HOW TO CARE FOR
HOW TO CARE FOR
Your Guitar
HOW TO CARE FOR
Your Guitar
W
ith proper care your
guitar will afford you
many years of pleasure.
However, since it is a wooden
instrument, it is much more
vulnerable to wear and
damage than some other
instruments. Here are a few
suggestions to help you care
for your guitar.
T
emperature and
Humidity: Other than
neglect or outright abuse,
temperature and humidity
are your guitar’s worst
enemies. To phrase it simply,
avoid all extremes and
sudden changes in
temperature and humidity.
Room temperature of 68-75
degrees and a relative
humidity of 35% to 45%
are best.
It’s a fact that making music “exercises” the
whole brain and mind, contributing to increased
performance in math, science and reading.
Music study helps children understand symbols,
exercise problem-solving and improve their
motor proficiency.
W
hen the relative humidity is extremely
high the wood in your guitar will swell
and the instrument may suffer a loss of
resonance. An extremely high temperature
coupled with high humidity may soften the
glue and cause the joints to separate.
During periods of extremely low humidity
the wood in your guitar will dry out and
may crack.
Also, bringing your guitar through a rapid
temperature change from cold to warm may
cause the lacquer to crack.
S
torage: A good case is your guitar’s first
line of defense. Your guitar belongs in its
case whenever it’s not being played. When
stored outside the case it’s entirely too easy
for your instrument to be damaged. Store your
guitar away from drafts and radiators or other
heat sources as they have a tendency to dry it
out. Never store your guitar in a car as it may
be subjected to great temperature extremes.
When bringing your guitar inside from
freezing temperatures, allow it to warm up to
room temperature while still in its case. When
traveling, get the heaviest, most durable case
you can afford. If you travel by air, try to carry
your guitar on the plane instead of checking
it with your regular baggage.
H
umidifiers: Your acoustic guitar’s second
line of defense is a guitar humidifier. If
your instrument is built of solid woods, the
humidifier you should use is the type that fits
inside the guitar case. Simply soak it in water
and place it near your guitar. As the moisture
evaporates it will be asorbed by the guitar.
S
traps: Because of the weight of an electric
guitar we strongly recommend the use of
a strap while performing or practicing. Even
while seated, a high quality strap will help you
balance and maintain control of your guitar.
A guitar is cumbersome enough and the extra
mass of an electric guitar just compounds the
problem.
A
djustable bridges and
tremolos: The bridge on
your electric guitar is designed
to adjust two different ways.
First, string height can be
adjusted for ease of playing.
Second, the intonation of each
string can be adjusted so that
it will play in tune all the way
up the fingerboard. These
adjustments are made at the
factory, but further adjustments
may be necessary.
EXPLODED DRAWING OF ELECTRIC GUITAR
Tuning Key
Assembly
Strap
Button
String
Guide
Assembly
Guitar
Body
Fingerboard
Pickup
Frets
T
remolo bridges were once
simple, spring-loaded
devices. Most are still springloaded, but in addition to the
height and intonation
adjustments most current
tremolo bridges offer bridgemounted fine tuners and string
locking devices near the nut
and on the bridge as well.
These bridges are extremely
complicated. All bridge
adjustments should be made by
a qualified guitar repair person.
In addition, care should be
taken not to strip the threads
when installing a tremolo arm.
Pick
Guard
Guitar
Neck
Pickup
Selector
Switch
Bridge
Assembly
Input
Jack
Tremolo
Arm
Volume
Knob
Tone
Knobs
Truss Rod
Adjusting Nut
Music can positively influence a child’s
language, social and emotional maturation.
And music offers children a positive, creative,
life-long means of self-expression. On top of
that – making music is fun!
E
lectronics: Pick-up heights are adjusted at
the factory but may need to be altered
occasionally. Using the adjustment screws on
either side of the pick-ups, they can be raised
to increase their volume or lowered to keep
them from interfering with string vibration.
If your pick-up selector switch develops static,
moving the switch rapidly back and forth
through all the positions a few times will
usually clean the contacts. If not, have the
contacts professionally cleaned.
The volume and tone controls may loosen
after a time. Continuously turning the knob
in one direction will damage the electrical
connections. Have a reputable repair person
repair your controls.
Broken output jacks can be avoided by looping
the guitar cable between the guitar and strap
at the point where the strap attaches at the
end pin.
C
leaning: The most important advice to
remember about cleaning is to wipe your
guitar thoroughly with an absorbent cloth after
each playing session. Ocassionally, you’ll need to
clean using a damp cloth which has been wrung
almost dry. Finish by wiping with
a dry cloth.
“When all other things pass away, music and
art are still the things that are remembered.
Music is one of the things like the ability to
laugh that has kept mankind going for all of
these thousands of years.”
– Charles M. Schultz
Polishing need not be done more than three or
four times a year. When you do polish or wax,
use a soft cloth and a special guitar polish.
Please aviod using household cleaning agents
as the solvents and chemicals used in them
could damage your guitar’s finish. Synthetic
guitar straps can also damage your guitar’s
finish when left in contact with the guitar.
C
hanging strings: One of the nicest things
you can do for your guitar is to change
strings frequently. New strings make your
guitar sound better and a guitar that sounds
better is more fun to play. Don’t wait for your
strings to break before you change them
because they’ll wear out long before they
break. Constant stretching, natural acids from
the moisture in your hands and hard playing
can wear out a set of strings in a few days or
weeks. Early signs of wear include flat, shiny
spots where the wound strings intersect the
frets, dirty or corroded strings, and a dull,
lifeless sound.
The entire set should be changed one string at
a time in order to keep constant tension on the
neck and bridge. Replace the strings with the
same type the guitar originally came equipped
with. Never replace nylon strings with steel
strings or steel with nylon. Once the strings
have been changed, six-string guitars should be
tuned to concert pitch (A-440) and 12-string
guitars one whole step lower.
For any other questions on
guitar care, or for accessories
you may need to care for
your guitar, call or visit the
Schmitt’s nearest you.
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