As with everything in life, guitars come with good and bad news. The bad news is they’re expensive. The good news is that they’re easy to maintain. To extend the life of your beloved guitar, all you need to do is show it some care.
Here are a few guitar tips that will help it last longer and sound better.
1. Think About Humidity
Whether you live in a dry or humid climate, humidity is one of the main elements that affect a guitar’s lifespan. Dry weather has a tendency to dry out guitars, making them more brittle. Humid climates can make guitars a little soft and flexible, making it difficult to keep their sound consistent. No matter what kind of climate you live in, you need to keep your guitar in an ideal environment. The easiest way to do this is to simply put your guitar back in its case when not in use. The enclosed space is much more stable. Also, try and keep your humidity between 45%-55% with the help of either a humidifier or dehumidifier. This will help keep the guitar’s environment more stable.
2. Give it a Clean
Every guitar, from the cheapest acoustic to the most expensive collector’s item, needs a good cleaning now and then. Oil, dead skin cells, and dust tend to mock up guitars, their longevity and sound quality.
To clean a guitar, follow these simple steps:
- Take off the strings.
- Take a dry cloth and carefully wipe down the entire guitar, front and back.
- For deeper cleans, use a specialized guitar cleaning solution and follow its directions carefully.
- Restring your guitar and enjoy.
3. Condition the Fingerboard
As the unfinished part of your guitar, the fingerboard can collect a lot of grime and dirt when used. That’s why it needs to be conditioned every once in a while. Find a quality guitar conditioner to use that will hydrate your guitar as it cuts through oil and grease. Silicone-free products are still the best for guitars. Be careful not to over-condition, as that can have a negative impact on your guitar.
4. Swap Out the Strings
Chances are you aren’t changing your strings as frequently as you should. It’s not your fault, it’s just that it can be a pain and we all have a tendency to avoid restringing our instruments. If you can’t remember the last time you restrung your guitar, do it soon. Otherwise, look for the following signs: it won’t stay tuned and certain guitar techniques, such as sliding, become impossible. If these are happening, it’s time to get some new strings.
Guitar maintenance is often fast, inexpensive, and easy. The trick is to know how to keep your guitar in its peak condition. Regular cleaning, restringing, and conditioning are all vital, but so is your guitar’s environment. Keep it in a quality case when not in use and maintain a steady humidity. This will help your guitar last longer.