taking care of your Guitar

Very few people are really aware of the care that should be taken in a high-end instrument to keep it in good condition and avoid sometimes irreversible damage to it.

The most important thing is to understand the effects of humidity and temperature, which are the main causes of problems. A good maintenance and the follow of some simple rules will preserve its appearance, its sound and its lifespan.

 

The humidity and heat effects

Too much humidity will tend to “swell” the instrument and will cause a loss of sound quality and a too high action, making the instrument difficult to play. The peeling-off of the Bracing, the Bridge and the Soundboard can also occur.
A lack of humidity will shrink the wood and will be much more damaging. We will initially observe a flattening of the Soundboard, a depression of the tip of the Fingerboard, an action too low with a beginning of buzzing, then the frets will start to protrude from the Channel and cracks in the Table will appear and in some cases extreme also from the Back.
Direct exposure to heat or to the sun will cause rapid drying of the instrument, peeling-off parts and deterioration of the finish.

 

The Cleaning

Clean your instrument with a cotton cloth moistened of lukewarm water, then wipe it with a dry cloth. Never clean your instrument with solvent-based products
Regularly apply lemon oil on unvarnished woods (Bridge, tailpiece and Fingerboard), allow to absorb and wipe with a dry cloth. This will prevent it from drying out
Put a few drops of “sewing machine” oil in the mechanical gears (if mechanical are open)

Guitar Storage

My Guitars are built under a controlled relative humidity rate of 40%, and at a temperature of more or less 20 ° C. The instrument can withstand being exposed to variations of temperature and humidity however with limits (more or less 40 to 55% relative humidity and more or less 13 to 26 ° C – 55 to 80° F). A little too much humidity will probably not be harmful to the instrument while a dry environment will probably be fatal.
It is therefore advisable to always keep the Guitar in a room whose humidity level will be as close as possible to the one the instrument has been built.
• If your instrument is stored in a room too dry or too humid, use a humidifier and or dehumidifier in order to bring the humidity level to an acceptable level of 40 to 55%
• When traveling, always use the Guitar humidifier delivered with the instrument
• Never leave the instrument exposed to a direct heat source such as a heater, the sun, behind a glass, in a car, etc.
• If you do not play your Guitar, relax the strings