Caring for your new instrument
Just like changing the oil in your car or the filter in your furnace, your guitar or bass requires a certain amount of maintenance. Why? Just like with your cars oil or furnace filter, without the proper maintenance it gets dirty, runs poorly and eventually clogs. The dirt and oils from your hands gets between the wraps of your strings, eventually rusting the strings, dulling the tone and weighting down the strings so it’s harder to keep in tune.
You can prolong the life of your strings by simply washing your hands before you play and then wiping down the strings after you play. There are also products such as string cleaners that are designed to prolong the life of your strings. Coated strings will last much longer than ordinary strings but do cost more. If you don’t like to change strings, they may be a good choice. But keeping fresh strings on your instrument ensures a bright, clear tone and comfortable feel.
Keeping the back of the neck clean is also important. You want your hand to glide easily up and down the neck and not get hung up on a bunch of gunk and sticky sweat.
Instruments are usually made of wood and wood is susceptible to changes in temperature and humidity. Leaving your instrument in the trunk of your car and exposing it to extreme temperature changes can cause the neck of your instrument to bow or back-bow making it harder to play or causing it to “fret out” or buzz. Worse yet, prolonged exposure to the outdoors can eventually ruin your guitar.
If you find that your instrument becomes harder to play with higher action (the height of the strings from the fingerboard is commonly referred to as the action) our qualified guitar technician can check your instrument and make the necessary adjustments. Your instrument should be checked at least once a year.
There is nothing wrong with leaving your instrument out on a stand or hanger when at home but to prolong the life of the instrument and keep it looking and feeling new, always carry it in a hard case or well padded gig bag when transporting it.
As a full service guitar store we offer classes in re-stringing and caring for your instrument and our excellent guitar techs can re-string your guitar and make all the necessary adjustments for you. Stop by the store and pick up your FREE copy of our “Caring for your new instrument” flyer which contains much of the above information.
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At Northwest Guitars we are deeply embedded in our community. From donations to local schools to promoting local musicians we work hard to make Bellevue and the surrounding areas a better place to live, work and play.