Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Storing Your Guitar

It is always a good idea to back off the string tension on guitars that are going to be stored. This allows the truss rod to rest, and you can rest assured the guitar will perform properly when you decide to tune it back up and use it again.
If the bridge is lifting on a guitar, especially a twelve string, that is usually the cause. Always a good idea to tune a 12 string down a full tone and use a capo for performance. You will find the guitar easier to play, your strings will last longer and sound better as well. And don't let anyone sell you medium gauge strings for and acoustic. They simply cause too much strain on the body, the soundboard, bracing and the binding. When this stuff comes apart, it's only a matter of time before the bridge plate lets go. There is just nothing left to hold it in place.
Also, humidify these instruments. A solid wood top guitar needs constant humidity. This should run between 38 and 45%. That sounds like a lot, but you have to remember our humidity usually runs at about 50% in the summer and about 30 in the winter. If you have air conditioning at home, be careful with that. Any air conditioner is also a de-humidifier. They all remove humidity from the air before cooling it. It just makes it that much easier to cool. This then means that if you run the air conditioning all summer long, your humidity level should be a concern here.
You mention the Gretsch guitar. I believe that one is the Electromatic. I really wouldn't worry too much about this guitar. As I mentioned prior, loosen the strings and relax the truss rod. By doing so you are also taking undue tension off of the soundboard. Archtops should be treated a little different than the others. They are a little more delicate. Still, the Gretsch is a laminated maple top, and that is tough stuff.

Hope this helps!


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