If you have an acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to best take care of it, what you will find here are a few useful words of advice.
You've got to admit it. It's a basic thing to learn the acoustic guitar. That's why there's so many guitars bought each and every year. However, it's takes something else to actually become good at the art. And remember that it's not just about learning to play. You really need some knowledge regarding 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 extreme heat or super 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 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 major needs for a guitar is a good case. It really should be water resistant but also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored cases, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford 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 your 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 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, 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 that will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
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 won't have to replace the strings on it as much as the one you use for performances.
When it is time to clean 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 crazy. 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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