If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to take better care of your instrument, here are some good tips.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there are so many guitars purchased each and every year. However, it's another thing to actually become good at the art. And it's not just about learning to play. 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 extreme heat or super cold. It's very easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you store it and what it is exposed to on a daily basis. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a hot day.
One of the major necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It really should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so keep that in mind when shopping for one for your guitar. There are 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 sensitive to heat and cold as well. Have you experienced 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 decide to use a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, as the shock of going from one type 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 this will keep the tension on your instrument's neck at a constant level.
If at all possible, it's a great idea to have at a minimum two guitars, one that you use around the house 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 change the strings on it as much as the guitar 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 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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