13 July 2021

The best tips for looking after your guitar

By Lark Music
Man tuning a guitar

Owning an instrument means taking care of it so that when it comes to playing and performing you won’t be let down. Here, we offer some essential maintenance tips to help keep your guitar in tip-top condition, from how to store it to finding the right guitar insurance.

  1. Store it at a safe temperature

As most guitars are made from wood, they are can be affected by temperature. Leaving your guitar in hot and humid conditions can cause its body to swell, warping the wood and impacting the strings, while conditions that are too cold and dry may result in the wood shrinking and cracking. To protect your guitar, keep it away from radiators and windows in a regularly-used room in the house – not in a cold garage or hot loft. If humidity is a problem, consider investing in a dehumidifier.

  1. Keep up the cleaning

Regular cleaning is one of the best ways to maintain any instrument and the guitar is no exception. Sweat, dead skin and oils from your hands all leave their marks on your guitar, causing damage over time. To keep your guitar clean and functioning well, wipe it over with a dry cloth every time you finish playing and consider using a string cleaning lubricant regularly. There are plenty available on the market.

  1. String it out

Keeping strings in good condition will keep them playing well for longer, which will reduce how often you have to restring your guitar and ultimately save you money. The simplest trick is to wash your hands before playing, and wipe down your strings as mentioned above. But when it’s time to restring your guitar, it’s important you get this tricky operation right or you might cause issues such as bad tuning. Make sure you get good quality strings that match the type of guitar and if you’re unsure how to re-string it yourself, get a professional to show you how.

  1. Look after your body

It’s not just the strings you need to care for, the body of your guitar needs maintaining too. Start with the frets. The fret wires in particular can pick up muck so use a toothpick to gently scrape off dirt. If you have an acoustic guitar, consider conditioning the fretboard with special conditioner to stop the wood from cracking. You can also buy specialist cleaning and polishing products for the headstock, neck and body, although a dry cloth is usually sufficient to keep these in good order. Lastly, don’t forget to clean and lubricate the nut slots to prevent dirt building up and damaging the strings. Believe it or not, pencil lead graphite is an excellent lubricant to use here.

  1. Safety on the move

Whether you’re a gigging musician or simply take your guitar to jam with friends, you should always transport it safely. For short trips to small venues such as pubs, then a good quality gig bag will be light and portable while still offering excellent protection. However, if you’re travelling further afield and taking public transport, then a hard-shell case will offer better protection for your guitar. And if you’re travelling via plane, a flight case is always the best option!

  1. Always get guitar insurance

Careful maintenance of your guitar will keep it working well but if it gets damaged, lost or stolen, how will you pay for its repair or be sure of a replacement? For the majority of musicians, their instruments are their pride and joy. That’s why taking out guitar insurance is always the best option. This will cover your instrument in the event of calamity, whether it’s a snapped neck strap or theft at a gig, and ensure you’ve got comprehensive protection at all times – not just from your home insurance.

If you teach or gig regularly, then Public Liability insurance is necessary too. This protects you from being liable in case of an accident or damage when you’re performing and, with many venues now insisting on this cover before confirming bookings, it’s wise to get ahead of the game.

Guitar insurance

If you’re looking for guitar insurance, our team is happy to help. Don’t forget about Public Liability for musicians if you’re performing! You can easily add it to your guitar insurance policy*.

*Please note you cannot buy a stand-alone public liability insurance policy with Lark Music.