Essential Guitar Maintenance
Keep your guitar in good shape
With all the chaos in the world right now, people are staying home more. That means your guitar lessons are most likely taking place with your instructor online. At least you are staying in touch and continuing to learn and grow in your guitar playing. During this time it’s also important to remember that you need to keep your guitar in good shape.
Guitar maintenance often overlooked, because we guitarists want to get straight to playing! But you need a functional, working guitar in good condition to perform in the first place. Taking maintenance seriously means you get the best out of your instrument, have it sounding its best at all times, and save yourself time and money in the long run.
Make sure you are storing your guitar properly. It sounds basic, but as we own our guitars longer and get more at ease with them and the novelty wears off, it’s very easy to stop putting quite so much care over it. Make sure it’s somewhere safe, where nothing’s going to fall on it, and in a place where the temperature and humidity are reasonably consistent.
Invest in a good guitar case. The ideal solution is a hard case, but they can be expensive, and usually mean you can’t carry the guitar on your back. These things understandably put many people off. Make sure you at least have a padded, thick, durable soft case. Whether you are traveling with the guitar or not, it needs a safe place to rest when not in use.
Hopefully, any new guitar you purchase is already professionally set up. If not, the store should make that happen for you. Regardless, this doesn’t negate the need to periodically have your guitar’s setup checked and touched up as needed. And if you rely on your instructor to help you with this, just talk to him or her when you have your online class. They will know if it’s out of tune or not! And don’t forget to change the guitar strings regularly! Besides being important in refreshing and revitalizing your sound, regular string changes give you a chance to implement some of the cleaning and polishing steps below.
Use a dry cloth to keep your guitar free of dust, and use a professionally recognized brand of fret polish/oil to keep the fretboard smooth, clean, and playable. Keep your guitar away from moisture at all times. This doesn’t just mean not spilling drinks on it! It also means don’t attempt to clean it with water, or with any non-recognized instrument-specific cleaning products. Equally, don’t leave it by an open window in heavy rain, or leave it outside!
With all these specific cleaning tips, take care! Don’t spray products directly onto the guitar, spray them onto the cleaning cloth. If you’re uncertain, test the product first on a small area on the back or underside of the guitar before continuing. Don’t overdo it, start small, and be careful!