If you have a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to take better care of it, what you will find here are a few good words of advice.
Let's face it. It's fairly easy to learn the acoustic guitar. That's why there's so many guitars purchased each and every year. However, it's another thing 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 knowledge about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustics are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, such as super heat or super 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 has to deal with on a daily basis. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if kept on the dashboard of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary needs for a guitar is a good case. It should be water resistant but 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 most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits 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 best, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another wouldn't be good for your instrument. 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 this will keep the tension on your instrument's neck constant.
If you can, it's a great 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 expensive, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the one you keep for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, don't use water or furniture polish. Just use a soft 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 part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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