How to Store a Guitar

Posted on Mar 13, 2014

How to Store a Guitar

How to Store a Guitar

Once a person owns a guitar, care and upkeep are the next learning experience for any player. Earlier we discussed when to change strings, what type of strings to use, breaking guitar strings and so on. The most important thing you can do for your guitar is to limit the temperature and moisture changes it is exposed to. If your guitar could speak it would cry out against these injustices! It is up to us to treat our guitar as a friend.

The first change that guitars go through is from the climate controlled environment it is manufactured in, through shipping to the store, opened and displayed, and then purchased and taken to its first home. Don’t be surprised if a guitar needs an adjustment after it has settled in at it’s new home. At the very least these changes will effect the tuning. More serious effects can be cracked faces, looses braces, and warped backs, sides, and tops.

Here are some guidelines and a few absolute no-no’s to protect your guitar from serious changes. Note that electric guitars aren’t as sensitive to the cold as an acoustic or classical but in all, this list pertains to all guitars.

*Never store a guitar in an unheated garage that has an exposed concrete floor.

*Never store a guitar in an attic – period! This is a BIG no-no.

*Never store a guitar near a ceiling where the temp rises significantly – as in ceiling heat or a warm house.

*Never store a guitar in an unheated room.

*Never store a guitar on concrete.

*Never leave a guitar in a car when the outside temperature is lower than 50 degrees, or warmer than 70 degrees, and even then only keep your guitar there for very short periods of time.

If you live in a dry environment such as a desert or you heat with a woodstove it is a good idea to purchase a hygrometer and monitor the moisture in your guitars environment. In the opposite, be careful taking a fine instrument camping in the damp woods and having it face a hot dry fire for a few hours, and then exposed to the high moisture all night. I use what I call a utility guitar with a ply top for my camping guitar enjoyment – less of a risk because it is a lower cost guitar.

Ideal moisture levels are available throughout an internet search, but checking with your manufacturers recommendations is always a good idea, especially if it is a high dollar instrument.

For the most part, guitars are pretty resilient to small changes. Most of the effects of major moisture and temperature changes can be very damaging and create the need for costly repairs. Just use a little common sense and remember that your guitar…your friend doesn’t have a voice.

Happy playing & thank you for supporting your local music store!

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