If you have a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to best take care of your instrument, what follows are a few great tips.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing 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. However, it's takes something else to actually learn to be proficient in it. And it's not just about the basics of learning. You really need some information about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustics are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as super 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 is exposed to on a daily basis. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if left on the dashboard of your car on a hot day.
One of the primary needs for a guitar is a good enclosure. It really 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. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are sensitive 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 type of string to another wouldn't be good for your guitar. Also, never 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 your instrument's neck constant.
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 one you keep for performances.
When it is time to clean your guitar, never 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 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 a normal fashion.
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