|Basic Guitar Care Tips|
Although we recommend that guitar set-ups be done by guitar technicians, all guitarists must be able to know the basic maintenance of his guitar. In order to prolong the lifespan of your guitar, you should take note of the following tips:
- Storage: Sudden or extreme temperature changes may crack the wood or finish. DO NOT leave your instrument in the vehicle, or in the severely cold weather/sun/near a stove/heater. Avoid any exposure to unusual dampness or dryness. In general, the recommended humidity to store your guitars is between 50 – 60%. To be safe, always put your guitar back into the case of bag to prevent any prolong exposure to moisture and drastic changes in temperature.
- Cleaning and Maintenance: Always wipe or brush dirt off and perspiration from the body, neck and strings of the guitar after playing. Occasionally, do polish your instrument with guitar polish. One drop of light machine oil should be used on the tuning gears. Wipe dirt and grease from gears. Check that screws are snug but not too tight – loose tuning gears will cause string buzz and make tuning difficult.
- Strings: Strings need to be replaced occasionally depending on your usage. It is important to wipe your strings clean and dry, from top to bottom, after playing as strings are affected by perspiration and acid and are susceptible to tarnish and corrosion. Strings wear and lose their elasticity over time. The best practice is to replace the complete set of strings. When replacing your strings, remove one string at a time to maintain proper tension on the neck. It is recommended that strings are to be replaced 4 times a year.
- Tuning: High tuning places a severe strain on your guitar and might cause the neck to “bow”, the top to warp, buckle or crack, or the fixed bridge to become loosened. (hint: When tuning with a guitar tuner, tune the strings to one octave lower). New strings will stretch slightly until it “sets” and that might require frequent re-tuning within a short period of time.
- Placing of your guitar: Always place your guitar upright! Never leave it lying around. When placing it upright, be sure that it will not fall or you might damage it. To be safe, you can buy a bag that has protective layers or shock absorbing cases. Another alternative is to buy a guitar stand, though that is only recommended for temporary storage of your guitar.