Most people who play electric guitar are extremely passionate about the instrument. They enjoy playing and listening to it, just like any other musician would love their chosen musical genre of choice.
However, unlike a piano or acoustic guitar that can be left on its own without worry, an electric needs some tender loving care in order to stay in top shape for maximum performance during live performances.
It’s very important that you take proper care of your beloved stringed instrument so you’re able to keep up with your musical ambitions and the music industry standard.
Here are some easy maintenance tips to keep your guitar in good shape:
- How To Care For A Guitar
- What To Do Every Time You Play
- Basic Guitar Maintenance Every 4 – 6 Months
- Yearly Care
- Longterm Guitar Maintenance (3-5 Years)
- Further Guitar Resources
How To Care For A Guitar
Guitars need to be kept in a climate-controlled environment and out of direct sunlight. They should also be kept away from moisture and extreme temperatures. Guitars should be cleaned and polished on a regular basis to protect the finish and keep them looking their best.
A guitar’s environment plays a big role in its well-being. The weather can cause cracks in the finish or structural damage to your guitar. Environmental changes like severe weather can be traumatic for your guitar, as it could ruin its cosmetic appearance or harm its structural integrity as well.
Guitar care is a common concern among musicians. You need to take care of your guitar properly so that you can get the best out of it and avoid wasting money on repairs in the future. There are many products on the market which help with guitar maintenance and upkeep, but there are some simple rules which will save you time and money as well:
- Keep your guitar in a cool, dry place – guitars don’t like humidity and heat!
- Don’t leave your guitar near windows or in direct sunlight – the sun’s rays can fade the color of your instrument over time
- Don’t expose your guitar to extreme temperature changes – this can cause cracks in the finish or structural damage to your instrument
- Use a good quality case or gig bag when transporting your guitar – this will help protect it from knocks and scratches
- Clean your strings regularly – this will improve their sound and extend their life span
- Keep your guitar in tune – this will help it sound its best and prevent string wear
- Get your guitar serviced on a regular basis – a professional setup can make all the difference to your instrument’s playability
What To Do Every Time You Play
Whenever you’re finished playing, there are a few things you should do to keep your guitar in great condition. Make sure to clean the neck and strings, and wipe down any areas that had skin-to-guitar contact. If you have an electric guitar with a tremolo or metal parts, check the bridge components and knobs for the buildup of sweat and salt.
Basic Guitar Maintenance Every 4 – 6 Months
It is important to keep your electric guitar in great shape by following a routine maintenance schedule. This includes changing the strings on a regular basis. While there is no one definitive answer to how often you should change your strings, we recommend doing so every 4-6 months.
Of course, this general guideline can vary depending on the type of strings you use, as well as how often you play. If you have stainless steel or coated strings, for example, they may last longer than traditional strings. And if you don’t play as often as others, that’s OK – just try to stick to the same schedule so that your guitar stays in tune and sounds its best.
At a minimum, we recommend checking your guitar’s tuning at least once a week and cleaning it regularly using a soft cloth. Be sure never to use harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning your instrument – these can damage the finish and electronics. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your electric guitar looking and sounding great for years to come!
Remove Old Strings
Not only will this make it easier to string the new set, but it will also help keep your guitar in good condition! Old strings can rust and corrode the fretboard and other hardware on your guitar. This can cause permanent damage, so it’s best to avoid it by removing them as soon as you switch to a new set.
Wipe the Fretboard, Frets, and Back of the Neck
This will help to keep the guitar in good condition and protect your investment.
Brush Dust & Dirt Off Body & Headstock
Not only does it look bad, but it can also affect the sound and playability of the instrument. Fortunately, keeping your guitar in good condition is relatively easy – all you need is a few basic tools and some regular maintenance.
You can use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment to do this. Be careful not to damage the finish of the guitar with too much pressure or abrasive materials.
This will help protect it from future wear and tear. Make sure to apply it evenly and avoid getting any on the strings or fretboard.
Use a mild soap solution if needed – avoid harsh chemicals which could damage sensitive finishes. With just a little bit of effort, you can keep your guitar looking and sounding great for years to come!
Give the Body a Quick Wipe
Wipe down the body and neck of your guitar with a dry cloth after each use. If the instrument gets dirty, use a slightly damp cloth but make sure not to get any water inside the electric components. Also, be sure to keep the strings clean by wiping them down with a clean cloth after each use.
Install New Strings
String wear and tear is the main factor that leads to poor sound quality and tuning instability in guitars. When a string is old and worn, it loses its elasticity and becomes harder to tune. This can cause the string to break or go out of tune easily.
It’s important to give your electric guitar some love every year. Here are a few tips to keep it in great shape:
- Don’t forget to bring your guitar inside during winter. The cold can damage the wood and other materials on your guitar.
- Check the humidity levels of your guitar. Too much humidity can cause the wood to warp, while too little humidity can lead to cracking and splitting. Try to keep the humidity between 40% and 60%.
- Your fingerboard will be one of the first places to see dryness in a guitar. Be sure to check it regularly and apply a conditioner if necessary.
- Keep your guitar in a safe temperature range for the winter. Avoid subjecting your guitar to extreme temperatures during the winter and make sure it’s cleaned often.
Perform a Complete Setup (If Necessary)
Once a year if you haven’t played your guitar, perform a complete setup of your guitar with all your accessories and amp. Check the string height, adjust the truss rod, tighten the tuning pegs and check for any loose hardware.
Check all your electronics, pots, and switches for any wear or damage. Replace as needed. Check the condition of your frets, clean them up with a fret file if they need it, and polish them with some metal polish.
Make sure your entire setup is working properly and adjust as needed.
Thoroughly Clean & Condition the Fretboard
This will help keep it looking good, and also make the wood more resilient to moisture and other environmental factors. Here is a simple guide on how to clean and condition your fretboard:
Clean/Polish the Frets
This involves using a fret saw to cut off any excess material above the fret wire, and then filing and sanding them down until they’re level with the fingerboard. It’s important to be careful not to remove too much material or you’ll end up with unsightly gaps between the frets and fingerboard.
Clean and Polish the Guitar’s Finish
You can use a variety of commercial products or you can make your own. The most important factor is to use a product that will not damage the finish.
Murphy’s Oil Soap is available at most grocery stores and hardware stores. It is also available online. Murphy’s Oil Soap is a natural product that contains no harsh chemicals or solvents. It cleans and polishes the finish without leaving any residue or streaks.
Lemon oil is available at most grocery stores, hardware stores, and online retailers. It is also easy to make your own lemon oil by mixing lemon juice with olive oil. Lemon oil cleans and polishes the finish without damaging it or leaving any residue behind.
Lubricate the Nut’s String Slots (Non-Locking Nuts Only)
This will help the strings to move more freely and keep them in tune. Do not use too much lubricant as it may cause the strings to slip out of the nut’s string slots.
Longterm Guitar Maintenance (3-5 Years)
Tighten Loose Screws and Nuts
The first is to keep the screws and nuts tight. If they’re loose, the instrument will be more susceptible to damage and wear. You can use a screwdriver or wrench to tighten them up.
This will help keep it in good condition and make the strings sound better. Use a soft cloth to wipe down the board, then apply a light coat of oil or wax. Be careful not to get any on the strings, as this will impair their sound quality.
Don’t leave it in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can damage the finish and cause warping. Store it in a cool, dry place instead. Following these tips should help keep your guitar in good shape for years to come!
Deep Clean & Condition the Fretboard
To deep clean your fretboard, you’ll need to use a small amount of lemon oil on a clean cloth. Apply the oil directly to the fretboard, and wipe it down thoroughly. If there are any deep grooves in the wood, you’ll need to apply more oil and let it sit in the grooves for a few minutes.
Clean Electrical Contacts (If Needed)
This is a very easy process that takes only a few minutes and can be done with a few simple tools.
To clean the contacts, you will need:
- A small Phillips head screwdriver
- A can of compressed air, or an air duster
- A soft cloth
Be very careful not to scratch the metal surfaces. Blow out the electronics with compressed air, then gently wipe the contacts with a soft cloth.
In conclusion, electric guitar maintenance is a very important part of owning an electric guitar. The more you maintain your instrument, the longer it will last and the better it will sound.
If you have any questions about electric guitar maintenance, check out the resource section below.