If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to best take care of it, what follows are some useful words of advice.
Let's face it. It's not rocket science to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's why there are so many guitars bought each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually learn to be a pro at it. And it's not just about learning to play. You also need some information regarding the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustic guitars are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in climate, such as extreme heat or super cold. It's dead simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you store it and what it has to deal with daily. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would recommend the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to environmental changes as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with a new set of strings? The neck of the guitar will give and let go depending on the type of strings you use, and if you settle on a particular gauge of string, it's probably the best thing you can do, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't good for your instrument. Also, never take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change them one at a time, as that will keep the tension on your instrument's neck constant.
If you can, it's a nice idea to have at a minimum two guitars, a beater you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be expensive, something in the hundred dollar price range. You should't have to replace the strings on it as much as the one you keep for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, never use water or furniture polish. Just use a soft cloth and wipe the dust. Try to not wipe so hard that you affect the finish of your guitar. And don't go nuts. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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