Preventive Maintenance

Tips to help you spend less on repairs! And suggested buys for optimum guitar care.

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Knowing how to play a guitar/ bass isn't everything about being a musician. You need to know how to keep your guitar / bass in good shape too! I've written down a couple of good ways to help you keep your axe and you in good performing shape just read on.
  • Never let your guitar rest on its neck - this is because when force/ weight is applied to the neck it may cause the neck to warp.
  • When one string snaps replace all - this is to keep your guitar sounding good.
  • Use a string winder - you wouldn't want to get arthritis from twisting the machine heads now would you?
  • Never get the guitar wet - it explains it's self.
  • Wipe your axe before and after use - to keep it nice and clean. This also prevents the finish of your guitar/ bass from wearing off.
  • Don't just leave it anywhere - this too explains it's self.
  • If it does get wet wipe it right away - duh!
  • Don't be a hero - if the wiring of your pickup(s) does malfunction, don't try to fix your self-if you don't have experience with repairing guitars. As this may lead to more damage.

    For The Ossessive Compulsive Axeman

    If you're anything like me, you'd want nothing but the best for your guitar. So here are some steps to keeping you and your axe in almost perfect shape. Buys:
  • Dunlop Ultraglide65 - this makes old strings feel like new ones. Note: if you don't have much cash you can always look to baby oil to emulate the slippery goodness of new strings.
  • Dunlop Finger Board65 - cleans, and preserves your finger/ fret board. If you're a little low on money you can also use furniture polish (any) and alcohol to clean your guitar Note: use alcohol before wood shine, don't get the pickups wet, and apply the liquids on a towel not on the guitar. Do not mix alcohol and furniture polish!
  • Dunlop Body Gloss65 - cleans, and preserves the body. If you're low on money just follow what's written above.
  • Dunlop Formula No.65 - No.65 is practically Finger Board65 and Body Gloss65 put together.
  • Backup strings - you'd never want to not have a spare when your string snaps between sets on a gig!
  • Sting winder - duh! Just read the one above for a good description.
  • Guitar stand - so your axe will never have so sleep in the floor again.
  • Carpet / area rug / mat - to get good natural reverb Note: place your amp on top of the Carpet / area rug / mat to get the reverb. Make sure the Carpet / area rug / mat is at least 2 times larger that your amp so the sound can travel through the fabric. Do's:
  • Always keep your guitar and equipment in a nice-dry and cool area (make sure they get lots of air).
  • Always un-plug your guitar from your effects/ amp when not in use. Note: this is to prevent your input/ output from becoming loose.
  • Always turn off your guitar/ effects/ amp when not in use. Note: this is to prevent anything from overheating, and you wasting your money on batteries. The turn off your guitar part is for guitars, which use active pickups.
  • Optional: don't stick any stickers on your axe - the stickers will fade in time and will leave a mark which says this is what the colour of your guitar used to be. Either that or it'll leave nasty dirt marks (which appear when the sticky part of the sticker stays and accumulates dust).
  • Optional: don't re-paint - even if your axe has scratches its still worth more money as is than with new paint. This is because the paint on your guitar is the original paint used by the manufacturer, which adds to the total price of your axe. If you have it re-painted the original paint is sanded off the guitar then re-painted; thus making your guitar cheaper or worthless (in market terms). Thanks for reading! -Tim5150
  • 52 comments sorted by best / new / date

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      nish
      isn't this a bit similar to the previous article? Nice and summarized though.
      Hosscat
      ^ Maybe he meant "cheesecakes" .... YUMMIE!!! Seriously, not too shabby. One note: a guitar with professional paint job is worth more than a guitar with an original paint job that is beat to shit.
      Kyle_Klus
      You called it an "axe" too many times... other than that, not bad... 3 stars.
      oddling8
      As Kyle Klus put it, you said "axe" far too often. Just say axe, it's annoying otherwise. Also, Dunlop Ultraglide65 isn't all that great, it is only good between ever time you play, and it wears away rather quickly, nothing can replace new strings.
      oddling8
      Also, the whole babying your guitar thing is annoying me. I am moderately rough on mine, and I believe it adds personality. Now if you have some beautiful hollow body ES guitar, it should be babied, but with a Strat, Tele, Jag/Mustang, or even a Les Paul, and certainly any metal guitar, I think it adds some backbone and personality to your baby when you don't go overboard on the gentle thing.
      Tim_5150
      i use the quotation marks for emphasis, and for people who don't know what an axe is, and can't catch on what an axe is can undestand...i'm not a fan of spending much money, and there are others like me; people like us tend to baby our most prized items (wether they be guitars of something else) so that we don't have to spend again... i believe people like me are called "cheapscakes" or "cheapasses"....
      phil_axe-man
      put your amp on a rug to get reverb?!? reverberation is the reflection of sound off hard surfaces so if anything this will reduce reverb. it may isolate the amp from the floor slightly but youre never going to get reverb that way lmao
      joyful womble
      fixing wiring is dead easy.
      Do not mix alcohol and furniture polish!
      there is some good advice for life
      papalazorous
      i'm going to stick my 'axe' up your hole if you keep calling it that, ***ing retard. and do you work for dunlop or what?
      Kyle_Klus
      Tim_5150: i use the quotation marks for emphasis, and for people who don't know what an axe is, and can't catch on what an axe is can undestand...i'm not a fan of spending much money, and there are others like me; people like us tend to baby our most prized items (wether they be guitars of something else) so that we don't have to spend again... i believe people like me are called "cheapscakes" or "cheapasses"....
      Call me borderline-retarded, but that first sentance made little to no sence at all... perhaps it was just very poorly worded. and... CheapsCAKES. ...mmm, those sound tasty. CheapSKATES on the other hand, is what I think you were looking for...
      BradleyGibson
      Can't we all just get along? I believe Tim 5150 was just trying to give some good advice to the rookies. As an eighteen year veteran-heres my take.Your guitar's safest place is in its case when not in use.If you replaced strings three days ago, and you happen to break one, just replace it! On any guitar,strings require some break in.They usally sound and play the best after a couple of days! Some string winders can mar the guitars headstock! I don't use em'- you should get carpal tunnel as a result of playing too much, not from tuning too much! Turn your shit off and unplug everything when you're done jamming. Put it away if you have the time. Applying Dunlop or Fender anything can leave your guitar feeling sticky-unnatural-wipe off excess sweat or residue with an old T-shirt or sock. These are just my preferences! Playing is unique to the individual. If you value your investment, love it and it will love you back!
      Tim_5150
      i'm not being paid by Dunlop. it's just cheaper than other brands.... i apologize for any gramattical/ spelling errors in my article
      Tim_5150
      i'll do my best to avoid typo, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure errors. but for now, pls bare with me...
      caucasian_ninja
      Pretty good. If you want really, really good natural reverb, just turn the gain down and go into an empty room. I like to drag my amp out to the garage sometimes, cause there's nothing else in it. It sounds pretty good. Just an echo....
      jamstation
      Kyle_Klus: Call me borderline-retarded, but that first sentance made little to no sence at all... perhaps it was just very poorly worded.
      dear kyle, if you're going to be pointing out grammatical errors, then first up, it's SENTENCE, not 'sentance' and it's SENSE, not 'sence'.. anyway, i thought it was a decent article.. though i really have no clue on the carpet reverb thing he's talking about.
      TNfootballfan62
      Good article, but there are other products out there other than dunlop. I have some similar stuff made by Gibson, and it's great.
      Scourge441
      Pretty good article, but some stuff was obvious. For that Dunlop Ultraglide stuff, I have GHS Fast Fret, that works great. And I see nothing wrong with repainting a guitar, if you want it to look nicer.
      cryan2
      fairly good article..but most of what you said is commonsense..well 3 stars for u dude!
      NoZoL
      In response to: "If you?re a little low on money you can also use furniture polish (any) and alcohol to clean your guitar" I don't think that is such a good idea, as funiture polish is called furniture polish for a reason, and not called guitar polish. According to Alan Horvath's article over on guitar noise (You can reference this at http://www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?i... "Regarding acoustic guitars, wax is not cool ... and non-drying oils (like lemon oil) are even worse. Oils, waxes, and silicates penetrate the finish, entering the wood itself ... and over a period of time, they'll add a density to the wood that detracts from it's resonance. These "nasties" also turn simple repairs into nightmares - ask any experienced luthier, and you'll find no question about the matter." Perhaps it is a different story with the strats,teles, etc, and it doesn't affect the guitar like acoustics... but I'll stick with the "Wipe down with very lightly damped chamois cloth" over hitting my guitar with a spray of Pledge :-D I think people have to be excessively cautious to the chemicals that they put on their axe. Sorry to be critical - but I side with some of the other guys.... I definitely play my guitar more than I clean it ; - Try not to buff your polish off by cleaning it OCD style! 2 out of 5 stars
      Tim_5150
      cool! you spelled chamois right! i know that using these chemicals may not be too good, but hey, if you're low on cash and you have a gig in a couple of hours...blah, blah, blah...non of that's important, thanks for pointing out my mistake! i'll make sure to put in things for the long run!
      DaveGilmour1189
      accually, that's my b-day Jan 1, 1989. There's alot (more than 7) but i just put this down instead of finding how many there are.
      DaveGilmour1189
      Devil Tiger: Leaning your guitar against a table and putting it in a guitar stand is the same thing--it does nothing to the neck dumbass
      I thinks he means, if you lean it against something other than on the stand, its going to get nocked over and break.
      GuerillaCharlie
      4 stars, stuff everyone should hear. i like the guys guitar at my school which was covered with stickers and now looks like a big stain?
      cookadam
      more stuff i was looking for when reading the first one. Better info, good article.
      Devil Tiger
      Leaning your guitar against a table and putting it in a guitar stand is the same thing--it does nothing to the neck dumbass.
      Mental Hop
      ^ Or leaning it at awkward degrees, whereas your guitar is not even remotely vertical.
      Mrmachine628
      There are 1189 other david gilmours?^ [POSTED: 14 May 2005 - 19:15]| everybody likes floyd. gilmore is a popular guy. and btw. if you put threadlock on the input output jacks they won't come loose
      DarkReaper
      A stand is significantly better than a table, it is specifically designed to support the guitar. It also has padding as opposed to a sharp edge. With your "turn off all amps" statement doesn't apply to tube amps which are used a lot - it is better to leave them on than turn them off and on regularly, as it extends the lifetime of the valves. The warmup/cool down cycle puts most strain on them.
      Linus the lion
      refinishing a guitar really has nothing to do with what u said, u don't refinish to wood because it changes the density of the wood and significantly effects the sound quality, same with stickers. Through prolonged play wood gains shape from the vibrations and gives an instrument character (more significant to accoustic instruments), it's a mortal sin to refinish any type of instrument.
      SingingSabre
      Dunlop products galore. Try some Fender guitar care products (made by Meguiar's) and some Guitar Honey.
      kerrang
      very good, im bookmarkin this. short, to the point and plenty of handy tips and buying info. cheers
      Tim_5150
      the reason why i mentioned dunlop products is because they're the cheapest ones out on the market. placing your axe in any other place besides your gig bag/ hard case/ stand will increase its chanses of getting knoked off, and if you apply too much pressure to the neck it'll warp! and yes refinishing your guitar will lower its market value! all your comments are appreciated, thanks.
      Tim_5150
      Linus the lion: refinishing a guitar really has nothing to do with what u said, u don't refinish to wood because it changes the density of the wood and significantly effects the sound quality, same with stickers. Through prolonged play wood gains shape from the vibrations and gives an instrument character (more significant to accoustic instruments), it's a mortal sin to refinish any type of instrument. [POSTED: 15 May 2005 - 04:12]| yes it does. try buying two guitars; have one refinished and leave one as is, then try having both appraised and tell the appraiser that one's been refinished, and he/she will surely tell you that the refinished one costs less.
      Tim_5150
      yes the warmer the valves the better the sound; but what i meant is that if you're not going to be using it for quite some time, you might want to turn it off. after all you wouldn't want your valves to melt?