#1
Hey Guys!

Okay, recently I got to play with some really amazing musicians and I noticed that the lead guitarist's guitar was so bloody amazing to feel. I have a similar guitar, yet his guitar felt like butter and was not only comfortable but also easy to play.

This small incident is not related to my question but I still feel I had to mention it.

As for the real question:

What rules should a guitarist follow while both handling and storing his instrument so that it kept in the best possible shape?

One example of answers is: When keeping the guitar leaning against the wall, always keep the fretboard facing the wall so as to not add to the strings' tension on the neck.

I think this will be very useful for people because there are many small things that experienced musicians have realized over the years.
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#2
Quote by shawnkenneth


What rules should a guitarist follow while both handling and storing his instrument so that it kept in the best possible shape?

One example of answers is: When keeping the guitar leaning against the wall, always keep the fretboard facing the wall so as to not add to the strings' tension on the neck..


Rule #34: Never lean your guitar against the wall. A broken headstock from a fall will change the strings' tension on the neck.

Rule #64: If you're going to make a rapid turn, lift the headstock so it's near your own head. Nothing like getting a headstock ding (at minimum) or a headstock break (oh dear!) by absent mindedly rotating your body and putting your headstock into a cymbal or an amp.

I wax my guitars. Carnauba wax, for the most part. Forget anything you've read about waxy buildup. Doesn't happen. Wax both the finish (this includes nitrocellulose lacquer finished guitars, yes) and the metal bits.

I use mineral oil in the fretboards; nothing else. No Fret Doctor (that guy is making $1100 per gallon on that crap), no fretboard honey. None of those do anything. Linseed oil can leave your fretboard a sticky mess. MINERAL OIL. Wipe it on, wait a minute or two, wipe it off. NO "SOAKING IN." You're not replacing vital oils or anything like it.

Keep your guitar hydrated.

I don't store my guitars on wall hangers (I live in LA -- earthquake country -- and I have athletic cats). I've seen salt air chew through strings and pickup coils like crazy, and your guitars are immediately subjected to every atmospheric change. Mine stay in the cases.

Another reason they stay in the cases is that I can keep them humidified if I need to. And another reason is that I toss in a VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor) and the case should be closed for it to work. You'll find these at places like theruststore.com. I learned to use these things when storing guns and tools. It even helps preserve nitrocellulose lacquer finishes.

If you have a tight case, put a long skinny piece of plastic between the strings and the frets. I think ESPs come this way. What it does is keep the strings (particularly the wound ones) from grinding on the frets (anyone ever seen the marks left by wound strings on guitar frets before?). It also keeps the strings from completing a circuit with the frets electrically. With the VCI, it helps prevent corrosion of the frets.

Keep your guitar clean. Forget all that "mojo" crap and wipe it down UNDER the strings as well as over. Clean your fretboard thoroughly when you change strings.

I spend serious money for a really good tech to do a Good Initial Setup on any guitar new to me. I can do my own setups, but the tech I use is better, and I end up with a guitar that has no buzzing frets, very low action and buttery smooth frets. Sometimes it'll need to go on the PLEK machine and sometimes it'll need to have its frets superglued (ask), but once both of those things have been done (assuming you don't get stupid with the truss rod or change string gauges), it'll be a long time before they need doing again. It gives you a great starting point against which you can compare subsequent setups.

Hold the case lid open with one hand while you take the guitar out. Nothing like those little chips and dents from the case lid latches brought on by the absent-minded.

Change your strings. If your fingers are turning black and the strings feel like hacksaw blades and you've got corrosion stalactites hang off the undersides of your strings, don't blame the guitar or the pickups or the amp for the sound you get. I'd rather use cheap strings and change them more often than use one set of good strings and leave them on well past their useful life.

If you have acid sweat, stop drinking <G>.
#3
Dspell's got it down pretty much. I don't do that much but I definitely wipe down my axes and use mineral oil too on the fretboard.
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#5
I tell this to people every day:


The best way to take care of a guitar is to just play it. It's that way with any wood instrument. Things get cruddy and warped when they're left for years in a case, I see it all the time.

If you want it to be buttery smooth, you gotta play it in that way!