Caring For Your Guitar
Here are the basics on keeping your guitar in tip-top shape. The four most important things you need to do for your guitar:
- Keep it clean
- Keep it comfortable
- Don’t hurt it
- Play the heck out of it
Keep it clean:
There are many fine cleaning products available for your guitar at your local music store. Invest in a good polish and a couple of lint-free polishing rags.
- Wipe the strings down with a dry cloth after playing. Use guitar polish sparingly on the rest of the guitar.
- If the strings are dead or discolored, change them. We use D’Addario EXP16s from the factory. We use 4444 Adamas for nylon string models and EXP26 for our 12-string models. For routine changes, change strings one at a time. This will put less stress on the truss rod.
- On satin finishes, the wood will take on a nice patina (shine) over time. Again, use your polish sparingly!
- Use lemon oil or a “conditioner” on the fingerboard and bridge a couple of times a year, or if the wood looks dry. You’ll need to take off all of the strings to do this.
Keep it comfortable:
Generally, if you are comfortable, your guitar will be comfortable. Try to keep the temperature moderate and keep the guitar between 40-60% humidity. Use a humidifier in the case or room if:
- You frequently run the heat or air conditioner.
- You are in the mountains or desert.
- You aren’t sure.
- If you live by the shore, or on a boat you probably don’t need a humidifier. A desiccant (silicon pack) in the case may be needed.
Don’t hurt it:
- Do not shock your guitar or subject it to extremes! If you are out in the snow, and enter a warm house or club, do not open the case until the guitar inside has come up to temperature.
- Do not leave your guitar in the trunk of your car! (That will kill your guitar and you will be very sad!)
- Make sure you have the proper case. When you close the lid, be sure to latch it! Carry the case with the lid towards you. Backwards down the stairs and forward going up.
- If you don’t know what you are doing with the truss rod, don’t goof with it. Get to know a good guitar tech.
- Don’t tune it above pitch. The A string should be 110 HZ or cycles per second. Electronic tuners are inexpensive and reliable.
- If traveling by plane, be very careful. Loosen all the strings on your guitar and use the best fitting, best constructed case you can find.
Play the heck out of it:
Not only will you feel good and get a rush from playing your guitar, but the more you play will help the solid woods to develop tone. This also helps to keep you in touch with your guitar, should it need maintenance.
On occasion, your guitar will require service. This might include a truss rod adjustment and set up. If you play a lot, you will eventually need your frets dressed or maybe a new saddle or nut.