A general guide on guitar maintenance

Chapman Guitar: A general guide on guitar maintenance

Whether or not your guitar is expensive, the instrument needs to be well maintained if you want it to last long. Storing it somewhere when not in use is just the bare minimum of caring for your guitar. You have to make sure that you do everything that you can to make it in tip-top shape. 

Guitar maintenance is not hard if you know what to do. There are several ways to make sure that the instrument is in good working order. Don’t worry because we’ll help you learn how to take proper care of your guitar as you browse through Chapman’s Guitar website.

How to clean and store your guitar

Guitars, especially wooden variants, are made of supple wood materials that can get worn out through time. Exposing them to harsh elements and failing to clean them up from time to time will lead to certain deterioration and irreversible damage. 

This is highly preventable as long as you learn and understand the proper cleaning and storing processes for your guitar and its equipment. Follow the tips below to get you started with guitar maintenance:

Purchase a durable case

Different cases are available for guitars. These can be hard cases or something that’s padded to protect the instrument from possible damage. This is helpful for those always on the go and who are constantly performing in gigs. 

Protective cases aren’t only for preventing dents, scratches and dust. These also help your guitar absorb temperature changes that can lead to warp damages in various parts of the instrument thus leading to performance issues. 

If you’re planning to display the guitar on its stand or wall hanger, you have to make sure that the humidity inside the room is regularly monitored. You can easily solve this problem by getting a guitar case.

Daily cleaning practices for guitars

Guitars are precious instruments that may deteriorate over time if you don’t clean them. This is because dust and dirt can accumulate on the surface and damage the wooden exterior or coating protecting it. 

Wash your hands first before handling the guitar

Whether your hands look clean or not, you have to wash your hands first before reaching out to your guitar and playing it. There are dirt and micro particles unseen by the naked eye that you are exposed to every day. Washing your hands ensures that your guitar is safe from these particles.

Wipe down your guitar after use

Your skin secretes oil and sweat that can be damaging to your guitar. Although this is unavoidable because that’s the way things are, it doesn’t mean you can’t do preemptive measures to keep your guitar in good condition. 

Wiping down the fretboard after every use can help remove the bodily fluids from your fingers. This will prevent the oil and sweat from settling into the wood and damaging the guitar through time.

Wipe the strings

Don’t forget to also clean the strings after using your guitar. Wiping it down with a soft microfibre cloth can help remove grime buildup and avoid damages from the natural oxidation process of strings. 

Moreover, check how often you have to tune your guitar. If you find yourself constantly adjusting the strings, it might be a sign that you have to change the set for a better experience altogether. 

Changing the strings

Good quality strings can last long but you still need to replace the set from time to time. This will depend on how frequently you play the guitar. For those who perform regularly, you might have to consider replacing the strings every few weeks. 

If you are a casual player that brings out your guitar once in a while, you just have to replace the strings every couple of months. 

Picking the right string

You can’t just pick a random string from the Chapman Guitar shelves. Consider what type of guitar you own and the skills you have. This can help narrow down your options since there are different kinds of strings available in our store. 

Bronze and stainless steel round wound strings

This type of string is perfect for those who own an acoustic guitar. If you are a beginner, you should start with a lighter gauge string so you can effectively learn and develop your skills. 

For advanced learners and professionals, you should consider heavier gauge strings because these have a fuller and heavier tone. This way, you can make the most of your guitar’s quality. 

Nylon strings

Classical guitar players use nylon strings. This type of string is made specifically for this type of music because the material provides a unique sound needed by the musician.

Nickel or stainless steel strings

Electric guitars work best on nickel or stainless steel strings. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a light or heavy gauge since the guitar is powered by an amplifier to create sound. The decision will depend on your preference as a musician. 

In-depth cleaning

Even if you wipe down your guitar every time you use it, the instrument is still susceptible to dirt and grime buildup. You need to set aside time to have an in-depth cleaning of the instrument every time you change the strings to keep it neat. 

Cleaning the fretboard

Although strings are essential to your guitar, these can also prevent you from deep cleaning the neck or guitar fretboard. This part of the instrument is the most susceptible to dirt and grime because you can’t wipe off the particles that have gotten in the crevices. 

Removing the strings means that you have a clear shot of the fretboard. You can wipe the whole neck thoroughly with a microfibre towel to easily remove the debris. After that, you can rub the finest grade of steel wool using a circular motion to loosen stubborn build-up. 

Make sure to plug the soundhole with a cloth to avoid the particles from getting in the interior of the guitar. Run down the microfibre again after using the steel wool so you can wipe away all the debris. 

Cleaning the body

Although the body does not gather dust and grime as much as the fretboard, wiping it down with a microfibre cloth is still helpful when it comes to cleaning your instrument. However, skip the steel wool process since it can damage the wood finish of the guitar body.

Polishing your guitar

Your guitar is made of wood but that does not mean furniture or glass polish is applicable when cleaning it. This can ruin the finish of your instrument and can lead to further damage. 

Use a high-grade fretboard conditioner or oil that’s recommended by the manufacturer of your particular guitar model. This way, you won’t unnecessarily damage the instrument for longer use.

Other tips to keep your guitar in good shape

Maintaining your guitar isn’t limited to cleaning and storage techniques. Aside from those tips, there are plenty of other ways you can take care of your instrument. Browse through the list below to learn more about these tips on keeping your guitar in good shape:

Store your guitar somewhere with moderate temperature

Extreme temperature changes can damage your guitar. Using a case can only get you so far, you also need to consider where you place the instrument. Avoid places that are too hot, too cold or too humid. Moreover, keep it away from direct sunlight or near cold air conditioning units. 

Humid places can dry out and crack the wood panel of your guitar. Even with a case, you have to avoid these places when picking guitar storage.

Practice loosening the strings

Casual players don’t use guitars as often as performers. If you’re planning to store your guitar for a long time, you need to loosen the strings to avoid the set from wearing out. The tension from the strings can cause the bridge to lift from the body.

Once the bridge lifts, the guitar gets damaged and affects the tonal quality when you play. This will require costly repairs by professionals to get it back to the way it was before. Avoid this altogether just by loosening the strings if you don’t plan on playing for a long time. 

Put the guitar away when not in use

Don’t let your guitar lie around somewhere collecting dust and cobwebs when you’re done using it. This can damage the wooden panel of your instrument and ultimately deteriorate its quality over a long period. 

Although durable, guitars can’t handle too much physical strain. If you leave it leaning on a wall without a stand, the fretboard can warp and get damaged. The instrument may also fall and break on impact. 

Take the extra effort of properly storing your guitar even if you’re just taking a short break. It can be tiresome to put the instrument back and forth in the case but that’s better than just leaving it lying around.

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