Learning Guitar Tech Tips: Care and maintenance for your new guitar

Question. I’ve just spent a reasonable amount on a new guitar. What should I be doing to take care of it and what are some of the common problems that I should look out for?

Answer. The main things you should pay attention to are heat and humidity. These are the two things that will turn your instrument to mush. Heat is obvious enough; too much heat can warp the wood in your guitar. This will kill any chance of your guitar staying in tune or sounding good. It might also make it harder to play.

People who have guitars damaged by heat generally have left their instrument in a car in the sun. This is not good for your guitar, and you MUST NOT do this. Guitars can stand some varying temperatures but anything extreme will warp and damage your guitar.

Low and high humidity can also be a problem. Low humidity can cause you guitar to dry up and crack. This will ruin your string clearance, causing your strings to rattle. High humidity can also be a problem especially for electric guitars. Moisture from the atmosphere or sweat can tarnish and corrode the metal parts. A little tarnish is not a big deal, but rusted electronics are a big deal.

You can prevent problems caused by high and low humidity by keeping your guitar in a place that is neither very dry nor very moist. This will depend somewhat on where you live. Some places will naturally have more of a problem with high or low humidity. Keeping your guitar in a cool place out of sunlight is the best option, but you should use your judgment depending on where you live. Your guitar is an important part of your life and you should treat it well.

Next week we’ll give you some tips on developing your own “sound”.

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  1. Jesus B. Cepero

    Hello: All you do is great and I have enjoyed and followed both, the course and all your advices on how to protect my guitar. I want to refer particularly to that topic you issued about temperature and humidity, specifically in the case of temperature, I live in a very hot region in the Northwestern Pacific in Mexico (Sinaloa), and would like you to specify which temperature ranges are best for storing and care my Fender Squire Strat affinity series electric guitar. In summer temperatures overhere ranges up to 45°C and may be more, perhaps 48°. Let me know please what can I do for best protection of my instrument. Thank you very much. Best regards.

  2. Paul

    just got this emailed out in the jamorama newsletter on the 7/5/2012… this is over 2 years old. come on guys, send us some new material or at least update this with some more tips and help.

    1. admin

      Hi Paul, yeah… we do have some old but very valuable content in our Jamorama blog, that is why we decided to use it.
      We are also working on new content on a weekly basis, you can either have a look around in our blog or wait for the newest Newsletters to be delivered on your Inbox.

      Enjoy the reading and the learning!


  3. Sandy

    You mentioned the problem of humidity, but I would like to know about solutions? So for example, do the humidifier sponge things work? Also what about string and fret care?

    Btw, this article is dated 8/6/2010, but was emailed 2/27/12.

  4. guitar fest

    It’s not hard to teach one on one but students tend to get away from the “feel” on their own and bog down. Direct imitation with immediate feedback from me seems to work really well but all the abstract instruction on the web seems to make students over analyze it and forget that sympathetic motion is ultimately a feeling. Teaching it is much like teaching someone to roll their Rs – the technical information can actually get in the way of “getting it”.

  5. mondo

    Good to see the blog posting regular again. How’s it going, guys?

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