If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to take better care of your instrument, what follows are a few great tips.
Let's face it. It's not rocket science to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually learn to be good at the art. And remember that it's not just about the basics of learning. You really need some knowledge about the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in climate, such as super heat or extreme cold. It's very 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 on a daily basis. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if kept on the back seat of your car on a hot day.
One of the primary necessities for most instruments is a good case. It really should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored enclosures, so keep that in mind when selecting one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Have you experienced how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with a new set of strings? The neck of your 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 best, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't good for your instrument. 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 the guitar neck at a constant level.
If you can, it's a great idea to have at least two guitars, one that you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, something in the hundred dollar range. You won't have to replace the strings on it as much as the one you use for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, never use water or furniture polish. Just use a clean 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 develop its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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