#1
I have a small herd of guitars but I don't have enough space for 'em all. I really only play a few regularly, I have a few that are constantly posted for trade and change pretty often and then I have my rarely played "keepers". The rarely played "keepers" all have their own cases but if I wanna put them away for a long time, what do I do about the strings? Should I remove them? Keep them on but loose? Maybe put something between strings and fretboard? A couple of these are going into hibernation for possibly a very long time (one going to a nephew that was just born in October, that long) so what's the best way to store a guitar for years?
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#2
Clean the guitar thoroughly, detune the strings one tone and throw in some silica gel in the hard case. Take the guitar out every couple of months to look for trouble and treat accordingly.

Just make sure you store it in a dry place - humidity is death for a guitar...
#3
Personally, do what you can to protect the strings. Remove them if you wish, but I've not had to do that yet, so I cannot say. Hmmmm, looser strings than usual... might not be a bad idea, if tuning back up or tuning back to tighter doesn't mess them up first. I have put something soft between the strings, like a sponge, to keep them where they need to be, but also not push them back down on the fretboard where they can bust. Personally, I've never had to put guitars away, that I owned, for longer than, say, a couple months, so I can't say on the span of years. Sorry if this did not help any or this left you more confused

-Sharky
#5
Quote by CherokeShredder
Personally, do what you can to protect the strings. Remove them if you wish, but I've not had to do that yet, so I cannot say. Hmmmm, looser strings than usual... might not be a bad idea, if tuning back up or tuning back to tighter doesn't mess them up first.

-Sharky


Leaving the strings on but with lower pressure is because the neck's supposed to have some pressure on it, to keep it from bending back on itself if it's stringless for a long time

Naturally you never tune those strings to pitch again - you change them when you bring the guitar back to action
#6
Fair enough, fair enough.

I might have misthought some things because of multitasking. Personally never seen necks bend back on their own selves before, but it sounds about right. As for the string changing, well...-ahem- guilty of not changing strings for long times on end xD
#7
Quote by CherokeShredder
Fair enough, fair enough.

I might have misthought some things because of multitasking. Personally never seen necks bend back on their own selves before, but it sounds about right.


Well, it's not like the necks actually bend way backwards or something, it's just that a guitar neck is constantly under pressure pulling it one way, and when you remove the strings, the neck will start "correcting" itself, bending backwards a little. And that can be troublesome, since we are talking about a musical instrument.

I think that the most important thing is to find a pleasingly dry place of steady temperature, and of course protect the guitar from outside harm. i.e don't keep it in your garage without a case or something.

Quote by CherokeShredder
As for the string changing, well...-ahem- guilty of not changing strings for long times on end xD


I just changed the strings to a friends acoustic guitar, that hadn't seen a string change in 5 years. Playing it made me cry, so I bought a string set myself and changed the strings. Now it feels like an instrument again.

I know that I can't expect anyone to change strings once every one or two months, but if you keep them on for long enough (especially if they're standard strings) they will start feeling mucky and corroded, and sound completely dead. I'd say that you should change strings at least once every 6 months, and even that's pushing it. But people have their preferences.
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#8
Oh I remember on my old acoustic. I've had it for about 9 years now, kept the strings on that were on the guitar when it started...for almost 7 years xD they were green and black and brown, buzzy and just rigid as hell. It was a miracle to be able to get rid of those strings and put on new ones...which unfortunately lasted only 3 months before they snapped, in comparison -.-

I agree with the taking care of the guitar part
#9
I have an acoustic that has the same elixir strings on it from when my brother played guitar... 8 years ago.
#10
Depending on how much you want to protect the guitar I'd recommend the following though I've never done "years" for anything I cared about. . . I did leave an Epiphone SG in the attic/garage/etc for over 10 years and it was good after some new strings and a very, very thorough cleaning - still don't use it much.

1. Remove the strings and clean and polish everything.
2. Clean/moisturize the fretboard
3. Put on coated strings like Elixirs.
4. Tune to pitch or so (the strings will eventually break down so why not keep the proper tension for as long as possible?)
5. Put a piece of plastic sheeting between the strings and fretboard.
6. Put a humidifier / climate control system in the case to help out as long as it will last.

Pray.
Guitars:
Ibanez RG1570 Prestige
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#11
Well I'm sure they are all good points and worth trying but, to put your mind at ease, maybe it is not that critical.

Back in 1989 I put my cheap Hohner acoustic up in the loft wrapped in black bin liners with the strings at normal tension (yes, tension not pressure guys ). It sat there for 22 years of UK weather. It would be really hot up there in summer and bitter cold in winter.
I then moved to Australia and it came down in a shipping container. My mid life crisis then kicked in and I decided to actually start learning. I put a new set of strings on and tuned it up. Just like the day it was new.

I'm obviously not saying you should store them this way but they may not be as fragile as you think.
#12
Alright so, thorough cleaning, strings on but with something in between them and the fretboard, silica packet, dry place with a steady temp and say a prayer, sounds like a plan. Thanks guys.
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#14
Quote by metalmingee
Depending on how much you want to protect the guitar I'd recommend the following though I've never done "years" for anything I cared about. . . I did leave an Epiphone SG in the attic/garage/etc for over 10 years and it was good after some new strings and a very, very thorough cleaning - still don't use it much.

1. Remove the strings and clean and polish everything.
2. Clean/moisturize the fretboard
3. Put on coated strings like Elixirs.
4. Tune to pitch or so (the strings will eventually break down so why not keep the proper tension for as long as possible?)
5. Put a piece of plastic sheeting between the strings and fretboard.
6. Put a humidifier / climate control system in the case to help out as long as it will last.

Pray.


Great list.
I'd recommend one more thing.
If this guitar is going to be stored that long, find a VCI bag (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor), pull as much of the air out of it as you can, and seal it up. VCI bags and wraps are used to store everything from guns to NASA parts. The bags are designed to protect parts from corrosion, both from external sources and from internal sources. For example, if you've got a Gibson guitar with a nitrocellulose finish, that finish will outgas nitric and sulfuric acids. Those products of the breakdown of that lacquer will attack strings, bridges, pickup coils (anything metal, really), frets. If you have a guitar with a mock tortoise shell pickguard made of nitrocellulose plastic (Byrdlands are famous for these), that, too, will begin to deteriorate, and as it does, it will take out anything metal AND it will begin to accelerate the breakdown of the finish. The VCI will help protect your guitar.

http://www.plasticbagpartners.com/VCI_Bags_Films_s/11652.htm?gclid=CjwKEAiA3Ou1BRDso5XyhduuwFASJABP3PEDq9WeHDJ1nFBkllYhs6JQC_xtWVkaVqZG1PjYcqK4PxoC2K_w_wcB

Wrap the case (or gig bag) in those black plastic garbage bags fairly tightly (I use gaffer's or duct tape everywhere). This will also slow down temperature and moisture changes. There are also vacuum bags for guns and guitars:

#15
I've used those bags before. They are VERY very handy indeed. One of my friends used them, had to put the guitar away for over 20 years, came back to it...still in very awesome condition
#17
Quote by monabri
Seems a bit of a shame not to play a guitar.

So what, am I suppose to give them away? Drop 'em off at Goodwill, is that what you would do? Most of us shed that silly idealism after a while. I buy guitars to play, not to collect, but sometimes you get one that you like more than its worth on the market but not more than your favorite players, so you're stuck with it. Sometimes its just sentimentality, one of mine is a battered old jalopy of a Cort that was my main player in my first band waaay back last millenium. I remember trying to sell it for $100 years ago and didn't get a single offer, in hindsight I'm glad, the nostalgia alone is worth $100 to me. Would you have just thrown it away? What are you getting at here?
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#18
Quote by lucky1978
So what, am I suppose to give them away? Drop 'em off at Goodwill, is that what you would do? Most of us shed that silly idealism after a while. I buy guitars to play, not to collect, but sometimes you get one that you like more than its worth on the market but not more than your favorite players, so you're stuck with it. Sometimes its just sentimentality, one of mine is a battered old jalopy of a Cort that was my main player in my first band waaay back last millenium. I remember trying to sell it for $100 years ago and didn't get a single offer, in hindsight I'm glad, the nostalgia alone is worth $100 to me. Would you have just thrown it away? What are you getting at here?


I agree, but he only said "Seems a bit of a shame not to play a guitar" which I also agree with
#19
Quote by SpiderM
I agree, but he only said "Seems a bit of a shame not to play a guitar" which I also agree with

Oh, I was probably only being defensive cause I agree with him.
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