If you have a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to take better care of your instrument, what follows are some great words of advice.
You've got to admit it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there are so many guitars bought 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 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 climate, such as extreme heat or extreme cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you house it and what it is exposed to daily. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if left on the dashboard of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary necessities for a guitar is a good case. It should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so keep that in mind when selecting one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially if you put on 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 gauge of string to another wouldn't be 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 this will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If at all possible, it's a good idea to have at a minimum two guitars, one that you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be expensive, something in the hundred dollar price range. You should't have to replace the strings on it as much as the guitar you keep for performances.
When it is time to clean your guitar, don't 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 crazy. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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