Todays topic for Musician advice – Care for your guitar –
At Mill Hill Music Complex, we are always getting asked about how to keep your instruments in tip top shape. Today we are looking at guitars. Here are a few hints and tips to help you keep your guitar in good working order.
- Care for your guitar strings. If your strings are old and rusty, they are more likely to break at the worst possible moment. They well also sound dead and dull. Once they get to this state, then the only answer is a new set. You can however increase the life of strings by simply wiping them down every time you play with a lint free cloth. This removes the moisture and dirt that makes them rust and stops the build up of dirt under the frets.
- Never lean your guitar up against a radiator. Wood is a natural product and exposing it to excessive heat (or moisture) causes it to bend and warp and will result in fret noise and in extreme cases the neck to split.
- Only ever use good quality leads in proper working condition. One of the most common problems we see is where the jack end of leads fall apart in the guitar socket. People buy cheap leads to save a couple of pounds, then have to spend a fortune getting the guitar fixed and the jammed part of the lead removed.
- Always ensure that the small screws on your machine heads are properly tightened. Loose machine heads will cause the guitar to go out of tune. If the screws fall out and are lost, then your guitar will become unplayable and you’ll have to get a new machine head.
- If you are regularly breaking the same string in the same place, then you may have a problem with the bridge or saddle. Get this checked out by a luthier or your local guitar shop.
- Check the intonation. This is simple to check. Use a guitar tuner to tune the guitar and when it is tune, then play each string at the 12th fret. This is an octave up. The string should still be perfectly in tune. If it is not, then get a luthier or guitar shop to set up the guitar for you.
- Check the screws and nuts on the control knobs. If these become loose, ensure they are tightened up, otherwise you will end up breaking internal wires etc.
- If you are travelling, ensure you have a decent hard case for your guitar. If you are putting the guitar in an aircraft hold, then it will get bashed and banged around and you will regret it !
At Mill Hill Music Complex, we have a whole stack of accessories, spares, leads, and a great selection of strings. We can give advice about your guitar and we can help you get the very best out of your guitar. Why not pop in and see how we can help you. Look out for future blogs on subjects you might be interested in like Musician advice – Care for your guitar