Having a good instrument to play or practice on is crucial in order to progress on it. There is nothing more discouraging than not being able to play your best because of fret buzz or strings being so high that it is very hard to press them down. Taking good care of your acoustic guitar and giving it proper maintenance is fundamental if you would like to receive quality services when playing it. Below are quick tips for acoustic guitar maintenance that you should pay attention to:
Fingerboard is an essential part of your acoustic guitar that determines how long it will serve you. If you fail to clean the gear, it will reduce the lifespan of your guitar significantly. Consequently, it is advisable to clean the fingerboard frequently as this will go a long way to saving you unnecessary expenses of purchasing a new guitar. When cleaning it, you should first remove the strings then remove the dust from the neck using a duster. To get in under the frets, it is advisable to apply a coat of polish then buff it off. A high-quality fretboard conditioner such as Ernie Ball's Wonder Wipes is perfect for the job as it contains a cocktail of oils that will help clean and protect the board. If you don't have a fretboard conditioner, you can also apply lemon oil on the fingerboard, leaving it for some minutes before wiping it off using a clean piece of cloth.
Truss Rod Adjustment
Your guitar absorbs different amounts of moisture throughout the year. When it does that, the wood starts to swell. Your guitar neck is where you can see that swelling the best. Fret buzz is an indicator that the neck might need an adjustment. First, find out what adjustment it needs. Put a capo on the front fret and also push down on the last fret with your finger. That forms a straightedge and if you go to the eighth fret, you can clearly see if the neck needs adjustment or not. If there is a big rift in between the string and the neck, tighten the truss rod to get rid of it. If there is no gap in between, loosen the truss rod a bit to get a small gap. You need to have a small gap between the string and the neck to achieve the best playability.
NOTE: Truss rod adjustment is one of the easiest acoustic guitar maintenance procedures to do but remember not to overtighten the rod, or it will snap.
Having a good intonation on your guitar can really make it sound great. To adjust the intonation properly, you need a guitar tuner. Tune the guitar. Play an open E-string and then play the 12th fret on the same string. If the 12th fret note of the guitar is sharp, you need to tighten the bridge saddle. If the note is flat, you need to loosen the saddle. Repeat the procedure on all strings until the notes on the 12th fret are the same as the open string notes.
Replace Strings As Needed
Do not wait three years before replacing your strings. This is very important to maintaining a good sound and believe it or not protecting your fretboard on the neck. How does replacing your strings protect your fretboard? Well just like the oils on your hands you have dirt that can get trapped on the strings from your fingers. That dirt over time will build up on the fretboard and over time can damage the wood.
Another schedule that should be administered is a polishing schedule. There are tons of good guitar polishes and neck preservers on the market such as the Fender Guitar Polish or the Ernie Ball Guitar Polish. These are great to protect your instrument from dirt and other harmful oils. It is recommendable to do polishing routines all over your acoustic guitar every two to three months. Maybe more if you play a lot.
Maintenance Is Important
Not properly maintaining your guitar would lead to adverse effects and a shorter life span for the equipment. These are some of the quick tips for acoustic guitar maintenance you should consider applying. These things are easy to do and should be done from time to time. Do not blow these schedules off or over time you might come to regret it. Take care of your guitar by performing some basic guitar maintenance and you will have an instrument that will pay you back with a long life and few problems.
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What are some other maintenance tips we left out?