If you have a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to best take care of your instrument, what you will find here are some good words of advice.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn the acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there's 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 also need some knowledge about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustics are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, 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 store it and what it has to deal with daily. 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 necessities 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 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 recommend the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to environmental changes 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 best, 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 them 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 a minimum two guitars, a beater you use around the house and another that you keep 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 guitar you keep 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 have its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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