If you just got a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to best take care of your instrument, what follows are some useful tips.
You've got to admit 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 become good at it. And it's not just about the basics of learning. You also need some knowledge about the instrument itself and how 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 extreme cold. It's dead easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you house 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 hot day.
One of the primary necessities for a guitar is a good enclosure. It really should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so keep that in mind when selecting one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are sensitive to environmental changes as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with 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 wouldn't be 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 this will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If you can, it's a great idea to have at a minimum two guitars, a beater 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 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 crazy. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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