If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to find out how to take better care of your instrument, what follows are a few good words of advice.
Let's face it. It's not rocket science to learn the acoustic guitar. That's why there's 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 learning to play. You also need some knowledge about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, 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 has to deal with 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 sunny 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 keep that in mind when shopping for one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all 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 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 decide to use 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 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 this will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If you can, it's a great idea to have at a minimum two guitars, one that you use around the house and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be great, something in the hundred dollar price range. You should't have to change 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 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 an everyday fashion.
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