The Most Important Tips That You Need to Know to Maintain Your Guitar
If you are a guitar owner, you probably attach a lot of sentimental value to your instrument. After all, you know your guitar like the back of your hand and are able to make it sound just the way you want. Due to this, you will want your instrument to last as long as it possibly can.
Then there is also the fact that some of the best instruments aren’t exactly cheap either, which means that you have made some kind of investment. So, it stands to reason that you probably don’t want to spend that kind of money any time soon.
Well, the best way to ensure that your guitar continues to hold up well is if you maintain it properly, guaranteeing a longer lifespan. If you aren’t entirely sure how to go about this, check out these useful tips below:
Wash Your Hands
Now, this may seem like an odd maintenance tip but it is an important one, nonetheless. Get into the habit of washing your hands before you pick up your guitar. Why? Well, for one thing, there is always a chance that your hands may be covered in grime that will attach itself to your guitar. Not only will this make the instrument dirtier, but it might be more difficult to play as well.
Even if your hands are clean, there are natural oils produced by your skin. Over time, these oils can cause the disintegration of your guitar strings, causing them to break or snap. So, do yourself and your guitar a favor and wash your hands before you play.
Clean Your Strings After Every Session
As mentioned, there is always a chance that the strings on your guitar may break. One reason this may happen is due to the oils on your hands. See, guitar strings are prone to oxidation. This means that when they are exposed to oxygen over time, the material in the strings will break down.
The problem is that the oil present on your fingers can nudge the process along, ensuring that it will happen sooner than you anticipated. The good news is that this issue can easily be remedied, simply by wiping the strings down once you are done playing.
You should nonetheless, be careful about the material you are using to wipe the strings. It is best to rely on something soft and non-abrasive like a microfiber cloth. In case you don’t have one lying around, take an old t-shirt and use this to gently wipe down the strings.
Of course, even with all this care, you are going to have to switch out your guitar strings at some point. If your strings don’t snap on their own first, it can be tricky to figure out the right time to substitute the strings. However, if you feel the sound quality is being compromised or if they feel old and appear discolored, these are signs you need to change them.
Prevent Buildup on Your Fretboard
In addition to the guitar strings, your fretboard is the next thing your fingers make the most contact with. Therefore, it is not unusual to find that dust, dirt, and grime build up in this area as well. When this happens, you can expect your playing and the resulting sound to be affected.
Unlike the strings, though, you will not need to clean the fretboard every time you play. As a rule of thumb, try to clean this area every time you change the strings. This way, you will have uninterrupted access to it. Or, if you really want to stay on top of things, aim to clean out the fretboard once every six months. A quick wipe down with a soft cloth will often do the trick. However, if you tend to keep your guitar out or play it a lot, then using a special cleaning oil can be helpful as well.
Maintaining the Guitar Body
The next step, of course, is to keep the body of the guitar clean. To make sure that dust doesn’t settle on it, use a microfiber cloth or soft, cotton t-shirt to wipe down the body every so often. For the most part, this will work well to keep it looking fresh.
At some point, though, you may find that the guitar body has lost some of its shine. If so, a little bit of polish can help you out here. Now, you may find some people advise you to use furniture polish on your guitar but you should never do this. Instead, always look for a polish that has been specially formulated for the type of wood used in your guitar.
When cleaning your electric guitar, you need to be even more careful. It is important that no liquid or polish comes into contact with any electrical components or the pickups. So, always use a dry cloth on these areas.
Store Your Guitar Properly
One of the best ways to ensure that your guitar continues to look and sound great is to store it the right way. First off, you need a proper guitar case – if you tend to travel a lot, a hard case is best. As much as possible, keep your guitar in its case when you are not using it. Thus, it will be a lot less likely to pick up dust or grime.
Depending on where you live, you may find that the humidity levels inside the case are quite high. This isn’t a good thing as humidity is typically bad for your guitar. Fortunately, there are capsules and other substances you can place inside your case to reduce the humidity levels.
If you do want to store your guitar out of its case for short periods of time, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, keep it away from direct sunlight and make sure to store it in a place that is neither too hot nor too cold. Finally, never leave your guitar lying around. Always prop it up on a stand so that it doesn’t come into contact with abrasive surfaces.
There are many different ways you can keep your guitar in pristine condition. By following the advice given here, you are sure to notice that your guitar looks and sounds as great as ever.