Guitar Maintenance

Guitar Repair Bench

Guitar maintenance isn't as scary a topic as guitar repair, but it's just as important, perhaps even more so. A properly maintained instrument can have a much improved lifespan over a guitar that's mistreated or poorly maintained. Fortunately, basic instrument maintenance is pretty simple, though it does require regular commitment and a little attention to some basic concerns.


One of the most important things you can do to help maintain the health of your instruments, particularly your acoustic guitars, is maintain a proper humidity level. Typically, you want your guitars stored at a 40% - 50% humidity level. Much lower and you risk drying out your guitars, which can lead to cracking. Much more and you increase the possibility of the guitars swelling from too much moisture.

The best course of action is to keep your guitars in their cases and make sure they are not stored next to any heating units, taking care to use in-case humidifiers if needed.. Of course, many of us prefer to keep our instruments out so we can play them more. In that case, it's highly recommended that you purchase a humidistat to monitor humidity levels and purchase a room humidifier to maintain proper humidity.

Temperature Changes

In addition to humidification, it's always best to avoid any extreme temperature changes with your guitars. If you do happen to take your guitar from one extreme to another (e.g. from a cold car trip to a warm house), let it acclimate in its case for at least an hour. And no matter what, never keep your guitars in your car overnight. That's seriously asking for trouble. A good rule of thumb is to treat your guitars like you would a pet or a child. If you wouldn't leave your dog Buster or your baby brother there for too long, treat your guitar the same way.

Cleaning Up

Of course, proper cleaning of the instrument is essential. Always take the time to clean off your strings and clean the fretboard. For electric guitars, check the health of the volume and tone pots as well as the input jack. A little maintenance here and there can save you some real hassle at a gig or practice.

Protect Your Investment

It also goes without saying that a quality gig bag or hardshell case will provide substantive protection for your instrument. While you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get quality protection, you don't want to skimp either. Cheap gig bags and cases are really nothing more than dust covers. You want to get the best protection you can afford.

Regular Guitar Maintenance

Finally, maintaining proper adjustment of the guitar's neck and intonation as well as changing strings regularly will help keep your guitar sounding and playing its best. If you're not familiar with basic adjustments for your instrument, take it to a qualified repair shop. A proper set-up can make a good guitar sound and play great.

These are just a few of the topics we'll discuss in this section on basic guitar maintenance. As always, if you have any questions, please ask!

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