Music Industry

Guitar Maintenance: A Guide To The Best Guitar Care

Photograph of the blog post author, Hammad Rashid

Hammad Rashid

23.2.2021

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Strumming a guitar is only fun if it sounds good. How do we make a guitar sound good you ask? By keeping up with guitar maintenance. While polishing your guitar may be aesthetically pleasing, the fact of the matter is that it really can’t be considered as maintenance.

Guitar maintenance

In this article, we will learn some guitar maintenance tips which will help you look after your guitar. We will also look at some guitar maintenance tools which are practical and easy to use.

These tips and tools will provide you an understanding of how to fix basic guitar issues whether you have an electric guitar or an acoustic. Let’s jump in.

Why Does Guitar Maintenance Matter?

Guitar maintenance

Guitar maintenance is super important – it ensures that you get the maximum enjoyment from your instrument. Ultimately, if you aren’t taking care of your guitar, it’s going to sound awful and eventually break in some way.

Getting familiar with some simple guitar maintenance rules early on will save you loads of stress, money, and even heartbreak later on. So in this article, we are going to walk you through a few simple ways to help you make sure your guitar is safe and in tune.

Guitar Maintenance Tips

Guitar maintenance

Let’s start off with some of the easiest, yet major adjustments you can do by yourself.

Avoid Rusty Guitar Strings

Changing guitar strings is the most common maintenance aspect. It isn’t a hard job, but it does require care and precision. 

Try to get into the habit of washing your hands before playing the guitar. You may not notice it, but your fingers and palms contain moisture and oils that can damage your guitar strings. While sweat is mostly water, it also includes salt, sugar, and salt. This unique composition speeds up the rate at which guitar strings rust.

Unfortunately, all the metal parts in your guitar that have contact with rusty strings will suffer. If your guitar strings do not sound the way you like them to, just buy a new set and put some fresh strings on your guitar.

Monitor The Humidity

Humidity is water in the air (hot or cold). What we need to be concerned with is ‘RH’, which stands for Relative Humidity. 

Humidity can cause the wood of the guitar to expand, which can make the strings buzz due to the action becoming higher or lower. Experts recommended RH level is 45-55%. This will ensure the wood doesn’t contract or expand.

In order to check the humidity level in your acoustic guitar, get yourself a hydro-thermometer – it is one of the best guitar maintenance products you can get! This will also help to know the RH level in your guitar case – so is super useful in terms of storage.

Keep Your Guitar Dust Free

Dust can cause frets to fail- this means that some frets of your guitar will not make any sound when pushed down. 

There are multiple ways in which guitars can collect dust, the 2 most common being improper storage and no regular cleaning.

However, it is super easy to avoid. If your guitar does get dusty, a quick wipe down with a soft dry cloth is all you need.

Store Your Guitar Properly

If a guitar isn’t being played, it probably belongs in a guitar case. That’s the best way to ensure its safety while you’re not playing it.

Guitars look awesome on a stand, but if they knocked over, there’s more at stake than just a ding or dent. Controlling the environment within a guitar case is much easier to maintain and is very recommended.

Grab A Microfibre Cloth & Lemon Oil

Use a microfiber cloth and lemon oil to clean the strings and fretboard. 

You may have noticed your fingerboard looks dry and sickly, lemon oil helps rehydrate it.

Use it sparingly and use one or two drops per 4-5 frets, by doing this you’ll reduce the chance of necks drying out and cracking.

Do Different Guitars Require Different Maintenance?

acoustic

The basic principles of the majority of string instruments are the same, including acoustic guitar maintenance and electric guitar maintenance. They all have bridges, tuning knobs, and fretboards. However, they can have some small differences. 

Electric guitars have added elements in comparison to acoustic guitars such as pickups, input jack, volume, and tone knobs. These require close attention as they can collect dust and cause damage to the guitar.

Bass guitars are similar to electric guitars, however – the strings are much thicker. Classical and acoustic guitars are very similar in nature, but the bridge of classical guitar differs slightly. This alters the way strings are changed.

Should I Get A Guitar Service?

Guitar maintenance

Servicing your guitar is always beneficial, but it is absolutely crucial if you have a vintage guitar.

If you want your guitar to last so long that it eventually receives the title of being ‘vintage’, then the guitar needs regular servicing from a technician. This will ensure that any minor or major issues are diagnosed and fixed before they cause the guitar to be completely useless. 

Another reason for servicing a guitar is that it saves you time, You may have all the time in the world but would you rather spend it on fixing your guitar or doing something else, like playing music? The guitar technicians have the tools and patience required for the job.

However, if you like a bit of DIY, you can also do a quick search in your local area or online for guitar maintenance courses. These can provide a better understanding of your instrument and how to take care of it.

Our final piece of advice is to purchase a guitar maintenance kit. It is always best to have what you need to make any changes necessary. Guitar maintenance kits are full of products and tools which can help you fix the majority of DIY guitar issues straight away. This also saves you money in the long run – a win-win!

That Was Our Guide On Guitar Maintenance

bass guitar

There you have it! Our guide to guitar maintenance.

It’s extremely important to keep your guitar clean if you want it to last and to prevent replacing any of its parts in a few year’s time.

We know with some practice, determination, and patience you’ll be maintaining guitars like a pro soon!

We hope that you’ve enjoyed our guitar maintenance guide. Let us know if you think we’ve missed anything in the comment section below!

Are You An Artist?

Now you have learned about how to maintain your guitar, you will hopefully be working on furthering your skills! Allow us to help you amplify your musiccollaborate with others, help with music marketing and even get your music in TV, film and more. Why not try Music Gateway for free?

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