Guitar Care and Maintenance

Here are some suggestions for caring for your guitar:

  • 1. Wipe down the neck with a dry cloth after every use to protect yourfretboard and to prolong string life. Sweat, oils, dirt and grime can accumulate very quickly, and if you wipe the fretboard frequently, you can make dressing the frets a much simpler task. You will also prolong string life by removing some of the elements that cause strings to deteriorate.

  • 2. Dress the frets every time you change strings. If you play often,a lot of dirt, grime and oils from your hands can build up on the fretboard. This isn`t good for the strings and probably affects the sound also. I use a very soft-bristled t oothbrush and a little soapy water, and I make sure to wipe the fret dry after cleaning. Use this routine when your change strings and your fretboard won`t ever have that `soft` feel.

  • 3. Clean and polish the top, sides and back of your guitar regularly. You can use a top-of-the line furniture polish to apply to your guitar, or your can buy any number of polishes offered by guitar companies specifically for the guitar application. If you establish a regular clean and polish regimen, your guitar will always look good. The beauty of the woods will be enhanced, and if you should ever decide to part with your guitar, it will bring a premium price because of your efforts.

  • 4. Never expose your instrument to excessive heat or cold for prolonged periods of time. Heat and sunlight can cause premature finish checking, and can make the finely-crafted woods in your guitar look old and faded almost overnight. Cold weather might not affect the finish so much, but it can cause damage to binding, inlays and the neck, often requiring unnecessary work with the truss rod. Guitars need a cool, dry environment, so try to keep your guitar in that type of setting.

  • 5. Protect your guitar when it`s stored in the case. I`m talking about humidity here, and it can be one of the most insidious enemies to the health of your guitar. You can buy a capsule from your local guitar storethat will stabilize the humidity in the case; just put it in your case and it will provide the protection that you need.

  • 6. Regularly check and tighten all screws, strap-pins and tuning machines. This just makes good sense, because you don`t want any unneeded rattling or jingling when you`re playing your instrument, either at a gig or at home for your own pleasure.

  • 7. Make it a point to regularly clean all metal parts of your guitar with a good metal cleaning compound. Chrome and nickel are notorious for corrosion and tarnish, particularly in certain environments, so setting up a regimen to clean your pickup covers, bridge, and tuning buttons will help in maintaining the visual appeal of your instrument.

  • 8. Avoid things that can cause scratches, dings and other scars on your instrument. Don`t wear a belt with a buckle when you have your guitar strapped on; I have seen many beautiful vintage instruments which have been ruined by belt-buckle scratches on the back. Also, buy a stand! Never leave your guitar propped up a gainst the wall or your amplifier--I`ve seen irreparable damage done to some quality instruments because they fell from being propped up. Spend the money and buy a stand--consider it an investment.

  • 9. At least once a year, carry your instrument to your local guitar technician for a complete look-over. I don`t set my own instruments up. My technician knows exactly how I want my guitars to feel, and he does a fine job. No matter how well you take care of your instrument, the truss rod will need adjusting regularly, and the intonation screws on the pickups will need to be adjusted, to ensure that your are getting the balanced sound that you want from your guitar. Your guitar may need bridge adjustments also, so it`s always good to take it in annually to let the expert make the fine adjustments that will give you the maximum in playability.

  • 10. My last tip--PLAY YOUR GUITAR!!! There is no better way to keep your guitar in tip-top shape than to play it every day. I`ve put guitars up for years, in the case, and have always been dismayed to see how they `go down` from lack of use. Play your guitar, take care of it, and it will take care of you.


Article provided by:
Amazing Guitar  -

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