If you just got an acoustic guitar and want to learn how to best take care of your instrument, what you will find here are a few useful tips.
Let's face it. It's not too difficult to learn how to play acoustic guitar. That's probably one of the many reasons there are so many guitars bought each and every year. But remember, it's takes something else to actually become proficient in the art. And 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.
Most acoustic guitars are created from wood and are usually hollow. They are sensitive to changes in weather, such as extreme heat or super cold. It's very simple for parts of the guitar to warp or otherwise get damaged depending on how you store it and what it has to deal with on a daily basis. 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 major needs for most instruments is a good case. It really should be water resistant but also give protection from heat. Black cases will absorb the sun's rays more than lighter colored cases, so remember that when shopping for one for your guitar. You'll have the choice of soft shell cases and hard shell cases. In most situations, I would endorse the hard shell case unless your budget prohibits it.
Guitar strings are susceptible to heat and cold as well. Note how quickly guitars go out of tune, especially if you put on 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 decide to use a particular gauge of string, it's probably the best thing you can do, as the shock of going from one type of string to another isn't good for your instrument. Also, don't 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 that will keep the tension on the guitar neck constant.
If at all possible, it's a nice idea to have at a minimum two guitars, a beater you use for practice and another that you keep for performances. Your practice guitar doesn't have to be great, something in the hundred dollar range. You won't have to change the strings on it as much as the guitar you use for performances.
When cleaning 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 nuts. 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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