Frequently Asked Questions
About Acoustic Guitar
How Should I
Take Care of my Guitar?
Avoid Climate Extremes
Do not expose it to extremes of
temperature. If it's too hot or cold for you, it's probably too
hot or cold for your guitar. Don't expose it to quick temperature
changes. If you're in an area of low humidity (<20%), keep it
humidified. Humidifiers that fit in the soundhole are available.
Look at some commercial humidifiers at Musician's Friend
You can also make one out of a plastic prescription bottle, some
string, and a piece of a kitchen sponge.
Here is a set of instructions for making
your own guitar humidifier:
- Get a small plastic prescription
- Using a soldering iron or something
like that, poke, oh, about 10-15 holes in the bottle, wherever you
want. The holes should be about 2-3 mm in diameter. Make one hole
in the bottom.
- Get a piece of nice thick string
about 40-50 cm long.
- Run that string through the hole in
the bottom and knot it so it won't come back out.
- Cut a piece off a kitchen sponge that
will fit in the bottle (but not too tightly). KIDS - ask Mom
before doing this ;^)
- Put the sponge in the bottle, put a
few drops of water in the sponge, and put the top on the
prescription bottle. The sponge should be damp, not dripping wet.
- Make sure the outside of the bottle
When you put your guitar in the case,
drop the bottle in the box. (You'll probably have to pull a string out
of the way a little to do this, unless you have one of those large
soundhole Maccaferris. It will probably not be necessary to
loosen a string to do this, though.) Leave the string hanging
out so you can pull the bottle back out later.
Obviously, you don't want to vigorously
shake your guitar and case when this humidifier is installed. Also, on
dry winter days, you'll have to put more water in it every two days or
NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, using
a Prozac prescription bottle will not make your guitar sound mellower
;^), but the content inside might :)
General Maintenance Advice from Jason Nieh's Guitar Notes
Additional advice from the Guitar
comes courtesy of Abe Wechter's of Wechter Guitar
"Ask the Guitar Maker" series: "I use a little lemon oil on a cloth. Don't
use too much oil; and finish by wiping hard with a dry cloth. I find
it helpful to use a toothpick to get right next to the fret in some
cases. You are cleaning gunk off, and the fragrance is nice.
What you are not doing is keeping the rosewood from "drying
out" and cracking, or even providing an effective barrier coat
for moisture retention. There is a common misconception that you
have to nourish' the wood. You do not. You want to store
the guitar at the proper relative humidity, and just clean the
fingerboard very occasionally. What you absolutely want to avoid
is any product that promises decreased friction; if it contains
silicone, you are inviting serious problems later on should any finish
work be necessary."
Minor Repair or Maintenance
You can find some simple
repair advice for fixing buzzing strings, replacing tuning machines,
or for the brave of heart, fixing loose braces at:
"The Guitar Advisor".
Traveling With Your Guitar
Advisor's answer to this question.