Instrument care and maintenance - The Basics

Instrument care and maintenance - The Basics

Instrument care and maintenance - The Basics

Over time we'll be sharing our tips on how to get the best out of your instrument and looking after it we some basic advice on how we quality control and get the best out of the thousands of instruments that pass through our hands, both new and old.

Focusing initially on guitars, we'll keep you up to date on both techniques and products which will help you keep your instrument playing, sounding and looking great!

The first thing to remember is that Guitars are mostly made of wood, an organic material that is sensitive to it's environment. A guitar will move, like doors that expand or contract in different seasons, your guitar may do the same. It's highly unlikely to stay in the same state throughout it's life.

Fortunately there are many ways to compensate for these movements. 

We'll detail the adjustments further on but let's start with the basics.

Keep it clean!

It's obvious but it has to be said, clean your guitar, regularly! Sweat, skin, all sorts of grime and gunk collect on guitars, especially the fingerboards. We've seen some great examples and could have built quite a database of DNA over time...

The more it builds up the harder it is to shift so a bit of polish, a wipe and a bit of attention to the fingerboard on a regular basis save work in the long-run.

Regular re-strings help with this as well as keeping your tone and intonation, as dirt will collect on the strings easily.

There are various cleaning products on the market, the two we use the most are Guitar polish and Lemon Oil. The polish is for the body and hardware, the Lemon Oil is for the fingerboard. If your fingerboard is maple (pale wood) Lemon oil should be unnecessary, maple is hard and not very porous, meaning it should not need the hydration from the Lemon Oil that a Rosewood, Ebony or other dark wood fingerboard requires. For very dirty dark wood fingerboards we will use heavy duty abrasive pads to remove caked on dirt, before applying the Lemon Oil to condition and rehydrate the wood.

So have a look at your guitar. How's it looking? When did you last change your strings? We recommend changing strings at least twice a year on Electric and Steel Strung Acoustics, although there are a lot of variables, how often you play, do you use coated strings etc

Regardless the end of a strings life is usually not when it breaks, so changing strings individually when they break will lead to not only dirt building up, but inconsistency of tone between new and old strings.

If you know it's been a while take the time to give your instrument a little TLC, the difference may surprise you. 

Needless to say we provide a range of services from re-strings, deep cleans, set-ups and more. We're happy to help.