If you are beginning to learn the acoustic guitar and have just bought yourself a new guitar, it is important to know how to keep your acoustic guitar in a good condition. Caring for it and storing it properly is a way to prolong and protect your investment. After all, guitar manufacturers take great care in making a guitar to ensure you are purchasing a high-quality and durable musical instrument. A well-cared-for acoustic guitar also ensures it has a resale value if you wish to sell it and buy a new one.
A variety of woods are picked with care in order that the acoustic guitar produces a certain resonance or finish. Nothing feels better than looking at your guitar a few years down the road to see that it is well taken care of with its beauty intact, even if age and color change are inevitable over the years.
1. Wash Your Hands Before Playing
Although hand washing has been highly recommended due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is also essential before you start playing your acoustic guitar. The acidity in the fingers, swear, dirt, and grime from your hands can do damage to both the strings and the fretboard of your guitar.
2. The Importance of a Guitar Strap
Having a guitar strap locked on your guitar not only makes it easier when playing, but more importantly, it prevents dropping and causing damage to the guitar. After playing, remember to remove your guitar straps. Vinyl and synthetic leather straps are treated with solvents that can affect the layers of finish of your instrument. Leather straps are better than vinyl and synthetic leather but still can affect the finish of the guitar.
3. Wipe Down Your Guitar
You may be tempted to put down the guitar after playing to go do other things. But to keep your acoustic guitar in good condition, use a soft lint-free cloth or a microfibre cloth to wipe down the neck after every session of play. Do this thoroughly, especially on the back of the neck and fretboard. This will present the oils in your hands and any leftover dirt or grime affecting the guitar finish.
4. Keep Away Things that cause Scratches
The accessories we wear can cause scratches and general damage to the guitar. Items such as metal belt buckle, or watch straps are everyday apparels that can create dings and scratches on the instrument if you are not careful.
The way to do this is to remove any of these sharp or coarse apparel that have the potential to cause scratches. When you are taking a break between sessions, be mindful to put your guitar on a stand. Don’t rest it on a sofa or a chair in case it slips and falls onto the floor.
5. Storing Your Guitar in A Case
Keeping your guitar in the case is the most effective way to protect your acoustic guitar from possible external damage. It prevents children, pets, accidental spills from damaging your guitar if you leave it sitting out in the open. It also helps to control the humidity that can affect your guitar.
6. Humidity and Temperature
Your acoustic guitar’s body is made of thin wood, which can be easily affected by temperature and humidity. A rapid change in temperature or exposure to cold can cause small cracks in the finish. You can get a hygrometer/thermometer to help you measure the relative humidity and temperature to protect your guitar.
The moisture content of the wood that makes your guitar goes up rapidly as the humidity increases. It can also cause the wood to expand and swell. A gradual increase in humidity does not do permanent damage to your instrument. But sudden high humidity and temperature can cause glue joints to weaken and open slightly.
It is recommended that you store your guitar in a case when not in use. Humidity is easier to control in small spaces. It will be ideal to keep your guitar in the 45 to 55 percent range of humidity.
7. Keep out of Direct Sunlight
Placing your guitar in direct sunlight for extended hours can damage it. UV rays cause premature fading and aging to the wood and any finish. The maximum duration to have your acoustic guitar exposed to direct sunlight is 1 to 2 hours at any one time.
Check out Ritmo Music Studio’s guitar lessons. We offer lessons in acoustic, electric and bass guitars and they are suitable for teenagers, adults and also seniors.