The subject of guitar handling and care is incredibly significant. Since several guitarists always want to go right to performance, it’s often missed. However, to perform perfectly, you must first have a functional and operating guitar that’s not just in decent shape but also well maintained.
Knowing how to maintain your guitar means understanding how to make the most out of it, having it perform its utmost best, and saving time and expenses in the long term.
Achieving the three goals of guitar maintenance means taking a series of precautions and special handling of the instrument, through the ways discussed below.
Proper Storage of the Guitar
It may appear simple, but as we grow more comfortable with our instruments and the thrill of owning them wears off, it’s all too common to stop caring for them as you did at the start. Ensure the guitar is kept in a secure place so that nothing will fall on it, and in which the temperature and humidity are generally stable.
Choosing the Right Case
Without proper protection, your brand new guitar is soon likely to wear off soon and get old fast. You’ll, therefore, need a case to transport it in and to store it in while you’re not using it. A decent case not only protects the instrument from injury but also keeps everything associated with it contained in one location.
A hard case is a perfect choice, but it can be costly and may prevent you from carrying the instrument on your back. Several people are put off by such things, which is understandable. Ensure you get a padded, thick, and long-lasting soft case to help you protect and keep your guitar soft in a manageable way, for a long time.
Transporting Your Guitar
Guitars are frequently damaged when being transported. So consider how you’ll carry your instrument, or how you’ll arrange for it to be carried, especially when it comes to public transportation, such as rail or aircraft travel.
It has even been known for some people to buy their guitar a plane seat. And you wouldn’t blame them – you need your guitar somewhere safe and secure. Many of us are unable to do so due to logistical or budgetary constraints, but the message remains. It’ll be out of your control for some time, so do everything you can to guarantee your instrument is appropriately secured. The good news is that you can now legally take your guitar on board as carry-on luggage.
Setting Up and Checking Your Guitar
Several things can make your guitar uncomfortable to use and even risked to destruction. If you buy a new guitar, it’s best if you find it already set up, professionally. If otherwise, the store you’re buying from should be able to assist you. Nevertheless, you should get your instrument’s setup examined regularly and adjusted accordingly.
It’s a terrific feeling to play a nicely set-up guitar, and it’ll help to keep the instrument in decent condition in the long run.
Cleaning Your Guitar
A shiny, polished instrument will not only keep your guitar longer and safer but will also make it look attractive. Another recommendation for instrument care is to clean it regularly. It will not only maintain everything gleaming and new but can also increase the lifespan of your strings and minimize tarnishing or early aging of your equipment. Here are a few techniques for keeping your instrument clean and polished that you can’t go wrong with.
Daily Cleaning Ideas
Cleaning your instrument daily basis is also part of proper instrument care. Before you start playing, make sure you wash your hands. While your hands can easily be coated with filth, grease, and sweat, your guitar shouldn’t be. So, when it comes to guitar maintenance, cleaning your hands before practicing or playing can help protect your guitar from the dirt and grime that we come into contact with during the day.
When dirt and sweat collect in potentiometers or the knobs, they produce a scratchy noise when turned on. The good thing is that it is a common occurrence that can be resolved by rotating the pot again and again till the scratchiness is gone. You can also spray it for deep cleaning and maintaining efficiency for better guitar care. If the noise persists or is accompanied by other crackles, a weak input jack should be strengthened, or the instrument probably needs to be examined by a technician.
Maintenance of the Fretboard
Cleaning the fretboard of your guitar anytime you remove or replace the strings is a recommended instrument maintenance practice. Today’s market offers a variety of conditioners helpful in cleaning the fretboard, and they all do a good job of keeping your fingerboard lubricated and attractive.
Applying oil to your instrument’s fretboard down the fingerboard and pressing on it using a polish cloth will prevent fret sprouting, fractures and breaks, and finish deterioration. Furniture shine or any glass cleaning should not be used on a guitar since they may react negatively with the finish.
Shining the Finish
Before going for the guitar shine, ensure you have the time to clean the instrument with just a microfiber cloth to eliminate any dirt or fingerprints. If you don’t get rid of hard dirt like metal flakes, your lovely shiny finish will be scratched. Sprinkle some guitar polish on the cloth and gently wipe it off in circular patterns until you’re satisfied that any undesirable debris has been eliminated. While you’re doing it, make sure to clean the back of the neck as well as the headstock, and don’t leave any residues.
How to Maintain Your Guitar Strings
The strings are part of the most significant features in a string guitar without which the instrument will be useless. Proper maintenance of the strings is, therefore, a necessity in handling the instrument. Of course, continued development has enabled you easier ways of handling string guitars such as with string sling. Here are some of the ways you can care for your guitar strings, including using a string sling.
When Should Your Strings Be Cleaned?
A guitar’s sound begins with its strings. This is because the pickups’ “sound” is determined by the vibration of the strings. The most distinguishable
properties of new strings are clarity and attack. This is because the presence of oil and debris available do not suppress their high frequencies. The pickups will replicate the dampened feature of the string if it is dampened. You’ll have to start wiping the strings to bring that sound back.
Can You Use a Household Cleaner for The String?
Cleaning guitar strings with household cleaners such as bleach or soap is not recommended. The ingredients are probably not meant for your guitar, and they could ruin the polish or tarnish the equipment. An improper application might cause uncompleted fretboards to dry out. To achieve the best results, use a name-brand string cleaning and microfiber towels.
Boiling Bass Strings
Bass guitar strings can be cleaned by boiling. They’ll normally sound just short of new, though. This can’t be done several times each set, though. Nothing is more frustrating than breaking strings in the middle of a performance because you overdid yourself while boiling them. When using hot water, exercise caution.
Keeping them in a bath for 10 to 15 can lead to oil and debris separating from the strings. Use tongs to remove the strings with caution and let them cool and dry before reinstalling them on the bass. Having guitar string cleaning on hand is always a smart idea.
Changing the Strings
It’s debatable how often this should be done. Some artists change the strings every six to eight weeks, while others do it for every show. It’s also much less frequent for many others as they keep trying to break out of the pattern. So, get back into the swing of things!
It not only refreshes and revitalizes your sound, but it also allows you to do some of the maintenance by cleaning your guitar. To extend the life of your strings, clean them using a dry cloth after each performance or practice session.
The String Sling
String Sling is the ultimate savior when it comes to guitar maintenance. It’s an American firm that makes an all-in-one guitar strap, protection, and storage vault. With its help, you will be able to save on time, resources, and the frustration of constantly changing your guitar strings.
String Sling is made of comfortable microfiber that conforms to the string and has storing pockets excellent for picks and capos. Furthermore, it converts to a guitar strap that has strategically placed cushioning and ample sling, rendering it the greatest and most pleasant tool in the market.
Understanding how difficult it can be to constantly replace a string in guitars, String Sling developed an innovative method that would fix the concerns that guitarists encounter. String Sling is the ideal guitar accessory since it preserves and extends the life of the strings while simultaneously serving as a versatile storage pocket and guitar strap. It is the first of such an idea, and it ushers in an entirely special concept of guitar gear. Every aspect of this accessory is distinctive and well-made, from reinforced loopholes to quality.