Care for your instrument

 

Taking Care of Your Guitar

Guitars made by a company with nearly 100 years of experience as builders are quality instruments, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be delicate as well.  There are a few easy ways to keep your guitar playing well and make it last for a lifetime. 

Watch the Humidity

You'll want to keep your guitar in is where the relative humidity is between 45% and 55%. Humidity is measured by a device called a hygrometer, and there are some inexpensive ones available that work just fine.  Depending on where you live, and the time of year, the air could be either too dry or too humid. If you happen to live in a damp place, consider keeping your guitar in an area with a dehumidifier. If you live in a dry place, you may want to get a room humidifier or a small drop-in one made especially for guitars. These aren’t expensive and are well worth it.  Remember to think about air conditioning and heaters in addition to the natural weather that affects your guitar. They're often the reason the air gets dry. If your guitar starts buzzing because of low action or is getting harder to play because of high action, it could be an effect of humidity rather than that you need a setup.  If your guitar is dried out or has been in a moist setting for a while, there’s no reason for immediate concern. Most instruments bounce back within a day or two of being in a controlled environment. 

Watch the Heat

It’s somewhat similar to what a lack of humidity does, but it’s worth repeating. Avoid leaving your instrument in direct sunlight or next to a heater. Try not to leave your guitar in the trunk of your car in warm weather. Direct or prolonged heat can dry out the wood, leading to shrinkage and cracking. Also, watch out for freezing weather. You don't want to leave a guitar in the car if you're in one of the world's colder regions, either.   

Put Your Guitar in the Case

Your guitar is safer in a case or gig bag than on a stand or—even worse—leaning against an amp or placed on a bed or chair. Ask any musician who's been playing for a while, and they'll probably have a story about knocking over or dropping a guitar. Before you make your guitar gently weep, place it in its case or bag whenever you're not playing it. Most quality instruments come with a case, but there are plenty of options to add one later if you got a guitar without one. A case or gig bag also helps to keep the humidity in line.     

Preserve Your Strings   

Guitars sound best with new or close to new strings. The strings have a fuller sound compared to when dirt and oil have built up.  One easy thing is to wash your hands before you play. A lot of the dirt and oil on your hands will get on your guitar's strings. Make sure your hands are clean before you start playing.  Wipe your strings down after you're done playing. Even if you took the time to make sure that your hands were clean before playing your guitar, your strings would still get dirty as you played. You can use string cleaner if you want to take good care of your strings. String cleaners aren't strictly necessary, so if you wipe down your strings every time you play on your guitar, you won't need it. Don't ever use all-purpose commercial cleaners on your guitar strings. If your strings still have buildup and you haven't seen a difference when you've taken the time to clean them, you may be better of replacing them.   

Clean and Condition   

Just like strings, over time, grime will build up on your fingerboard. It’s usually a good idea to clean the fingerboard each time you change the strings. The first pass can be with a damp cloth. Use a cotton or microfiber cloth, or one made especially for guitar cleaning, as they won't scratch the surface. Next, condition the fingerboard. Fretboard or fingerboard conditioners are available, and lemon oil also works well. Don't use general furniture polishes or the same polish that you use for the body of your guitar because the wood on the fingerboard doesn't have a poly or lacquer finish as the body of the guitar does.   For the guitar's body, you can use guitar polish when needed. Polishes made for guitars only will be on the more expensive side, but they won't damage the finish on your guitar. Spray your polish on the cloth first, and then wipe down your guitar. Don’t spray the polish or other wet substances on your guitar directly.

Any issues? See a Professional 

If you have buzzing, rattles, or other issues that aren't solved with getting the humidity inline or changing strings, you may want to get the guitar looked at by a trustworthy shop or technician. Some problems start small and get worse. A lot of shops will look at it for free. Any other questions? Reach out to us at Kremona, and we'll do our best to help.