Guitar Care Tips
Guitar Care, learn the basics in guitar polish, guitar accessories or humidifiers to keep your guitar in tip-top playing condition and nearly free of maintenance
Guitar Care is important for those of us concerned with keeping our guitar in great playing condition.
If you purchase a quality solid wood acoustical guitar, this guitar accessory can be especially important as these instruments are very sensitive to climate change. Don't forget that humidity affects ALL guitars, so this is a real big one to consider.
First things first in caring for your guitar. Pick up a Dunlop Formula 65 Guitar Tech Kit (see our review of his product). It has all you will need for care of finish, fingerboard and strings my including polish for a guitar, fingerboard conditioner, string winder and string conditioner. Also pick up some soft micro fiber cloths and keep all perspiration off all wood, strings and fingerboard. These are Guitar Accessories you will not want to do without!
Be sure to wipe down your guitar after every practice or playing session, no matter how short. Include the strings in your wipe down too. If you really want to extend the life of the strings, use a good String Lubricant on them and this vigorously wipe each string, both on top and underneath each time you play. If you don't stay on top of the perspiration stains , you will be faced with a rebuffing issue to get back that original shine.
Another important Ultimate Guitar Care Tip is to purchase a good "in-case" guitar humidifier. About the best one I have found is the Oasis OH1 with digital hydrometer. I like the hydrometer part of this because it never keeps you guessing at this most important humidity level. A good hydrometer to measure humidity is worth is weight in gold too. See my review on Hydrometers for a accurate and reliable hydrometer.
Along the lines of the Ultimate Guitar Care Tip above, make sure the guitar's home is humidified and dehumidified for your guitar's health (and yours). Read my reviews on good whole room and whole house humidifiers to consider.
Ever notice that your guitar action changes over the course of a year? This is because the humidity changes cause the woods to expand and contract, swelling the neck , change the neck angle and also changing the top chamber of acoustic guitars. Here are some of the room humidifiers the Ultimate Guitar OnLine recommends:
Hunter 33223 Care Free Humidifier plus with PermaWick: Run time is 36 hours, 4.0 gallon output for up to 1800 square feet coverage, Exclusive easy to fill tote away tank, exclusive NiteGlo night light, Auto shutoff, refill light and digital humidistat with timer.
Venta Sonic VS205 Cool and Warm Mist Ultrasonic Room Humidifier: Effective Demineralization Cartridge with new nano-silver technology provides microbial protection, Helps prevent bacterial growth, calcium, and lime build-up. Optional cool or warm mist. Ultra-quiet operation. Easy to clean and maintain.
Vornado HU1-0021-28 Whole Room Evaporative Humidifier: High-output evaporative humidifier for rooms up to 1000 square feet, Vortex technology ensures thorough circulation; 3 speed settings. Built-in electronic humidistat for automatic humidity control; whisper-quiet operation, 1-4/5-gallon capacity; 3-gallon output in 24 hours; 2 replaceable filters included.
Take a good quality Guitar Polish and thoroughly polish your guitar regularly. If you play quite a bit this could mean each day to get the dirt and grime off the finished surface and all the metal coated surfaces.
Change your strings at regular intervals. This will be Dependant on
1). if you use fingerease guitar lube and
2). how much and often you play and
3). how much perspiration you have in your hands. Typically younger guitar players suffer with more moisture in their hand and thus have to be more vigilante in this tip. When I play a lot I change them every other week and sometime sooner. I have always used Finger Ease at regular intervals during playing and found that it can extend string life up to 2 times.
Ultimate Guitar Care Tip: If you have glue or sticker that you want to get off your guitar, utilize a contractor solvent with lemon oil or Goo Gone, which is what I use. Spray it on the adhesive area and let it set for just a few short minutes. Immediately wipe off with a micro fiber cloth and be sure to thoroughly clean all the citric acid cleaner off all surfaces.
By the way never EVER clean any polished wood or metal surface with a paper towel or a tissue. Both of these products will scratch any smooth surface because they are wood fiber based.
Another Ultimate Guitar Care Tip is if you didn't get a good guitar case like this Musician's Gear Guitar Case that give you great protection at a very affordable price. or get a case at all with your guitar, get one right away. Make sure it is a stiff and tight hard shell case with good carrying handle and good quality hardware.
Here is another great case from Guardian Vintage Hardshell Case With: Ultra Strong Archtop, 7-Ply Cross-Grained Wood Construction, Leather Handle, Crushed Emerald Velvet Interior, 20mm High-Density Padding. This is a very high-quality case.
And finally this case, which is one of Ultimate Guitar OnLine's favorites: SKB30 Classic Hardshell Acoustic Guitar Case, which fits Concert Classic guitars, but you can find one to fit most any acoustic guitar as well.
For good guitar health a gig bag or other soft case just won't cut it!
Never play a guitar with a belt buckle exposed to the back of the guitar. Ultimate Guitar Care Tip - put the belt buckle on side-saddle so it will not come into contact with the back of the guitar.
Buy a good quality guitar stand for your instrument. Ideally the stand should be low profile, with a wide stance and have all surfaces protected with foam rubber coverings. My personal preference is the Hercules GS401B, which is very portable and very stable. Plus the legs lock in place.
Never lean your guitar up on a wall, tabletop or other surface where the guitar can become unstable, slide away, and strike the floor. Remember the neck and headstock have nearly 200 lbs of pressure on them and a seemingly innocent strike on the floor can have devastating effects - such as a cracked neck or snapping the head piece off. Keep your guitar in a good quality Hardshell Case whenever possible. Check out some of the links above for great cases as well.
An important step in guitar cares is to avoid heavy gage strings for any guitar, and this goes double for a quality acoustical guitar. In most cases you will not need anything heaver than light gage strings. Tone can be better controlled with quality and type of strings and the thickness of your guitar pick.
The last Ultimate Guitar Care Tip is to pickup a good light oil such as 3-in-one and place a drop or two into the lubrication hole of enclosed tuners and directly on the gear intersection of exposed tuners, such as those found on a classical or smaller steel string guitars at least once per month.
So keep that guitar sparkling clean, well lubed and humidified with
proper guitar care and you
will have a loyal friend with very little maintenance for a long time.