If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to learn how to best take care of it, what follows are some good tips.
Let's face it. It's not rocket science to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there are so many guitars bought each and every year. However, it's takes something else to actually learn to be good at the art. And remember that it's not just about the basics of learning. You also need some information regarding the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
Most acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in climate, such as super heat or extreme cold. It's dead simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you store it and what it is exposed to daily. Remember 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 and also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored cases, so keep that in mind when selecting one for your guitar. There are 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 sensitive to heat and cold as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially if you put on 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 wouldn't be 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 your strings one at a time, as that 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 for practice 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 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 the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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