Learning how to play guitar is as essential as familiarizing yourself with the best guitar maintenance tips and practices. After prolonged use, grime builds up on the strings that end up lowering the quality of sound. The dust combines with the oils from your fingers that ruin the strings faster than you may expect. Acoustic guitars may experience stress cracks on the polish between the end on the body and the bridge. To avoid all this, you need to learn guitar care correctly. The rest of this post discusses the complete and vital tips for excellent guitar care practices beyond playing a chord or note when guitar playing and actually helps with when you are doing a DIY guitar build as well.
Ensure Proper Guitar Storage
Remember always to keep your guitar in its appropriate case when not in use. It is imperative to treat your guitar the same way you treat one in a store or your other valuables. Avoid laying it on a ground-level even the moment you are not a guitarist playing guitar or servicing it. It is recommended that you place the guitar in its case or put it on an enclosure that will hold it in place properly. You are at liberty to select a gig bag or a hard case, place it on a mount, or stand. This will help maintain the proper guitar setup.
Get a custom case or a gig bag to carry your guitar any time you take it out of the house. Such guitar cases contain a hard shell that shields the musical instrument from any damages.
Choose the Right Strings
Based on the quality of the music you need, the type of guitar, and your preferences, there are several makes of strings that you can use to attain varying sounds and tones. The ease of maintenance also differs among strings on a guitar.
For the acoustic guitar brands, you ought to be keen to change strings that have been made explicitly for acoustic models. Stainless steel and bronze Roundwood strings are the best choices for acoustic guitars. On the other hand, nickel and stainless steel are ideal for electric guitar models. The choice of strings will eventually affect the ease of cleaning when you loosen them for routine maintenance. These strings are resistant to corrosion and do not tear easily.
Cleaning Your Guitar Strings
Use a soft microfiber cloth to clean the strings of your guitar. Use the cloth after every playing session to wipe the strings. Gentle wiping helps to get rid of dirt and grime that accumulate over a prolonged playing. Such a cleaning exercise also limits the natural oxidation process, which causes the breakage of the strings after a long period of use.
Loosen that strings tuning pegs in your electric guitar slightly to clean the dust that gathers around the pickups from time to time. For the acoustic guitars, make the strings lose and clear the dust that accumulates around the bridge. Note that you only need to loosen the strings to the extent that you can pass a piece of cloth underneath the strings for cleaning. Use your screw to tighten the strings after ascertaining the targeted area is clean enough.
Also check out – Can you use hand sanitizer to clean guitar strings?
Changing the Strings
Strings become dull after an extended period of stretch and use. The tension that you apply on the strings coupled with oxidation and buildup of grime interferes with the quality of sound that every string produces. The sound that the strings produce becomes even duller what you use cords to play, making it difficult to keep the tune.
When all this happens, it is clear that the time to change your strings is due. The need for regular tuning becomes a clear sign that you ought to change the strings.
Cleaning the Neck
The same microfiber that you used to clean the string can be good enough to clean the neck at the end of the day. When changing the strings, you will have the best access to the fretboard since there will be no strings to interfere with you. Wipe the fretboard keenly until the area is perfectly clean.
For a fretboard made of mahogany or unfinished rosewood, use a fine grade steel wool to rub in a circular fashion between frets and along the guitar length. The steel wool will help in loosening and clearing up any dirt buildup. Wipe all the loosened dirt and fibers using a soft cleaning cloth after rubbing using the steel wool.
It is essential to cover the soundhole and the headstock while using the steel wool to prevent debris from sticking into other parts of your guitar. Use the fret oil to rub the fretboard of the fretted aspect of the guitar neck.
You also want to check your neck to make sure it is not twisted or warped and need adjustments.
Cleaning the Guitar Body
For daily routine cleaning, you may use the same microfiber piece of cloth to wipe down the guitar body. You may check for the guidelines on the polishes that the manufacturers give for your specific guitar model. Generally, most of the automotive and over the counter guitar polishes work pretty well on lacquered aspects of the headstock when the strings are off and back of the guitar neck.
For the electric guitars, avoid touching the electronic hardware or pickups with any type of liquid as well as guitar polish. You may end up messing up with the electronics ion your guitar.
It is crucial to take care of the fretboard every time you remove or change the guitar strings. Today’s market has several fretboard conditioners that you can use to keep the fingerboard hydrated and looking as shiny as new. Rub the fretboard oil on the fingerboard using a polish cloth to prevent fretboard cracks, finish damage, and fret sprouting. Avoid using furniture polish on your guitar at all cost since it does not react well with the polish. Check out our post on how to clean fingerboard properly too.
Consistent Humidity and Temperature
Humidifying your guitars properly is essential, especially the acoustic models. Get a quality humidifying system, like a guitar room humidifier for guitar room or case guitar humidifer, that keeps your guitar at ideal humid levels ranging between 45%-50%. This will be the best approach to prevent bridge failures; fret ends damage and cracks on your guitar. Kepping you guitar in a case instead of a guitar stand for long periods of time will help as well.
The solid parts of the guitar are subject to temperature changes, especially when on a journey. Dramatic changes in temperatures that come over a short period can cause huge damage to your guitars. As such, avoid leaving the guitar in cold or heat for an extended period. When you take your guitar to a new environment, allow it enough time to make proper adjustments before getting it out of the case. You may open the case and leave it open to fasten this process.