How to Take Care of An Acoustic Guitar
A nice guitar is a big investment. Because of this, you want to take care of it. Not only to keep it sounding and playing well but also to extend the life of the guitar itself. Tasks like stringing it properly and the daily upkeep of the guitar will help you do just that.
So we thought we would pull together a few tips on how to take care of an acoustic guitar. These tips should help to ensure you are playing that amazing acoustic guitar for years to come.
So here are some of the tips we think are the most important to the lifecycle of your guitar.
Wash Your Hands
Your hands carry sweat and dirt on them from your daily chores and tasks. On top of the dirt and grime of the day, your body produces oils, and these oils have an acidity known as pH. This acid can damage the fretboard as well as the strings of the guitar.
That being said, before you even pick up your guitar, you will want to wash your hands. You can also keep handy wipes near you so that you can quickly clean your hands periodically or in-between sessions.
The last thing you want is for your guitar to be dropped on the floor. One of the best ways to prevent that is to use guitar strap locks. This is a small plastic or rubber piece that you stick over the strap after attaching it to the guitar strap peg.
When in place, this tool helps prevent the strap from working on the knob, which can happen without the player’s knowledge. There are many varieties, so you will want to look for the one that works with your guitar and your budget.
If you are using a guitar strap and strap locks, then taking the guitar strap on and off may seem like a hassle. With this hassle, you may think that leaving your guitar strap on your guitar is an easy option. But this can be bad for your guitar.
Many leather guitar straps are cured with chemicals. These chemicals can interact with the finish on your guitar and ruin it. The best thing then would be to remove the guitar strap after every use. (If you use a guitar strap made of cotton, then this may not be necessary).
Clean Your Strings
Remember the oil, grime, and dirt we talked about being present on your hands? This transfers to the strings along with moisture that is present in the air. All of these factors can sit on your strings and transfer to your fretboard.
That means that just like your hands, you should, after every use, wipe down your strings, especially the underside that comes in contact with the fretboard. Doing this also helps with potential oxidation and rusting of the strings. Doing this will help you to keep your guitar in good working condition.
Wipe the Neck
Just like the strings, the fretboard and neck are coated with all of the stuff from your hands. So it shouldn’t be surprising that one of the best ways to care for your guitar is to wipe the neck down after every use.
Using a microfiber or soft cloth, you will want to wipe down the back and top of the neck and fretboard. This will remove all of the dirt so that it doesn’t damage the finish, which is key in protecting your guitar from the elements.
Put it Up
This may be one of the most important parts of your care routine as there are tons of reasons why making sure to store your guitar always helps keep it in good condition. But of all the reasons, protecting it from the humidity present in the air and potential damage is the most important.
By making sure to put your guitar in its case, you shield it from being kicked over or bumped into. This will ensure that it is always in pristine order. Humidity can damage the woods and electronics of your guitar. You want to keep the humidity out of it, and the best way to do that is to store it in your case.
Keep It Out of the Sun
Like your skin, prolonged exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can damage your guitar. The constant exposure can cause fading of the woods, finishes, or even the pickguard.
Damage to any of these will weaken your guitar’s durability. Therefore, cause it to last for a shorter life cycle. Storing it in its case will help; although it will heat up, the heat will be evenly distributed and the UV rays will not actually touch the guitar.
Polish & Clean
We have already talked about wiping down the strings and neck, but really this goes for the entire guitar. Make sure to remove anything from the guitar when it comes to oils and dirt. This will ensure you’re extending the suavity of the guitar much further. So remember to take a microfiber cloth and wipe the guitar down after every use.
One piece of a maintenance routine that needs to be added to your upkeep routine is polishing. Not only will that help the guitar stay looking sharp, but it will help the guitar stay protected, especially if this is an acoustic guitar.
You will want to make sure that you use the right products and on the right components of the guitar. Your guitar manufacturer should have suggestions on these for the individual guitar.
These are just some of the ways on how to take care of an acoustic guitar and ensure it stays functioning at its peak performance for many years to come. Of course, the process will depend on where you are dealing with an acoustic or electric, but we tried to give you the more generic option, and we hope that these tips have helped you out just a bit.