Covid 19 Isolation Guitar Tips

Written by: James Krueger On: Apr 15th, 2020

Hey everyone!  First off, everybody here at Solo Guitars hopes that you are engaging in responsible behavior during this mind-altering crisis!  We hope for all our sakes, that you are practicing social distancing and hand-washing routines.  If we all work together, we will all get through this together.  Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who have lost family members, loved ones, friends and neighbors, and to those who have people in the hospital right now….may they recover quickly.  Here at Solo, we are working to the best of our ability while maintaining all the directives handed down to us by the government…our goal is to continue to supply you, our loyal customers with the best service, the best parts and the best kits and accessories, to get you through your isolation.

Speaking of isolation….according to our research, there has been an upswing in internet sales across the board in musical instruments and their accessories!  That can only mean that you people out there are using your time wisely and in a healthy fashion.  Music is a savior in times like these…music keeps our minds active, our creative impulses pulsing and allows us to spend time playing and practicing so we can improve our skills and learn new techniques.  Of course, that means that the instruments we are playing on; whether they be guitars basses violins or pianos etc, should be in good shape, tuned and as playable as they can be made.

So here is the subject of this months blog….isolation guitar repair!  Ok so maybe it isn’t always guitar ‘repair’, but maybe just guitar maintenance and hopefully improvement.

Today we will be talking about your acoustic guitars.  For a lot of people, acoustic guitars are a little intimidating.  There aren’t a lot of replaceable parts, and there aren’t a lot of things that you can upgrade without a lot of experience and yes, maybe even tools.  So let’s start in the most simple way…..take your acoustic guitar apart….this means take the strings off basically as they are the only thing that really comes off!  Give your guitar a thorough cleaning…clear out the dust bunnies and lost picks from inside the body, use a light grade oil like lemon oil (or a product specifically made for this) and really clean the fretboard.  Make sure you get all the grunge from beside the frets and beside the nut.  Now make sure the tuners are properly fastened and tightened so they won’t make noises while you are playing.  Take a proper guitar cleaner or wood treatment and clean the entire body, making sure you take note of any cracks or issues you might want to talk to your tech about later.  Examine the nut and the bridge saddle to make sure they are in one piece and not worn to the point of replacement.  Now, take a brand new set of strings (making sure of course that you are using the right gauge) and start stringing your guitar.  If you want, now is a good time to look on the internet and see whether there are better ways to string your instrument (everybody has their own style, but the pro’s on the web will help you do this task more efficiently and with better results).  As you string the guitar, take a very close look at each string as they lay in the nut slots….are the slots loose?  Does the string sit down in the slot like it was made to fit?  Is the surface of the nut higher than the string?  The slot should have half or just a bit more than half the diameter of the string in it….if it’s too deep or too shallow, your string will not ring properly, or it may be in danger of slipping off the nut.

Once all the strings are on, bring the guitar up to pitch and stretch your strings a bit to relieve them.  The guitar will tune better and stay in tune longer.  Have a strum….does the guitar feel better?  Does it sound better?  Maybe….maybe not, but you have the satisfaction of spending some intimate time with your guitar and giving it the treatment it needs and wants regularly.  We could go into checking your neck set (and whether it needs a truss rod adjustment) and possibly also checking the intonation, but these are more advanced techniques, and not all of you will be comfortable checking these things….so for this blog, you will do well to spend time with your sparkling clean guitar and start playing music.  Remember, music heals all!

Check in next month for more Covid 19 Isolation Tips…..electric guitars and basses!!!!

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