Guitar Maintenance To Keep Your Axe Sounding Great
If you want to keep your guitar sounding good, then you must take care of it and perform easy maintenance on it. There is nothing very hard about taking care of a guitar and the better you care for it, the less work you will have to do on it.
It doesn’t matter if you play guitar for fun or if you are a professional guitar player, you have to take care of the guitar. Many guitars are a work of art and should be cared for as such. The different woods guitar manufacturers use affect the resonance and the look.
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Your reasons for maintaining your instrument properly should be to keep your guitar in tip-top playing condition, as well as, preserving its beauty.
If you want your strings to sound good, make sure that you wipe them off after playing, every single time.
It is the perspiration and dirt from your fingers that destroy the strings.
You will need to change your strings periodically to keep them sounding good, but wiping them down after every session is one of the smartest ways to prolong the life of your strings.
I’ve used this and I’ve used just a nice soft cloth. My hands don’t really sweat. This cleaner is good if you have particularly sweaty hands and you forget to clean the strings when you are done.
GHS Fast-Fret String Cleaner (2-Pack)
You should clean your guitar regularly on all surfaces and then polish it.
There are guitar waxes and polishes that are specifically made to be used on guitars or you can simply use furniture polish.
Your guitar’s wood will stay looking great and if you ever decide to sell it, you could get a better price from your efforts.
This is a high-quality cleaner and polish that works well:
Martin Professional Guitar Polish/Cleaner Kit
Carefully inspect your frets each time you change your strings. The frets can get divots or become loose and will need repaired.
When you change strings, you should wash your frets too as the oils and dirt from your fingers can build up. Just use a soft-bristled toothbrush and some soapy water. Always wipe completely dry.
Your fret board won’t feel “soft” if you keep your fret board clean.
One of your guitars greatest enemies is humidity.
When you are storing it in a case, be sure to use a moisture control system to keep your guitar protected.
Be sure that you regularly clean your bridge, pickup covers, and tuning pegs. You want to be sure to make sure all screws are tight, as well as your strap pins and tuning pegs.
Treat your guitar like a child. If it’s cold outside and you are taking your guitar with you in a vehicle, let the vehicle warm up before you put your guitar in it.
Keep it in the passenger area, instead of the trunk so that it doesn’t get too cold.
Never leave your guitar baking in a hot vehicle, either.
Any extreme changes in temperature could warp the wood or neck of your guitar.
Don’t lean your guitar on the neck when you are not playing it. Instead, let the body bear the weight of the guitar.
The neck of your guitar will become bowed and your guitar will end up going out of tune all the time.
You should keep your guitar in a case when you are not playing it or keep it on a guitar stand.
This is the stand I use to put my guitars on:
On Stage XCG4 Black Tripod Guitar Stand
I have this one too:
Some people hang their guitars on the wall and there are varying opinions about whether or not it hurts the guitar. I can’t use a guitar hanger for mine as my house shakes too much from the washing machine.
Here’s the one I have. You can use it for an acoustic or an electric. It works great but my walls vibrate from the washer.
String Swing CC01K-BW Guitar Hanger
If you have an electric guitar, keep it away from dust because it can interfere with the electronics.
A can of compressed air on occasion can help to keep it dust-free.
You should dust your guitar on a regular basis to protect and keep the finish looking good.
The better you take care of your guitar, the longer it will last and the less frustration you will have as you continue learning how to play the guitar.
It’s easy to get interrupted when you are practicing and you can seriously damage your guitar if you don’t put it in its proper place.
You might take your guitar to a party or a friend’s and put it in your trunk and then, forget to take it back into the house with you, when you get home.
If this happens and it starts going out of tune, get it to the repair store right away. The truss rod will have to adjusted and this should solve the problem quickly.
It would be wise to take your guitar to a trained technician at least once a year and have him or her check it out completely.
Your truss rod could need adjusted and it’s best left to a professional to set the intonation up correctly unless you have years of experience .
A good guitar costs a few thousand dollars. If you don’t have a lot of money, even five hundred dollars can seem like a lot to pay for a guitar.
You want to treat your guitar right so that you can have years of enjoyment playing it.
One of the very best ways to keep your guitar in great shape is to play it daily. When a guitar sits, it gathers dust and is affected by the temperature and humidity. Most guitars go bad simply from lack of use.
If your guitar suits you perfectly and you love the way your guitar sounds and play, make sure that you do everything you can to maintain the playability of that guitar because you may be hard-pressed to find another that suits you in the same way.
Many people own more than one guitar, but end up having a certain one they just keep reaching for. When you find that guitar, treat it like royalty, baby it and take care of it.