If you have an acoustic guitar and want to learn how to take better care of your instrument, here are a few great tips.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually become proficient in it. And remember that it's not just about learning to play. You really need some information regarding the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
Most acoustics are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as extreme heat or extreme cold. It's dead simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you house it and what it is exposed to 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 most instruments is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant and also give protection from heat. Black cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored cases, so remember that 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 heat and cold as well. Have you experienced 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 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, 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 this will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If you can, it's a good 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 price range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the one you use for performances.
When it is time to clean 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 part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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