If you just got a new acoustic guitar and want to find out how to best take care of it, here are some useful tips.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing to learn the acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually learn to be proficient in the art. And it's not just about learning to play. You really need some information about the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustics 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 easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you house it and what it is exposed to on a daily basis. Remember the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if kept on the dashboard of your car on a hot day.
One of the major needs for most instruments is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant but also provide protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when selecting 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 susceptible 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 settle on 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 instrument. Also, don't take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change them one at a time, as this will keep the tension on the guitar neck at a constant level.
If you can, it's a good idea to have at least two guitars, a beater 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 should't have to change the strings on it as much as the guitar you use for performances.
When cleaning your guitar, don't 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 part of this is letting it get used and worn in an everyday fashion.
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