If you have an acoustic guitar and want to learn how to best take care of it, what follows are a few good tips.
Let's face it. It's not rocket science to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually become good at the art. And it's not just about learning to play. You really 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 made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as extreme heat or extreme cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you house it and what it is exposed to on a daily basis. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if kept on the back seat of your car on a sunny day.
One of the major needs for most instruments is a good enclosure. It really should be water resistant and also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when selecting one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of 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 settle on a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't 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 good idea to have at least two guitars, a beater you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, 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 it is time to clean 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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