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Basic Care for Musical Instruments: Guitars

by Emily Lloyd

Man strumming an acoustic guitar

Things You Need:

  • Clean, dry polishing rag
  • Guitar polish
  • Guitar case or stand

When it comes to caring for guitars, the list is pretty short but extremely important to serious guitar owners. Although guitars are casual instruments, you can't just leave one lying around and think that it will stay in perfect condition. Guitars are somewhat fragile musical instruments that need to be looked after properly in order to perform well. Below are some tips on the basic care for musical instruments like guitars.

Basic Care for Guitars:

  1. Storing your guitar. Even though you get powerful sound from your guitar, you need to remember that it's a fragile instrument and should be handled with care. Dropping your guitar or banging it against something will crack the wood and damage your instrument. Keeping your guitar in its case when it's not in use will protect it from many preventable accidents. Storing your instrument in the guitar case when you leave the room will keep people from accidently stepping or sitting on it. It's also vital that you never leave your guitar outside or in a car for a long period of time. Extreme temperatures can warp or crack guitar wood. If you take care of your guitar, it will last for many years.

  2. Changing your guitar strings. An occasional hazard of playing the guitar is dealing with broken strings which wear out from use and age. Guitarists who practice and perform for several hours a day will have to change their strings more often than those who only play occasionally. Changing your strings on a regular basis will keep the sound of your instruments bright and eliminate that annoying buzzing sound. It's best if you change your strings all at once. When it's time to change the strings, you'll need to begin by loosening them and then removing them. You can either unwind them or cut them to remove them from the fretboard. If you decide to cut the strings, you must loosen your strings before you cut them; cutting taunt strings will cause them to snap and can cause you serious injury.

  3. Cleaning your guitar. Your guitar and fretboard should be dusted on a regular basis in order to keep it looking new and to remove any smudges and fingerprints. It's extremely important that you not use common furniture polish on your guitar. Regular furniture polish will damage your guitar and fretboard even though your instrument is made from wood. When you want to polish your guitar, you'll need to buy polish designated specially for guitars. Using the specific guitar polish will make your instrument look clean, glossy and protect it from dust.

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