If you have a new acoustic guitar and would like to learn how to take better care of your instrument, here are some useful words of advice.
Let's face it. It's fairly easy to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there are so many guitars purchased each and every year. However, it's another thing to actually become good at it. And remember that it's not just about learning to play. You really need some information about the instrument itself and how to take care of it.
Most acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in climate, such as super heat or extreme cold. It's dead easy for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you house it and what it has to deal with daily. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would melt into a useless mess if left on the back seat of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary needs for most instruments is a good case. It should be water resistant and also provide protection from heat. Black cases will absorb heat more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In almost all situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Have you experienced how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with a new set of strings? The neck of the guitar will give and let go depending on the type of strings you use, and if you settle on a particular gauge of string, it's probably best, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another wouldn't be good for your guitar. Also, never take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change them one at a time, as that will keep the tension on your instrument's neck at a constant level.
If you can, it's a good idea to have at a minimum two guitars, a beater you use around the house and another that you keep for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be wonderful, something in the hundred dollar range. You should't have to change the strings on it as much as the one you keep for performances.
When it is time to clean your guitar, never use water or furniture polish. Just use a soft cloth and wipe the dust. Try to not wipe so hard that you affect the finish of your guitar. And don't go crazy. Your guitar should have its own natural character, and the way to let it do this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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