Looking after your guitar is vital to its sound quality, playing experience, and longevity. And, while guitars may seem like pretty low maintenance instruments, there are a few easy guitar maintenance activities every guitarist should practice.
In this article, we’ve selected five of the most crucial easy guitar maintenance tips that’ll help you keep your guitar looking, feeling, and sounding fantastic.
1. Change the strings regularly
Ensure your instrument sounds crisp and full every single time you pick it up by changing the strings regularly. Old strings not only produce a tinnier, more muted sound, they also feel very stiff and sharp beneath your fingers.
The frequency by which you change your guitar strings will depend on how often you play your guitar – with more use comes faster deterioration. As a quick guide, if you play your guitar for one hour a day, you might need to change your strings every month or two.
2. Wash your hands before you play
Dirt, grime, and natural oils on your hands can cause your strings to deteriorate more quickly. Washing your hands with soap and water and drying them completely before you pick up your instrument can minimise the amount of build-up on your guitar over time.
3. Wipe down your fretboard after each use
As well as your strings, your fretboard will attract oil, dirt, and dust. Giving your fretboard a good wipe down after each practice session can help remove those unwanted elements while extending the life of your strings.
The process is easy. Grab a paper towel, fold it in half, and wrap it under and over your strings. With a gentle downward pressure, glide the paper towel slowly up and down between the bridge and nut of the guitar.
4. Give the fretboard a deep clean when changing strings
There’s a bit of a theme with these easy guitar maintenance tips – keeping your instrument clean. Changing your strings is the perfect opportunity to give your fretboard a deeper clean.
To do this, remove the strings and use a credit card to gently scrape the fretboard. This will lift any stuck dirt and dust. Use a paper towel to remove grime from the fretboard.
You may also like to give your fretboard a wipe down with a cleaning solution – which you use will depend on the wood your fretboard is made of. If you’re a beginner, you may want to leave this up to a professional technician, which brings us to our final tip…
5. Leave your guitar with a professional technician
Just like you’d bring your car to a mechanic or your computer to an IT professional, every once and a while it’s worth leaving your guitar with a professional technician for a thorough tune-up.
A technician may do some of the following more involved maintenance activities:
- Check and amend the alignment of your guitar’s neck
- Adjust the action to your preference
- Check and repair any loose or lifting frets
- Polish your guitars neck and body
- Give your guitar a very thorough clean
- Change your strings, if you ask them to
An annual tune-up is an excellent investment if you are wanting to keep your beloved instrument in tip-top shape.
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You’re already taking great care of your guitar, but are you investing in rewarding guitar lessons? If you’d like to learn guitar properly, from the ground up, at your own speed in the comfort of your own home, check out my online video lessons today.
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