If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to take better care of it, here are some good words of advice.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there's so many guitars bought each and every year. However, it's takes something else to actually learn to be a pro at the art. And remember that it's not just about the basics of learning. You really need some information regarding the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustics are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as super heat or super cold. It's dead simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you store it and what it has to deal with daily. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a sunny day.
One of the major needs for a guitar is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would recommend the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially if you put on a new set of strings? The neck of the guitar will give and let go depending on the type of strings you use, and if you settle on a particular gauge of string, it's probably the best thing you can do, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't good for your guitar. Also, never take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change your strings one at a time, as that will keep the tension on your instrument's neck at a constant level.
If at all possible, it's a good idea to have at least two guitars, a beater you use around the house and another that you keep for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be expensive, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the guitar you keep for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, don't use water or furniture polish. Just use a soft cloth and wipe the dust. Try to not wipe so hard that you affect the finish of your guitar. And don't go nuts. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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