Once you bought your guitar, regular cleaning, suitable storage, making timely adjustments and repairs, altering strings etc forms part of proper care of guitar.
Get your basic step right by buying a good quality and well tuned guitar. Ensure frets in the guitar are filed down well, truss rods are properly set up etc. In case you are keen on playing a particular style of music, guitars would require specific set-up before playing. Also, run a check on open notes. They should be well set with suitable intonation and be in tune with fret note. By testing the open and twelfth fret notes of each string, you can assure the accuracy of open notes.
Regular cleaning of guitar is highly recommended and certain steps must be followed to ensure safety and long life of your guitar.
Here are a few tried and tested tips:
- A feather duster, absorbent cloth, dusting cloth, jewelry or chrome polish, guitar polish, camel hair’s paint brush should be a part of your guitar cleaning tool kit.
- Always use specifically designed polish for cleaning your guitar and use only soft and dry clothes to clean.
- Never use any aerosol based products to clean your guitar. However, if the said product is first spread over a cloth, cleaning with the same can be less harmful to the parts of the guitar. Also avoid using any oil based products.
- Wiping the strings with a dry cloth after each time you play will ensure lasting life of strings.
- Avoid contact of polish or cleaning product to strings, fretboard. Lemon oil is considered very useful to treat ebony or rosewood fretboards.
- The pickups on an electric guitar should always be cleaned only with a dry cloth and anything else may damage the sensitive magnetic pickups.
- Tuning and changing strings at the right time is very crucial and ensure all the screws and bolts have been built-in properly after you have altered strings. Old strings often lose their capacity to hold tension and usually get tight and are easily broken.
Guitar maintenance entails storing it in standard room temperatures and you must avoid using it in very hot weather. For any electronic repair which may involve filing as fret dressing, nut alternation etc, it is advisable to approach an experienced repair person. To fix minor repairs tools like miniature screwdrivers, hex wrench, allen wrench, the miniature ratchet sets are extremely useful. However few repairs, as listed below, must always be undertaken by a qualified person:
- Repairing dings and scratches
- Fixing finish cracks
- Fixing worn frets
- Solving grounding problems
- Fixing pickup failure
- Healing breakages and injuries
- Fixing neck distortions
- Rewiring electronics
- Restoring guitar’s wood
Changing Strings of Guitar
In case you observe any of the below conditions on your strings, then it is the right time to change them:
- When there are visible signs of corrosion, dirt etc
- When your strings are not playing in tune, fretting sharply
- When it has been a long time you have not changed strings on your guitar
To remove the old strings, you can just snip off old strings and pull the wires. Either you can replace each string at a time or all strings can be removed at any given time. To replace the strings, place the new wires at the bridge and pass through the hole until the ball stops any movement. Ensure the string goes into the correct slot and also make sure you leave slack between tuning post and pin. Keep the string tight and then tune the peg clockwise.
Guitar maintenance plays a key role and depending on the type of guitar you own, cleaning, repair process might slightly vary. However, proper care of guitar for any kind ensures its long life.