If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to find out how to take better care of your instrument, here are a few good tips.
You've got to admit it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there's so many guitars purchased each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually learn to be good 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.
The vast majority of acoustic guitars are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, such as super 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 on a daily basis. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if left on the dashboard of your car on a hot day.
One of the major necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant and also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, 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 recommend the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to environmental changes 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 settle on a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, 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 great, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the guitar 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 develop its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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