Game of Thrones reference aside, cold winter weather is upon us.
What are you doing to care for your guitar this winter?
Depending on the type of guitar you have, you might not need to do much. My first acoustic guitar was a $350 Fender. It’s lived in Boston, LA, and the DC area and it has never had any weather issues.
My Martin guitar, on the other hand, needs some extra care in these colder months.
Even if you don’t have a $500+ guitar in your collection, I’ve got some tips on caring for your instrument this winter.
1. Never leave your acoustic or electric guitar in a car.
As is generally the rule for all things, your car is a terrible place to store stuff but it’s an especially terrible place to store your guitar. There’s no protection from temperature shifts. Make sure to always take your guitar inside when you get home.
2. Keep your guitar in a room that doesn’t have frequent or drastic temperature changes.
Speaking of bad places to keep your guitar, the attic and the basement aren’t great choices either. Keeping your guitar in a temperature controlled part of the house is really the best place for it. And also, if your guitar is in the attic, how can you practice? Check out our tips for practicing.
3. Have your guitar “set-up” once or twice a year.
You should include a professional set-up as part of your regular guitar maintenance. Just like your annual doctor’s visit, professional guitar set-ups keep your guitar in good health.
Jeff Carmella, our skilled in-house guitar tech, will check the action, neck alignment, and frets. He’ll inspect your guitar for fret buzz, warping, and cracking, plus give your guitar a detailed cleaning and replace the strings for you.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment for a professional set-up.
4. Experiment with the using a humidifier for your guitar.
Many lower cost acoustic guitars and most electric guitars are made of laminate. If this is the case for your guitar, chances are your instrument isn’t going to be impacted by changes in the seasons.
If your guitar body, fretboard, neck, and even bridge is made of “real” wood or if your guitar has parts that are unfinished wood, I definitely recommend a humidifier.
Wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. In the summer months with warmer temperatures and more moisture in the air, wood expands. In the winter months with colder temperatures and the use of home heating, the air becomes dry which causes wood to contract. This expanding and contracting can cause damage to a guitar including: neck movement, fret buzz, warping, and cracking.
For my Martin acoustic guitar, I currently use both the Kyser sound hole cover and I place two D’Addario Humidipak’s in the hard shell case.
Take care of your guitar this winter so you can keep playing for many years to come!
If you are ready to rock out this winter, contact us to schedule a free intro guitar lesson.