Guitar Maintenance and Protection – Looking After Your Instrument
Guitar maintenance is essential to keep your pride and joy looking great and playing better, and here’s some tips how…
In the excitement of owning your first instrument, guitar maintenance can be overlooked. Whilst just about everyone will appreciate that guitars need new strings from time to time, other general TLC is considered less of a priority by many.
However, a few little jobs done periodically, along with some knowledge that will enable you to store it in such a way that it want get damaged, should ensure that it will always look and play well.
Storing your guitar
In many ways, guitars are most likely to get damaged when not being played. The reason for this is that guitars are often stored in an inappropriate way. Obviously, the most common way for a guitar to pick up damage is by being knocked over, or dinged. If you want to reduce the chances of this, you can:
Store it on a guitar stand – this will provide a safe cradle, so that it cannot be easily knocked over
Keep it in a guitar case – this will prevent it from being knocked or dinged.
There also threats to your guitar from the environment itself, too. Don’t panic, it’s not about to be destroyed in an earthquake or washed away by flooding (hopefully). Like all instruments made of wood, they are subject to the effects of extreme temperatures and humidity.
So, how can you protect your guitar from this? Well, just make sure you keep it somewhere that isn’t really hot or really cold, or doesn’t change dramatically in temperature, and isn’t damp or humid.
Guitar maintenance – polish and conditioning
Usually, the best time for some general guitar maintenance is when you change you’re strings. This gives your access the fretboard and body, without having strings in the way.
Cleaning and conditioning the fretboard
- Once you have taken all of the strings off, wipe fretboard down with a lint-free cloth to remove dust.
- Then, spray with a fretboard conditioner, such as Lemon Oil, or Gibson Fretboard Conditioner
- Take a clean cloth, and rub away the dirt and grime way from it.
- Wipe the fretboard with a clean cloth
Cleaning and polishing the body
- Like the fretboard, firstly remove the dust from the body with a clean, lint free cloth
- Apply some guitar polish, such as that available from Stringfellows or Gibson, and give the guitar a good old’ clean
- For the ultimate finish, use some carnauba wax. Put a little onto a micro fibre cloth and polish all areas of the guitar body. When it dries, remove it by gently rubbing with a polishing cloth, for a perfect shine.
Guitar maintenance can be a surprisingly satisfying process. There’s nothing like taking a guitar that’s looking a bit dusty or grimy, and restoring it to its former glory. A selection of cleaning products and other accessories can be found on the Dawsons website here.
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