Whether a guitar was part of an estate, you’re going out of town, or you just don’t get to play the thing as much as you’d like to, you may find yourself in a position where you need to put a guitar into storage. However, you’ve got to be careful to avoid lowering the value of the instrument by storing it carelessly.
If you need to store a guitar for a long period of time for any reason, here are a few tips to help you avoid damaging the instrument.
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How To Store A Guitar: Things To Pay Attention To
Guitars are delicate, whether they’re acoustics, electrics, or classical. Take these steps to make sure your guitar is safe while in storage.
1. Loosen The Tension Of The Strings.
Detuning the strings a step or so will protect the guitar from any gradual damage. This type of damage is caused by constant tension being placed on the neck while the guitar isn’t being played or handled. However, you shouldn’t completely detune the guitar or remove the strings. Guitars are designed to have tension on the neck from strings, so completely depriving your instrument of that tension is a bad idea. Just detune the guitar slightly.
2. Balance The Humidity
Excessive moisture or dryness can also destroy a guitar. Store your guitar in a non-humid place that also isn’t excessively dry. A closet on the ground level of a house is a good place. To protect against dryness damage, you may want to polish your axe and apply a little bit of lemon oil to the wood of the guitar. Treat both the body and the neck before storing the guitar. Store the guitar in a hard-shell case, and make sure it’s not in a place where it’s going to get bumped around a lot.
Additionally, and it’s even more important than oiling your guitar, moderate the humidity level inside the case. You can do that by using a guitar humidifier, or guitar humi-packs (make sure you buy the 49%).
3. Extreme Temperatures Are Your Enemy
You should never keep a guitar, acoustic or electric, in any environment that might get extremely hot. Heat will damage the wood of the guitar, melt glue, damage the electronics, and just generally do a bang-up job of ruining your axe.
You don’t want the guitar to get too cold, either. Cold can do even more damage to the wood of the guitar. Don’t store your guitar in any attics or unfinished basements, as these are the types of environments that encompass both extremes and may have fluctuating temperatures.
If you store your guitar in a slightly cold place, that’s fine. But let the guitar sit in its case in a warm room for a few hours before playing it again.
4. Have The Guitar Inspected Before You Play It Again
Or even better – set it up by yourself! Minor intonation and tuning issues are common after periods of long storage. But they’re inexpensive to fix and don’t permanently damage the guitar. Bring your guitar to a repair center and have it checked up before you begin playing again.
Storing a guitar is not too hard or complicated, but it does require some preparation. Now you know what you need to do if you ever need to store your guitar. Do you have any other tips for storing a guitar? Post them in the comments section below.