Guitar Tips - Guitar Lessons at Tapestry Music Vancouver
How should I care for my guitar?
- Don't leave your guitar in a car for several hours in hot or cold weather.
- When you finish playing your guitar, wipe it off with a lint-free cloth and put it in your case.
- Use guitar polish (available in our store) to clean your guitar. Never use anything other than guitar polish.
- Your strings will last much longer if you clean them after each use.
- Have your guitar serviced by our professional guitar technician periodically.
When should I change my strings?
- If the strings have a dull colour, sound dead, muted, or are hard to tune, then it's time to change them. Many beginners don't realize their strings are dead until they hear how good their guitar sounds with new strings. As a rule of thumb, strings should be changed after 30-40 hours of playing.
What strings should I use?
- Strings come in different sizes. When speaking of acoustic guitar strings we often denote the size by stating; light gauge, extra light gauge, medium gauge, etc.
- Heavier gauge strings can help boost volume and sustain but can be more painful on tender fingertips unaccustomed to the tension or those bending strings. If you are changing to a heavier gauge string, bear in mind that a neck adjustment will probably be required to compensate for the increased tension.
- Lighter gauges are often easier to fret and bend, but very light strings can cause some players to over-bend the string causing the note to play sharp. Most guitars come with light gauge strings installed from the factory.
I changed the gauge of strings I use, and now it buzzes...
- Instruments that have been set up properly to insure appropriate string height, nut slot width/depth, intonation and neck relief have been done using the string gauge the player is using. If one changes string gauges, more or less tension is being placed on the instrument depending on whether they go up or down in string gauge. This can affect everything about your set up and require several adjustments.
How does humidity affect guitars?
- Wood will try to equalize to it's surrounding air, in temperature and humidity. If wood becomes too moist it will swell; on the other hand, if wood gives up it's moisture, it will shrink. All are physical characteristics of wood. 45%-55% relative humidity is optimum. If this is obtained, you minimize the risk of damage.
How can I prevent my guitar from drying out?
- There are many guitar humidifiers on the market that you can keep in your case. Contact us at 1-888-347-7480 and our guitar technician can assist you in what will work best for you.
Solid top vs laminate..
- A solid top is when an acoustic guitar has a top made from a solid piece of wood, as opposed to a "laminate top", which is a cheaper-to-make substitute. A solid top on a guitar ensures that the instrument resonates well. Resonance is important as it improves the tone and volume of the guitar. The more you play your solid top guitar the better it will sound!