If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to learn how to best take care of your instrument, here are a few useful tips.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's why there are so many guitars bought each and every year. However, it's takes something else to actually become a pro at it. And it's not just about learning to play. You also need some information regarding the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustics are made of wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as extreme heat or extreme 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 on a daily basis. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp 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 really should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored cases, so remember that when selecting one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are sensitive to environmental changes as well. Note 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 that will keep the tension on the guitar neck at a constant level.
If you can, it's a great 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 price range. You should't have to replace the strings on it as much as the guitar 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 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 a normal fashion.
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