If you have an acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to best take care of it, here are a few useful tips.
You've got to admit it. It's not rocket science to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there's so many guitars bought each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually become good at 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 created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as extreme heat or super cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you store it and what it has to deal with daily. 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 sunny day.
One of the major needs for a guitar is a good case. It really should be water resistant and also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored cases, so keep that in mind when shopping for 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 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 isn't good for your guitar. Also, don't 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 your instrument's neck at a constant level.
If at all possible, it's a great idea to have at least two guitars, one that you use around the house and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, something in the hundred dollar price range. You won't have to replace the strings on it as much as the one you use for performances.
When cleaning 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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