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How To Extend Your Guitar’s Lifespan

Taking The First Steps: How To Extend Your Guitar’s Lifespan

Taking Care of your instrument is VERY important in the music industry. Sometimes the only
difference between shredding a hot solo or bumbling like a buffoon is just a little bit of string
glide. A little bit of love goes a long way for your guitar whether you’re changing your strings or
just trying to find the best way to store it, here’s some tips on how to treat your guitar better:

Tip 1: Get a stand
The first step in taking care of your guitar is learning how to store it properly, have you ever
slouched in a chair for a long period of time? After a while it starts to hurt your back right? The
same thing happens to your guitar. Guitars are made of wood and putting unnecessary stress
on the wood can cause it to warp or weaken, causing hairline fractures in the wood
Guitar stands are built to remove pressure from the neck and distribute it more evenly along
your guitar.
When not being used regularly I recommend keeping your guitars in a guitar case to help keep
dust and other contaminants off your guitar to keep it fresh for playing

Tip 2: Wipe it down
The next step is cleaning. Let’s be honest, people are dirty, over time dirt and grime are going to
build up on your guitar with regular use. This is why regular cleaning is good for your guitar.
Keeping your guitar healthy not only improves the lifespan of your guitar but helps improve it’s
tone as well. Luckily, cleaning your guitar is really easy and you don’t need to do it all that often,
Personally, I change my strings at least four times a year, Each time I do I wipe down my guitar
with fret cleaner and then apply a deep conditioner to keep my rosewood fretboard looking deep
and rich. Then I will wipe my guitar body down with body gloss and a finish of cream of
Carnauba. I know that a lot of people this a little over the top as you can also settle for wiping it
down with a little Lemon Oil Guitar Cleaner but I like to keep my axe looking glossy.
Tip 3: Check your guitar neck often
Now, this last one mostly applies to musicians who often travel long distances but I also find that
these things can have an effect on your guitar when the seasons change. When seasons
change, whether they’re getting warmer or colder, it changes the humidity in the air which in turn
affects the natural wood in your guitar. To help manage the stress applied to your guitar neck
there is what’s called a “truss rod” installed in the neck of your guitar which stabilizes the
tension in the guitar neck. When things like air pressure and humidity change this changes the
tension in your truss rod causing your guitar to either arch or bow in a way which can cause fret
buzz and other problems.
So I most definitely recommend checking your truss rod adjustments each time you fully clean
your guitar as these adjustments are best made when doing things such as changing strings on
your guitar.

There are many important parts to taking care of your instrument and these three tips are
definitely not the only things out there. But, getting good at these three steps will take you a long
way in your journey to guitar greatness. Taking the time to take care of your guitar is very
therapeutic and a great way to remind yourself to always come back to the basics of why we do
what you do. If you respect your guitars it will show in the way you respect your music.
Xander Rose Stone is a metal guitar teacher based out of Colorado
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