How To Keep Everything As Almost New As You Got It

A short clean little guide on how to keep your things new, in order, and close to store bought new.

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Well to start things off alot of people experince things such as losing picks, cables not working due to guitarists/bassists leaving the cable in the jack, blown out speakers, broken strings due to hard playing etc, and putting the guitar/bass up against the amplifer coming back and its on the floor, neck all cracked and destoryed. Well those are some examples of the terrible things guitarist's and bassist's do on a regular basis, and when this bad event does occur, they forget it happened and everything starts all over again. Pick Organizing: I know it's hard, but try your best not to lose your picks, when your done playing, put them in a place such as a cup or a coffe mug for instance. That way you can save money on a vet bill considering your dog eats guitar picks, or just put them in a cup or mug as stated before, an put the cup or any other thing you may use next to your amp or guitars. Picks are almost always lost, nothing you can really do, but hey, thats a small tip for some people who keep going to guitar center or sam ash every weekend for new picks and such. Take Your Cable Out Of Your Guitar! Alot of people i talked to through the years keep their cables in there guitar while playing, and stand the guitar/bass up against the amp, not knowing the damage your doing to the guitar input jack and the cable itself. I even made this mistake alot of times, making trips to the music store and letting them fix it for you is not always fun, so please take all cables out of the input jacks. Hang your cables up somewere when your done, this can also reduce the cable from becoming tangled and distorted. Dont Turn The Volume All The Way Up: Unless your Steve Vai or Mark Tremonti, not everyone wants to hear you playing. And obviously not to burn or blow the speaker(s) out. Put it at a level which you can hear it perfectly, not loud enough to blow peoples ears off. Put Your Guitar On A Stand When Done Playing: Or for some hang it back on the wall. This is the most obvious one, but dont put your Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul against the amp, i know, i know, it will only be a few seconds till you play again, but it can be that fast till you see a nice crack in the neck or another horrfic sight. If your playing, and want to stop for only a short time, lay it down on a bed, carpet, or support it with a pillow at the headstock, and a pillow at the end of the body. Don't Keep Strings On For 8 Months At A Time: Unless you have strings made from God, try your best not to keep them on for a while. Its not good for the neck, and obviously the guitar/bass will sound terrible, and future tuning problems may occur. When the first time your strings sound " dull " or not as bright as you got them, either clean them, boil them in water, or best of all change them! Now for us bassist's, its not always fun considering bass strings are more expensive then guitar strings. Clean Your Guitar/bass Every So Often: Title says it all, clean your instrument! Residue and build up can get near the nut and in the frets producing a terrible sound. Stores sell guitar polish, fretboard cleaner, and other " methods " of cleaning. Try cleaning it only as much as you can, the fretboard can get annoying because you have to take all the strings off, and such. But hey, deal with it, it will sound better than it did 20 minutes ago! Have A Sturdy Strap: A short portion of this article, but might be one of the most important, have a sturdy strap, i've seen people, kids, adults in general, who had weak un-reliable straps, which always fell and you guess what happens when they fall. Not a fun experince or not a nice sight at all. Sure, some people get a strap designed by Joe Satriani, with sturdyness and very cool graphics. But some people buy straps beacuse of looks, not beacuse of how reliable they will be. So please try straps on your guitar/bass and see how they work! This article is very basic, and consists of alot of common sense. But theres always people who dont take care of their instruments as well as they should be, and i would like to dedicate this whole entire article to them. Hope it helped some people in ways of maintaing a " healthy" rig. Thanks, -BassSurfer.

80 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Etni3s
    Dunjma wrote: i've never once changed my strings on my guitar and it sounds fine ( and the guitar and strings are older than i am)
    unless you are 6 months old i'd suggest you change them soon. you'll notice a remarkable improvement in your sound.
    mikeman
    How could keeping a cable in your input jack damage your input jack when constantly taking it in and out is easily going to cause more wear and tear?
    westo
    mikeman wrote: How could keeping a cable in your input jack damage your input jack when constantly taking it in and out is easily going to cause more wear and tear?
    thats what i always thought
    [Creative Name]
    I rarely lose picks I keep them between the strings of the guitar. Leaving the cable in the jack doesn't do damage unless you have the guitar kind of leaning on the cable input, then it bends it and ****s it up. I replace my strings every 2 months and clean my guitar while the strings are off.
    Mike_Moore
    that mug tip sounds real, i'm always loseing picks and always finding myself looking around the house for something to fill in as a pick
    The Demiurge
    ive lost 4 picks in the last 3 and a half years ive kept 1 for 3 years and 1 i caught of a band when he acidentaly caught his guitar with it and it went flying is still in my wallet but i kinda melted it trying to play master of puppest double speed it was great ive changed my strings 1nce in 3 years and i aint gonna wait that long again and my room is freezing cos me guitar lives next to the radiator so i turned it off and my pick up switcher thing needs a bit of card and only works on the second bottem setting how would i fix that or should i go to the shop
    Vortex_uk
    Someone hasnt made the point of KEEPING GUITARS AWAY FROM HEAT (such as radiators) other wise you get a bend in the neck (otherwise known as warping) and screws it all up
    TheEntertainer
    d mac my man youve out done your big bed again. this article is great. for all u readers this kid is hilarious and retarded so keep that in mind while reading this sweet article.
    bene8754
    xX Maverick Xx wrote: god offered to make strings for me, but i said no because there was a catch, i could only play christian music with them.
    hjahahahhahahhahah
    doive
    Stops trying to balacne open coke can on trem arm while playing
    scrambler_66
    You know you're a guitar player if you've lost more picks in your couch than you have coins. I sold my (fake) Strat and got a Jackson Warrior, and the tail of the body sticks out so much further, that everytime I turn around I whack it into something. Poor bass player...
    Glen'sHeroicAct
    If your playing, and want to stop for only a short time, lay it down on a bed, carpet, or support it with a pillow at the headstock, and a pillow at the end of the body.
    yea that's better than leaning it against the amp, but that can also be dangerous. much more than the guitar falling a short ways. happened to me once, and a friend of mine, that we set the guitar on the carpet for just a minute to do something, (i went for a sandwich and my friend took a piss) and guess what... stupid family members ended up walking into the room really quick, didnt notice the guitar, and guess what... my neck got sat on and broke. my friend's guitar got stepped on. lucky it was his body so it didnt get broken. but nonetheless, the floor or couch probably isnt the best place to set the guitar, even for a minute or two.
    McCartyE.T.
    i change my string every month no matter matter what Dean Markley makes strings that last for 2 to3 years and itll still sound new after that. the thing about the cable, that happened to me too and one more thing: detune your guitar after your after your done playing!! its will damage your neck if you leave it tuned for a long time
    astrocreep71
    i change my strings every three months, when I do, I use Murphy's oil soap to clean the guitar. Been doing that for about 6 years now. I have 11 guitars and have never had a problem with it. Also(a point that needs to be reinterated) when you are not playing your guitar, put it in a case. At least cover it up, and keep it from the environment. This will preserve your strings. And wash your hands before you play. Not that difficult and should already be a habit.
    eternalrecluse
    McCartyE.T. wrote: Dean Markley makes strings that last for 2 to3 years and itll still sound new after that.
    Any strings can last that long; it all depends on how often you play. I use Dean Markley blue steel strings (supposedly "longer life") and I normally have to change every 2-4 weeks depending on how much I practice.
    imapunkforlife
    i lose picks when theyre in my hand...i play in the dark infront of the computer a lot...i drop them and when i turn the light on theyre gone...altho the cats little box is getting quite colorful XD
    demiphoenix
    i need to replace my strings, but i'm a pooooor guitarist... i've had the same strings on this puppy since i bought it...
    TeenBite
    Good tips, but poorly written and sometimes hard to understand because of it. Your ideas are good, but you should get someone to re-write for you.
    Donkey Fly
    Kutanmoogle wrote: JustinYap wrote: I keep my picks in my wallet.. And yet I still lose em... But somehow, after a couple of weeks later, they pop up in the most random places.. (I found one of em in one my shoes once... almost broke it..) Heh, yeah, I keep my picks in pickholders on the back of the headstocks of my guitars, yet I still manage to find picks between keyboard keys, in tubes of Pringles etc.
    I found one i lost weeks ago outside a mates house which is like 2 miles from mine lol
    jekyll64
    You NEVER lose your Pick,and always now where it is,if you use this www.neckpleck.com Jekyll
    DougM
    Good article, sure it was a lot of common sense but hey there are a lot of us that don't have much common sense. Thanks for pointing out the little things we forget.
    philipp122
    OK, I have a question in regards to the string part: is it bad to remove all of your strings at once? I've had some peole ay yes, while others say it's bad to leave them on all the time. Other than that, great article, 9/10.
    droptuned17
    can i use lemon oil on my ibanez GRG170DX? it has shark tooth inlays.any suggestion would be helpful...tnx
    maclondon91
    very good articali think the idea with the cup for the picks, i started doing that and havent lost a pick yet, but all in all very nicely put good artical
    izzizz
    about the boiling thing. should i like really boil it till the water becomes very hot?
    ncook71
    I'd like to add an important one: NEVER use Pledge (or other furniture polish) on your guitar!!! I ruined a beautiful USA Hamer's finish this way. It turned the finish into goo. Also I don't understand the statement "Unless you have strings made from God, try your best not to keep them on for a while. Its not good for the neck"... how so?
    bennyboytx
    I don't care what people say about this, LIVE BY THESE WORDS. He is 100% right, and you'll only save yourself future hassle.
    JPageZeppelin
    Mike_Moore wrote: that mug tip sounds real, i'm always loseing picks and always finding myself looking around the house for something to fill in as a pick
    yes in 7th grade i made a little clay jar thing and i keep them all in there and never really lost one except maybe one or two but yea thats what i do it works good
    inignought
    jesus built my hotrod and wound my strings i keep them on for at least 18 months play at least an hour a day and never have tuning or tone issues
    BassSurfer
    Dunjma wrote: i've never once changed my strings on my guitar and it sounds fine ( and the guitar and strings are older than i am) well your just luckey, alot of people lose picks by the way..... in all the time that i've played the guitar i have only lost one pick. i dont understand how people can lose their picks ( let alone find them in their shoe!)
    Dunjma
    i've never once changed my strings on my guitar and it sounds fine ( and the guitar and strings are older than i am) in all the time that i've played the guitar i have only lost one pick. i dont understand how people can lose their picks ( let alone find them in their shoe!)
    Lgndkllr777
    Ha my dad's friend who used to play guitar and drums taught me that trick with the picks... it really is a good trick!
    guilty
    i've never once changed my strings on my guitar and it sounds fine ( and the guitar and strings are older than i am) in all the time that i've played the guitar i have only lost one pick. i dont understand how people can lose their picks ( let alone find them in their shoe!)
    That's sounds bad, you never change them? I suggest that you immediately change them.. New strings are always good, you know..
    SillyRabbit
    Dude, I lose so many picks. One time i was playing and I was done so I went to put my pick away it hit something and landed on the side of my bed where theres shitloads of garbage from over the years, cause u cant get back there. LOL
    the_guitar_hero
    hey, im new to playing guitar, but i practice a lot. after about a month and a half my pick broke. am i using it wrong or do picks eventually break?
    Kutanmoogle
    JustinYap wrote: I keep my picks in my wallet.. And yet I still lose em... But somehow, after a couple of weeks later, they pop up in the most random places.. (I found one of em in one my shoes once... almost broke it..)
    Heh, yeah, I keep my picks in pickholders on the back of the headstocks of my guitars, yet I still manage to find picks between keyboard keys, in tubes of Pringles etc.
    gregorisgod
    Reasonable, albeit obvious advice. As he said ^ STRAP LOCKS! Not duct tape or nothing or whatever. A few grammatical errors throughout (When will people learn how and when to use apostrophes) but overall, does what it says on the tin.
    brandnewjunkie
    Good tips, lots of simple things that most people really don't think about. Also lemon oil is great for cleaning/preserving the fretboard.
    Randy_Rhoads4
    what i do for picks is i just slide it underneath the strings on my guitar, that way it doesnt get lost and its right there when you want to play.
    hoobariffer87
    I was going to rate this article low until I read it, thinking that it'd be short proclamation from Captain Obvious about being nice to your expensive toys. However, you had a lot of good things in there (not sure if leaving strings on is actually bad for the guitar itself, though). A lot of guitarists don't follow this common sense; especially cleaning the fretboard. Whenever I play someone else's guitar, the thing is always horribly dry, sticky, and just unenjoyable. Good article.
    Music_Junkie420
    they have things you can stick on your guitar that hold about 5-10 picks, that is if you don't mind sticking it on your guitar
    caucasian_ninja
    Ugh, nothing worse than grime on the fretboard. Sounds horrible, leaves residue on your fingers, ruins that manicure... erm.. yeah. But really, a lot of this was just common sense, but some, like the cable thing was really good to learn. And I wonder why my cables stop working... Anyways, thanks for the good article!
    Mikeoman
    Man, I'm cruel to my guitar. Good thing its a new model though( The one I got has been out for a year and a half I think, and I got it just a year ago... surprised something really bad hasn't happened to it)... sometimes I clean it with a damp cloth. There isn't a lot of grime on my fretboard, I try to keep me hands clean, and the bodys alright( Few cracks though... I must say I've bumped the thing more than a few times)... I gots a little problem with the neck though. When it meets the body on my guitar, it rises a bit... shouldn't be happening... Usually I take the cable out of the guitar and put the guitar on a stand, but the other end is in the amp. Probably not a good thing, might try to fix me habit. Strings for me are a real bad habit. I haven't changed the low E string for a year! Usually I change a string when it breaks. Oh well, I'm usually strapped for cash. I gotta be more responsible with my money and buy a set of strings. As for the pick thing, I keep all my picks in this little candy tin type thing with a picture of Angus Young on it that I got at this little craft sale. Cost about 10 bucks, and I think I got about 32 picks in there right now, half of which are unusable. Oh well, I wanna fill that thing full of picks! I don't know why, I'm just crazy...