifully and protects your investment as well. Guitar luthiers take great care in handpicking different kinds of woods and use their years of experience to produce high quality instruments varying in resonance and finish. In this blog, we have listed down 12 essential tips on how to take care of your acoustic guitar.
- Maintain Hand Hygiene – Ensure your hands are free of dirt, sweat or any other kind of substance before you play the guitar. Dirty hands can not only damage the strings but also the fretboard.
- Wipe Strings – Wiping the strings, the underside in particular, after playing can prevent any kind of dirt, sweat or oil from coming in contact with the fretboard. Also, wiping the strings slows down the rusting process of them and prolongs their life.
- Wipe Neck – Ensure that the back of the neck of the fretboard is wiped thoroughly to prevent oil or dirt affecting the finish. Use a soft cloth for wiping.
- Avoid Scratches – Always rest your guitar on a guitar stand. It is disappointing to see your guitar fall to the floor when made to rest against the wall or on a chair, all for a moment’s carelessness. Avoid usage of any materials such as metallic zippers or buckles which can cause scratches on the body.
- Use Guitar Case – Store your guitar in its case when not in use. This is the single most effective way to care for your guitar easily. It prevents the guitar from suffering any damage and also from humidity.
- Protect from Humidity – Exposing the guitar to no or extreme humidity can cause heavy damage. The ideal humidity range should be around 45% – 55%. You can use a humidifier to keep it in check. Also, keeping the guitar in case helps to control the humidity level.
- Protect from Sunlight – Avoid direct sunlight. When exposed to direct sunlight, the guitar is prone to damages in the wood quality, finish and more. Again, keeping it in a case helps.
- Avoid Quick Temperature Changes – Because of the wood, acoustic guitars can expand and contract if exposed to quick temperature changes. It is better to keep the guitar away from extreme temperatures.
- Clean and Polish – The top, side and the back of the guitar should be cleaned and polished regularly. You can check with the manufacturer for different products used for polishing and cleaning.
- Fretboard Cleaning, Conditioning and Polishing – It is recommended to condition the fretboard once or twice a year. You can do this when you change the strings of the guitar. Check with the manufacturer for any products related to fretboard cleaning, as the products vary depending on the type of the wood of the guitar. Polish the fretboard post cleaning and conditioning.
- Complete Setup – A total setup of the guitar should be checked and implemented based on the temperature of the location, storage conditions and playing requirements. Changing strings, adjusting the action, nut height, electronics (acoustic – electric guitar), tuning pegs and intonation are a few things which should be taken care of.
- Practice – We couldn’t have missed this. In the end, the sound of your guitar also depends on how much you practice and how well you play. Being passionate about playing the guitar more will also help you maintain your guitar as a committed habit rather than a chore.
Hence, it pays well to care for your guitar and let it show age and color as it grows old with a more matured sound and quality. Nothing seems more satisfying than listening to a well maintained acoustic guitar. Therefore, ensure you follow the tips and keep your guitar in a good condition to make it more playable and less prone to changes in weather. Happy strumming!