If you have a new acoustic guitar and want to learn how to best take care of your instrument, what follows are some good tips.
You've got to admit it. It's fairly easy to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there are so many guitars sold each and every year. However, it's another thing to actually learn to be a pro at it. And it's not just about the basics of learning. You really need some knowledge regarding the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustic guitars are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in climate, such as extreme 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 daily. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant but also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored cases, so keep that in mind when selecting one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most 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 the guitar will give and let go depending on the type of strings you use, and if you decide to use a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, as the shock of going from one type of string to another isn't good for your instrument. 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 that will keep the tension on the guitar neck at a constant level.
If at all possible, it's a nice idea to have at least two guitars, a beater you use for practice and another that you keep for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be great, something in the hundred dollar price range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the one you keep for performances.
When it is time to clean 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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