Acoustic Guitar Maintenance
Many guitar enthusiasts naturally aspire to have their own unique guitar sound. However, contrary to this desire, some may be unsure about how to properly care for their guitars or may be inadvertently damaging them due to misinformation. Let’s take a look at how to care for guitars and inspect whether any wrong practices are in place.
Most guitars are made of wood. The wood pieces are often glued together to form the guitar, making humidity-induced changes more likely than changes due to temperature. Even if high-quality, well-dried wood is used in guitar production, improper storage can still lead to deformations in the neck or other parts of the guitar. Especially in seasons with frequent rain and high humidity, like this summer, it is essential to use moisture-absorbing agents such as silica gel or dampits to prevent damage. Conversely, in winter, dampits are used for humidification.
To maintain an optimal environment for the guitar, it’s crucial to keep the humidity within a certain range, typically 45-50%. Here are some tips:
- Dehumidification: Silica gel or other commonly available dehumidifiers can be used. Placing 2-3 dehumidifiers inside the soundhole or using wardrobe dehumidifiers inside the case are common practices.
- Humidification (Winter): In winter, when humidity tends to drop, it’s essential to pay attention to humidification. Using a humidifier in the room where the guitar is stored is one method. Many people also use dampits, which come in various types.
- Loosen Guitar Strings for Storage: To reduce stress on the guitar strings and prevent potential deformation, it is advisable to loosen the strings by about half to one full turn when not in use. This helps maintain the original tension and prolongs the life of the strings.
- Long-term Storage Surface Cleaning: Cleaning the surface of the guitar regularly is essential, especially for finishes like satin or open-pore finishes. Fingerprints, sweat, and other residues can affect the appearance over time.
- Use a Guitar Case for Storage: Storing the guitar in a case provides protection against external shocks. There are various types of cases, including hard cases, foam cases, and soft cases. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, with hard cases offering better protection but being heavier.
- Store the Guitar Upright: If possible, store the guitar upright, as this minimizes the chances of deformations and is especially crucial for guitars with sensitive finishes.
- Avoid Direct Sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can lead to fading of the finish and other issues. It’s advisable to keep the guitar in a place where sunlight doesn’t directly hit it.
- Use Oil for Tuning Machines: For guitars with tuning machines that require lubrication, WD-40 or similar oils can be used. Applying oil sparingly using a dropper can prevent unwanted spills.
Taking care of a guitar is not just about storage; playing it regularly and enjoying the music is also an essential aspect of guitar maintenance. Regular and joyful playing is considered the best way to care for a guitar.
Good guitar maintenance accessories from Dunlop to keep.
- Dunlop Guitar Polish & Cleaner: This product serves as both a cleaner and polish, combining the functions into a single product. It helps remove stains and dirt while providing a polished finish to the guitar. If you prefer a simple maintenance routine, using this product is recommended.- Buy from Amazon.
- String Cleaner (Dunlop 6582): The blue product mentioned is Dunlop’s String Cleaner & Conditioner (Dunlop 6582). It prevents rusting of guitar strings and enhances their durability. Regular maintenance is crucial, especially for worn-out guitar strings, to avoid negative effects on the fretboard and frets. Buy From Amazon.
- Dunlop Lemon Oil: Lemon oil supplies moisture to the wood, reducing warping and minimizing the impact of temperature and humidity changes. While its cleaning effect is relatively mild compared to polish or cleaner, it is an essential tool for preserving the guitar over time. Buy from Amazon.
- Dunlop fingerboard Cleaner: The fingerboard cleaner is specifically designed to clean the fingerboard. It is applied by using a microfiber cloth or a clean cloth with liquid. After cleaning, it is advisable to wipe the fingerboard with a dry cloth. Buy from Amazon.
By using these Dunlop products, you can perform regular and effective guitar maintenance. Proper utilization of these tools will contribute to enjoying playing the guitar comfortably for an extended period.
Acoustic guitar maintenance…
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