If you have an acoustic guitar and would like to find out how to best take care of it, what you will find here are some useful words of advice.
You've got to admit it. It's not too difficult to learn the acoustic guitar. That's one of the reasons there's so many guitars sold each and every year. But remember, it's another thing to actually learn to be good at it. And remember that it's not just about learning to play. You also need some information about the instrument itself and what you need to do to take care of it.
The vast majority of acoustics are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to differences in weather, such as extreme heat or extreme cold. It's very simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise become damaged depending on how you house it and what it is exposed to daily. Think about the old cassette tape and how it would warp into a useless mess if kept on the dashboard of your car on a sunny day.
One of the primary needs for most instruments is a good enclosure. It should be water resistant but also provide protection from heat. Dark colored cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored enclosures, so remember that when selecting one for your guitar. There are soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would recommend the hard shell case unless you can't afford it.
Guitar strings are sensitive to environmental changes as well. Have you experienced how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially with a new set of strings? The neck of your 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 the best thing you can do, as the shock of going from one gauge of string to another isn't good for your instrument. Also, never take all the strings off your guitar at once, as that might cause warping of the neck. Change your strings one at a time, as this will keep the tension on the guitar neck at a constant level.
If you can, it's a great idea to have at a minimum two guitars, one that you use for practice and another that you use for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be expensive, 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 cleaning your guitar, never use water or furniture polish. Just use a clean cloth and wipe the dust. Try to not wipe so hard that you affect the finish of your guitar. And don't go nuts. Your guitar should develop its own natural character, and part of this is letting it get used and worn in a normal fashion.
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