If you just got an acoustic guitar and would like to find out how to take better care of it, here are some good words of advice.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's why there are so many guitars sold each and every year. However, it's takes something else to actually become proficient in 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 acoustics are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in climate, such as super heat or super cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you store it and what it has to deal with daily. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if left on the dashboard of your car on a hot day.
One of the major needs for most instruments is a good case. It really should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that 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 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 decide to use a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't good for your instrument. 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 that will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If you can, it's a good 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 change the strings on it as much as the one 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 the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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