Guide to guitar maintenance
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Guitar maintenance guide

Guide to guitar maintenance

One of the things that worries us the most as guitarists is how to keep our guitars in optimal conditions, especially when summer approaches with all that it entails: traveling for vacations or for work, subjecting our guitars to sudden changes in temperature, humidity, etc. … I hope that this guitar maintenance guide can clarify some doubts and be useful for you. Do not forget that this is a basic guide since it is best to take your guitar to a luthier at least twice a year to have it thoroughly checked.

As we all know, wood is a living thing that reacts sensitively to changes in humidity and extreme temperatures. During the process of building the guitar, the bridge and other parts are fixed with glue and excess moisture could soften it and cause it to detach. On the other hand, relative humidity below 30% can cause cracks.

General Maintenance

Guitar maintenance tips

To prevent the guitar from suffering from sudden changes in temperature, we should avoid leaving it near heating devices, air conditioners, etc. Of course, the least suitable place to leave our guitar for a long period of time would be the trunk of the car. A good option to control the temperature and the degree of relative humidity would be to buy a hygrometer to place in the space where we usually store our guitars. The optimal relative humidity should be between 45% and 55%.

When we change from one place to another with a noticeable difference in temperature, it is convenient to take the guitar out of its case or cover and, without touching it, let it adapt to the new temperature.

Headstock Maintenance

The headstock is the only mechanical part of our guitar. Its maintenance is very simple. It is enough to grease it once or twice a year.

To lubricate it you can use any oil for industrial machinery.

Fretboard Maintenance

It is convenient to hydrate the fretboard from time to time, but always after having cleaned it, and for this, there are many oils that can be easily found in any instrument store.

The best way to keep our fingerboard clean is to always play with clean hands and pass a cloth over the strings every time we finish playing, thus eliminating the remains of sweat that remain on them and that end up depositing on the fingerboard and incidentally, we lengthen the life of our ropes.

Guitar Body Maintenance

The big mistake is using furniture cleaning products that contain abrasives. Not all products contain them, but the vast majority do. You can find specific guitar cleaning products, the ones that do not contain abrasives, at any instrument store. Even so, one of the most effective methods to clean any classical, acoustic, or flamenco guitar varnished with polyurethane is to lightly moisten a chamois with water and clean carefully.

Do not use these products if the guitar is varnished with nitrocellulose or shellac since there are specific products for these varnishes and there is not as much variety on the market.

In the event of a crack in the top, sides, or back, given the complexity of the repair, it is best not to risk it and take the guitar to a nearby luthier or to the brand’s workshop to have the problem solved. They have the necessary means and experience. A poorly repaired crack can open up over time and ruin your instrument.

Basic tips

As you can see, it is very easy to keep our guitar up to date. Avoid sudden changes in temperature and humidity, clean it regularly, and grease the pegs from time to time…

If you are going to spend some time without using the guitar or if you are going to transport it by plane, to avoid problems in the neck caused by excess tension, loosen the strings until you are going to use it.

And remember, it is always safer to transport it in a case, even if it is not always the most comfortable option.

You may like to read HOW TO TAKE CARE OF A PIANO

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