In this guide, we will discuss guitar care and guitar maintenance for your acoustic or electric guitar. You’ll learn how to keep your guitar safe during temperature and weather changes, as well as looking good and sounding great. Follow each of the sections below to get started. How to store a guitar Keep it in a case Maintain consistent humidity How to clean a guitar Daily cleaning practices Fretboard maintenance Polishing the finish How to change guitar strings How to store a guitar Keeping your guitar safe and in excellent playing condition is all about what you do with it when you’re not playing it. It sounds strange but it’s true. Keeping it in a safe location like its case and maintaining the proper humidity level where it’s stored are all key for proper guitar care. Keep your guitar in a case If a guitar isn’t being played, it probably belongs in a guitar case. That’s the best way to ensure its safety while you’re not playing it. Guitars look great on a stand, but if knocked over, there’s more at stake than just a ding or dent. If you choose to store your guitar(s) on a stand or wall hanger, make sure that the room’s humidity is closely monitored. Controlling the environment within a guitar case is much easier to maintain and recommended. Dramatic temperature changes
Guitars are also subject to temperature changes, especially when traveling. Dramatic leaps in temperature over a short period can damage or warp parts of the instrument. Don’t leave a guitar in the heat or cold for too long. If you do, bring it into the new environment and allow as much time as possible to adjust before removing it from the case. Consider unlocking the guitar case and cracking it open to speed up the process.
Maintain consistent humidity A very easy and also incredibly important tip for guitar care is properly humidifying; especially for acoustic guitars. The best investment you can make with your new instrument is not a new set of guitar strings or fancy guitar strap. It’s a humidification system that will ensure that your guitar is kept at a constant 45% – 50% humidity level. Failure to do this will result in cracks, sharp fret ends and failed bridges. Learn more about why proper humidification is so essential to guitar care and maintenance.
Set up a guitar
Guitar maintenance often includes the need to be set up to maintain their playability. Climates with frequently changing weather will require adjustments more often. Check out our guitar setup guide for more information about setting up your electric guitar. RETURN TO TOP ↑ How to clean a guitar Another tip for guitar care is regularly cleaning your guitar. Cleaning not only keeps it shiny and new, but it can also prolong the life of your strings and prevent your hardware from tarnishing or prematurely aging. Here are some can’t-go wrong solutions to keeping your guitar clean and polished. Daily guitar cleaning practices Proper guitar care also includes cleaning your guitar daily. Wash your hands before playing. Our hands are covered in a lot of dirt, oils, and sweat, but our guitars don’t have to be. So for guitar maintenance, washing your hands before playing can help keep your guitar safe from the dirty things that we’re exposed to throughout the day.
Another tip for guitar maintenance, is to wipe off your guitar after playing, too. Before you close up the case and call it a night, it’s a good habit to give it a quick wipe down with a polishing cloth. Pay a little extra attention to the strings and any hardware since that is where your hands spend most of their time. Wiping down your strings will help keep your tone alive, and there is a unique string cleaner to help get the job done.
Debris like dust and sweat will accumulate in potentiometers (knobs) and cause a scratchy sound when used. The good news is that this is a normal phenomenon and is cured by repeatedly turning the pot back and forth until the scratchiness disappears. For better guitar maintenance, there is even DeoxIt spray available for deep cleaning and to maintain performance. If the sound does not go away or have other crackles, a loose input jack may need to be tightened, or the guitar may need to be seen by a technician.
Fretboard maintenance Giving your guitar’s fretboard a cleaning whenever you change or remove your strings is a good habit for guitar care. There are many fretboard conditioners on the market today, and they all work well to keep your fingerboard hydrated and looking shiny and new. Avoiding fret sprouting, fretboard cracks, or finish damage is as simple as running your fretboard oil down the fingerboard of your guitar and rubbing it in with a polish cloth. Do not use furniture polish or any glass cleaner on a guitar as this will not react well with the finish. Maple fretboards
Warning about maple fretboards: If your guitar has a maple fretboard as many Stratocasters and Telecasters do, you won’t want to use lemon oil or a fretboard conditioner on them. These are most often finished over and it’s only necessary to wipe them down with a microfiber cloth and maybe a small amount of guitar polish. Polishing the finish Polishing the finish is excellent guitar care, but before you reach for your guitar polish, be sure you’ve taken the time to remove any dust or fingerprints from the guitar with only your microfiber cloth. Failing to remove hard debris like metal flakes will result in scratches to your beautiful glossy finish. Once you’re confident that any unwanted debris has been removed, spray your cloth with the guitar polish and lightly wipe down the guitar in circular patterns. Be sure to get the back of the neck and headstock while you’re at it, but try not to leave any residue behind. Satin and matte finishes
If your guitar has a natural, matte or satin finish, ditch the polish and wipe the guitar down with a polish cloth for optimal guitar care. These finishes will naturally darken and change wherever your skin makes contact with it, but consider that character and what makes it yours. Wiping your instrument down regularly will help prevent this but should be expected over time with a natural or satin-finished instrument. RETURN TO TOP ↑ How to change guitar strings Changing strings is a skill every guitar player will need to learn at some point, and the effort is well worth it. A new set of strings will often inject new life into a guitar and help maintain the guitar better. How frequently you change strings depends on how often and where the guitar is being played. While many players change strings for every gig, cleaning the strings will usually do the trick. Playability and sound are two qualities that will vary based on your brand and string gauge selection. We encourage you to try out as many sets of strings as it takes to find the perfect one for you, but be aware that moving up or down in string gauge will affect the guitar’s setup. Because different gauges will add or relieve tension to the neck, you’ll need to fine-tune some adjustments to your relief, action, and intonation when making this adjustment. Clean strings instead
Many situations require a new set of strings, but some don’t. If your strings are just a little dirty, you can make them sound newer by cleaning them. Check out our guitar string cleaning guide for more information. Why people change guitar strings: Replace a broken string Replacing an aged or dirty set Change playability (tension/feel) Acheive a specific sound or tuning
Signs that it’s time for new strings: Tuning instability Loss of tone or sustain Buildup or grim on the strings (Maintenance/repair needed ? Click here, we are based in Belgium, Wijchmaal/Peer/Limburg) Thanks for reading Luthier Danny Moons RETURN TO TOP ↑ source : https://www.sweetwater.com/