Tips For Keeping Your Guitar Healthy

A good, quality guitar should last a lifetime. Following these tips will help ensure years of enjoyment from your instrument:
  • If you don't already own one, get a good quality case or gig bag for your guitar. It's the least expensive insurance you can buy for a guitar. Also, get a good guitar stand to keep it on between playing sessions.
  • Keep your guitar in its case when not in continuous use.
  • Keep your guitar away from extreme heat, cold, or humidity changes. Avoid placing your guitar on its stand near heat and air conditioning vents, windows, doors, outside, or in your car for long periods of time.
  • Use only quality guitar care and maintenance products - not furniture polish or abrasive dust cloths.
  • Never detune and remove all the strings at once. The truss rod is designed and adjusted to provide counter tension to the strings - removing that tension suddenly can damage or warp a neck.
  • Change your strings regularly, depending on how often you play. Remove, replace, and tune up one string at a time—constantly keeping the guitar in tune as you go.
  • Keep your guitar tuned to standard pitch. You should consider purchasing an electronic tuner if you don't already have one.
  • Invest in a quality guitar strap—especially if you stand while playing.
  • Find a reputable guitar repairman, and take your guitar in for annual checkups coinciding with weather changes. If you're not trained and experienced with truss rod adjustment - leave it alone and let the professionals do the tweaking. The same goes for fret filing and crowning, bridge and saddle work, nut adjustments, and so on. Many a guitar has been damaged by wannabe luthiers. Either leave it to the pros or get expert hands-on training if you're the do-it-yourself type.
  • Play your guitar often. A fine quality instrument made from solid woods just gets better and better the older it gets and the more it's played. It's a win-win for both you and your guitar—the more you enjoy it, the better it sounds—and the more you'll enjoy it in the future.
  • As an aside,  when you buy a guitar make sure the store goes through a complete quality check. This includes checking and adjusting the truss rod, neck, tuning keys, action, bridge/tremolo, finish, body, bracing, structural, pickups, electronics, intonation, and even the case.
This ensures you will receive a properly adjusted and inspected instrument—so you'll get off on the right start with your new guitar. Combine this with the tips above, and you'll be in guitar heaven for years to come.

1 comment:

mark nourie said...

If I change strings one at a time then what's the best way to clean the fretboard?When I do my sting changes I often check the neck tension before and after...is this wrong?I see guitar techs change all the strings at once and these are from big name bands.Mark