The guitar is a great instrument to pick up. I, personally, picked it up over 15 years ago. At the time, I didn’t know that there was such a degree of maintenance when it came to the guitar. Obviously, I knew that the guitar would need new strings once in a while, but there were additional measures that I’d never even thought of that had to be kept in mind. Over time the guitar, just from regular maintenance, can get somewhat expensive, but it’s still definitely worth it.
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Being A Guitar Player Is Expensive
The general starting costs when someone starts guitar are pretty hefty. Obviously you’ll need to purchase the guitar, and an amplifier if you bought an electric guitar. But additionally, there are guitar cables, and guitar picks. Then there are the optional (yet nice to have) components such as distortion and effects pedals, an array of special guitar picks, and other guitar accessories that can enhance your playing experience. Also, you’ll definitely want a guitar tuner (you don’t have to buy it, an app is usually enough), as you probably don’t know how to tune your guitar by ear if you’re just starting out. Keep in mind that some amplifiers come with built-in guitar tuners and some basic effects as well.
Different Aspects Of Guitar Maintenance
Aside from those general start-up costs, there are maintenance costs as well. A lot of these things can easily be done by yourself to save money (such as setup, cleaning, and changing strings). But you’ll still need to pay for the strings and cleaning products. You’ll need to get your guitar restrung every once in a while, and you’ll need a guitar setup once or twice a year.
The biggest basic operation for properly maintaining your guitar is getting new strings every month or so. If you take it to your local music/guitar shop they’ll charge a fee, plus the cost of strings. It’s best to learn how to restring your guitar by yourself. Especially since you WILL break strings numerous times. At least when you’re just starting out, and you don’t know how to use adequate strumming strength. Some guitars are harder to restring than others, and this may cost you additional money if you take a guitar for new strings (or for a broken string). For example, one of my guitars has a Floyd Rose bridge, so it’s more of a hassle to change the strings, therefore the shop generally charges me slightly more for that.
A guitar setup is where they do an array of maintenance procedures for your guitar. Everything from a basic restring, and cleaning, all the way to checking the alignment of the guitar neck. It’s can be a bit complicated, but setting up the guitar by yourself can definitely help you understand it better, and become a better player.
Another simple task to keep your guitar properly maintained is to keep it clean and free of dust. Back when I started out, I had to replace my pickup selector switch because it had too much dust inside. So dust and clean your guitar once in a while.
Clean Your Strings
You can drastically extend your strings’ life span and improve their sound by cleaning them after you’re done playing. I know, it sounds weird, just take my word for it. Try this little product (which was also featured on my guitar gadgets list) and see for yourself.
Keep Your Guitar Safe On A Stand
One accessory that’s practically a MUST to invest in is a guitar stand. How does this come into effect when it comes to properly maintaining your guitar? It’s a proactive measure to ensure that the guitar doesn’t fall over and break. A lot of people merely lean their guitars on walls or other objects, and I’ve personally seen many guitars fall over. I even saw someone have their headstock broken this way. Plus, having a guitar stand looks more professional, and they’re relatively cheap. There are even guitar stands out there that mount to walls, and other stands that hold multiple guitars.
Aside from the guitar itself, it’s very important to properly maintain your accessories as well. Properly coil wires when they’re not in use, check guitar picks for sharp rigid edges from playing, and dust your amplifier, tuner, and pedals. Treat your gear with respect and you could use it for years.