If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to take better care of it, what follows are some good words of advice.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there are so many guitars purchased each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually learn to be proficient in it. And 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.
The vast majority of acoustics are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, such as extreme heat or super cold. It's very 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. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if kept on the dashboard of your car on a sunny day.
One of the major needs for most instruments is a good case. It really should be water resistant and also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays 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 endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are sensitive to environmental changes 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 decide to use a particular gauge of string, it's probably the best thing you can do, 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 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 expensive, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the guitar you keep for performances.
When it is time to clean your guitar, never 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 crazy. 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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