If you have an acoustic guitar and want to find out how to best take care of your instrument, here are a few useful words of advice.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's why there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually learn to be good at it. And remember that it's not just about the basics of learning. You also need some knowledge regarding the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in climate, such as super heat or super cold. It's very simple 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. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if kept on the dashboard of your car on a hot day.
One of the primary needs for most instruments is a good case. It really should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat 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 sensitive to environmental changes as well. Note 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 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 wouldn't be good for your guitar. Also, never take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change your strings one at a time, as this will keep the tension on your instrument's neck constant.
If at all possible, it's a nice idea to have at least two guitars, one that you use around the house and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be expensive, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to replace the strings on it as much as the guitar you use for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, don't 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 nuts. Your guitar should develop its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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