How to Care For an Acoustic Guitar?

16 minutes read

Caring for an acoustic guitar is important to maintain its sound quality and prolong its lifespan. One of the most important things you can do is to keep the guitar in a stable environment with moderate temperature and humidity levels. Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause the wood to warp or crack.


It is also important to regularly clean the guitar with a soft, dry cloth to remove dust and dirt. You can use a slightly damp cloth for tougher spots, but avoid getting the wood too wet.


It is recommended to store the guitar in a case or on a guitar stand when not in use to protect it from accidental damage.


Regularly changing the strings is also important to maintain a fresh sound. Strings can become dull and lose their tone over time, so changing them every few months or as needed is recommended.


Finally, it is a good idea to have the guitar professionally set up every once in a while to ensure that the action and intonation are properly adjusted. This will help the guitar play and sound its best.

Best Acoustic Guitars of May 2024

1
Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 5 out of 5

Yamaha FG800J Solid Top Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Nato and mahogany back & sides
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Rosewood bridge
2
Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Fender Acoustic Guitar, CD-60S, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought Classic Design with Rounded Walnut Fingerboard, Glossed Finish, All-Mahogany Construction

  • One right-handed Fender CD-60S Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Rock Steady Tuners: Chrome die-cast tuners help keep your guitar tuned with the perfect amount of tension, and they don't attract much dust or grime
3
Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Fender Squier Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Black Learn-to-Play Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strap, Strings, String Winder, Picks, Fender Play Online Lessons, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

  • The Squier SA-150 is a full-size steel-string acoustic that offers big sound at a small price.
  • This guitar also features scalloped "X"-bracing, mahogany neck and a durable dark-stained maple fingerboard to give you an instrument that looks as good as it sounds.
  • With its slim, easy-to-play neck and full-bodied dreadnought tone, the SA-150 is an ideal choice for all rookie strummers.
4
Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Squier by Fender Acoustic Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Dreadnought with Maple Fingerboard, Glossed Natural Finish, Mahogany Back and Side, Mahogany Neck, SA-150 Model

  • One right-handed Fender SA-150 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar
  • Dreadnought Body: This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
  • Durable Materials: All-Laminate construction allows this guitar to last long and sound as great as it looks a an affordable price
5
Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Fender FA-25 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Beginner Guitar, with 2-Year Warranty, Includes Free Lessons, Natural

  • One right-handed Fender Alternative Series Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar – a perfect beginner guitar for both kids and adults
  • Backed by a 75 year legacy of quality and craftsmanship -- the FA Series has all the sound and style of Fender's iconic acoustic guitars with specially designed features for beginners.
  • This guitar’s dreadnought body shape resonates with a bold and rich bass tone, great for playing country, folk or bluegrass
6
Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Jasmine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar,Natural

  • Gloss Natural
  • Dreadnought body style
  • Laminate Spruce top
  • Sapele back and sides
  • Rosewood Fingerboard
7
Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Yamaha F325D Acoustic Guitar, Natural

  • The perfect guitar for beginners
  • Legendary Yamaha build quality
  • Spruce Top
  • Rosewood Fretboard
  • Chrome Tuners
8
Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Ibanez AW54OPN Artwood Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar - Open Pore Natural

  • Dreadnought body
  • Solid mahogany top
  • Mahogany back & sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Rosewood bridge and fretboard


How to prevent neck bowing on an acoustic guitar?

  1. Properly humidify your guitar: Neck bowing is often caused by changes in humidity that cause the wood to expand or contract. Keep your guitar in a stable environment with a humidity level between 45-55% to prevent the wood from warping.
  2. Adjust the truss rod: The truss rod is a metal rod inside the neck that can be adjusted to counteract neck bowing. If you notice your neck starting to bow, take your guitar to a professional luthier to have the truss rod adjusted.
  3. Use proper string tension: Make sure you are using the correct gauge of strings for your guitar and tuning. Higher tension strings can put more stress on the neck and cause it to bow over time.
  4. Regularly check and adjust the action: The action of your guitar (the distance between the strings and the fretboard) can also affect neck bowing. If the action is too high, it can cause the neck to bow. Make sure to regularly check and adjust the action of your guitar.
  5. Store your guitar properly: When not in use, store your guitar in a proper guitar case with a humidifier to protect it from changes in temperature and humidity.
  6. Avoid extreme temperature changes: Sudden changes in temperature can cause the wood in your guitar to expand or contract, leading to neck bowing. Try to keep your guitar in a stable environment and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.


How to prevent rust on acoustic guitar strings?

  1. Wipe down your strings after playing: Use a soft cloth to wipe down your strings after each playing session to remove oils, sweat, and dirt that can contribute to rust.
  2. Wash your hands before playing: Oils and dirt from your hands can transfer to the strings, so make sure to wash your hands before playing.
  3. Store your guitar properly: Keep your guitar in a case or gig bag when not in use to protect it from humidity, which can accelerate rusting.
  4. Use a string cleaner: There are specially formulated string cleaners available that can help remove built-up dirt and oils from your strings.
  5. Change your strings regularly: Strings naturally wear out over time and can become more prone to rusting. Change your strings regularly to keep your guitar sounding and looking its best.
  6. Use coated strings: Coated strings are designed to resist rust and corrosion better than traditional strings. Consider using coated strings if rust is a recurring issue for you.
  7. Use a dehumidifier: If you live in a humid climate, consider using a dehumidifier in the room where you store your guitar to help prevent rust.


How to change acoustic guitar strings?

  1. Gather the necessary supplies: You will need a set of new strings, a string winder (optional but helpful), a pair of wire cutters, and a tuner.
  2. Remove the old strings: Start by loosening the tension on the strings and unwinding them from the tuning pegs. Use the wire cutters to cut the strings close to the bridge of the guitar.
  3. Clean the guitar: While the strings are off, take the opportunity to clean the fretboard and other parts of the guitar with a soft cloth.
  4. Install the new strings: Starting with the thinnest string (high E), thread the string through the hole in the tuning peg, leaving a few inches of slack. Wind the tuning peg to tighten the string, making sure it wraps neatly around the peg.
  5. Tune the guitar: Use a tuner to bring each string up to pitch. It may take a few adjustments to get the strings in tune, as they will stretch a bit as they settle in.
  6. Stretch the strings: After tuning, gently pull on each string to stretch it out. This will help the strings settle and hold their pitch better.
  7. Trim the excess string: Use the wire cutters to trim off any excess string sticking out from the tuning pegs.
  8. Play and adjust: After changing the strings, play the guitar and make any necessary adjustments to the tuning. It may take a little time for the strings to settle completely, so be patient.


How to prevent acoustic guitar from warping?

  1. Store the guitar in a climate-controlled environment to prevent changes in humidity and temperature, which can cause the wood to expand or contract, leading to warping.
  2. Keep the guitar away from direct sunlight or heat sources, as prolonged exposure can cause the wood to dry out and warp.
  3. Use a humidifier in the room where the guitar is stored, especially during dry winter months, to maintain an optimal level of humidity for the wood.
  4. Avoid leaving the guitar in a car or trunk for extended periods of time, as extreme temperatures and humidity can cause warping.
  5. Store the guitar in a hard-shell case when not in use, as this can provide additional protection from environmental factors.
  6. Regularly check the guitar for any signs of warping, such as a raised or sunken belly, and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.
  7. Have the guitar professionally set up and maintained by a skilled luthier to ensure proper care and prevent warping.


How to maintain the fretboard of an acoustic guitar?

  1. Clean the fretboard regularly: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the fretboard after each playing session. This will help prevent the buildup of dirt, oils, and sweat that can damage the wood over time.
  2. Condition the fretboard: To keep the fretboard moisturized and prevent it from drying out, apply a small amount of fretboard conditioner or lemon oil to the wood every few months. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.
  3. Check for any loose frets or sharp edges: Inspect the fretboard regularly for any loose frets or sharp edges that could cause discomfort while playing. If you notice any issues, take your guitar to a professional for repair.
  4. Avoid excessive humidity or dryness: Acoustic guitars are sensitive to changes in humidity, which can cause the wood to swell or shrink. Keep your guitar in a controlled environment with stable humidity levels to prevent damage to the fretboard and other components.
  5. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier: If you live in a particularly humid or dry climate, consider using a guitar humidifier or dehumidifier to regulate the moisture levels in the air and protect your instrument.
  6. Keep your guitar in a case: When not in use, store your acoustic guitar in a protective case to shield it from dust, dirt, and other potential hazards that could damage the fretboard.
  7. Have your guitar professionally serviced: If you notice any significant issues with your fretboard or other components of your acoustic guitar, take it to a qualified technician for inspection and repair. Regular maintenance and professional servicing will help keep your guitar in top condition for years to come.


How to clean an acoustic guitar?

Cleaning your acoustic guitar regularly is important to maintain its overall appearance and sound quality. Here are some steps to effectively clean your acoustic guitar:

  1. Gather your supplies: You will need a soft, lint-free cloth, guitar polish or cleaner, a small brush with soft bristles, and a small amount of water.
  2. Use the soft cloth to wipe down the body of the guitar, removing any dust or dirt buildup. Make sure to pay close attention to the areas around the soundhole, bridge, and fretboard.
  3. If there are stubborn spots or fingerprints on the body of the guitar, you can use a small amount of water on the cloth to gently wipe them away. Do not saturate the cloth with water, as excess moisture can damage the wood.
  4. Use the small brush to remove any dust or dirt from the fretboard, bridge, and tuning pegs. Be gentle with your strokes to avoid scratching the surface of the guitar.
  5. If your guitar has a glossy finish, you can apply a small amount of guitar polish or cleaner to a clean cloth and gently buff the surface of the guitar. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the polish or cleaner for best results.
  6. Once you have finished cleaning the guitar, use a dry cloth to wipe away any excess polish or cleaner residue.
  7. Finally, you can restring your guitar if necessary and tune it before storing it in a safe, dry place.


Regular maintenance and cleaning of your acoustic guitar will help ensure that it remains in good condition and continues to sound great for years to come.

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