If you have an acoustic guitar and want to find out how to take better care of it, what follows are a few good tips.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there's so many guitars purchased each and every year. However, it's another thing to actually learn to be a pro at the art. And it's not just about learning to play. You really need some information about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustics are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as super heat or extreme cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you store it and what it is exposed to on a daily basis. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if kept on the back seat of your car on a hot day.
One of the major necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It really should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored cases, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Have you experienced how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with a new set of strings? The neck of your guitar will give and let go depending on the type of strings you use, and if you decide to use 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 guitar. Also, don't take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change them one at a time, as this will keep the tension on the guitar neck at a constant level.
If at all possible, it's a good idea to have at least two guitars, a beater you use around the house and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, something in the hundred dollar price range. You won't have to replace the strings on it as much as the one you use for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, never use water or furniture polish. Just use a clean cloth and wipe the dust. Try to not wipe so hard that you affect the finish of your guitar. And don't go crazy. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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