If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to best take care of your instrument, here are some good tips.
Let's face 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 sold each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually learn to be a pro at it. And remember that it's not just about the basics of learning. You really need some knowledge regarding the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustic guitars 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 simple 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 melt into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a hot day.
One of the major necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would recommend the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Have you experienced how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with 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 the best thing you can do, as the shock of going from one type 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 that will keep the tension on your instrument's neck constant.
If at all possible, it's a good idea to have at a minimum two guitars, a beater you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, something in the hundred dollar range. You won't have to change the strings on it as much as the one you keep for performances.
When cleaning 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 nuts. Your guitar should develop its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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