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Guitar Maintenance
19
02.16

What do you think is the most important factor in how good and playable is your instrument? The price you've paid? The brand? Not really, much of it is in how well you look after it...


How Often Should I Tune my Guitar?


You should tune your guitar every single time you pick it up. Guitars (particularly cheaper ones) tend to go out of tune quickly. Make sure your guitar is in tune when you begin to play it, and check the tuning frequently while you're practicing, as the act of playing the guitar can cause it to go out of tune.


Following items are available to help you to tune your guitar:


Pitch Fork


a. pitch fork      not very easy to use and quite expensive, you need to get only E fork and then use relative tuning for the rest of the strings (directions for relative tuning usually are available in the beginning of any guitar method book).  Expect to pay around €5. 


Pitch Pipe


b. pitch pipe   the cheapest and quite simple tuning help – gives you correct pitch for each string.  Might not be the best choice for a beginner. Expect to pay €2-3.


Electronic Tuner


c. electronic tuner many kinds and types are available. One of the most popular for accuracy and value are clip tuners (shown above). Most models have chromatic mode as well as one specific for guitar, bass, violin.  Best choice for a beginner. Expect to pay  €12-20 for a simple model.


How Often Should I Change My Strings?


Take a look at the strings of your guitar. Are they discolored or rusty? Are any of the strings broken/ missing? Is your guitar losing tuning easily? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if it's been several months since you put new strings on your guitar, it's time for a string change. Changing strings a minimum of every couple months is a very good idea. New strings make your guitar sound brighter, and generally make it easier to play. Old guitar strings often behave badly - they'll lose tuning more quickly, sound less "bright", and give you problems with intonation. Old guitar strings also break more often


Washing your hands before playing and wiping your guitar strings after playing prolongs life of your guitar strings.


Dunlop Ultra Glide shields strings against tarnish and corrosion, extending their playing life. It delivers a silky smooth conditioning to string surfaces, eliminating finger squeaks.


Strings


Changing strings is not hard to do properly, but changing them improperly can mess up your instrument. If you not sure, you can visit our shop – we will change your strings and if you wish show you how to do it yourself.  


Action


Action refers to the height of the strings above the fretboard. Classical guitars with nylon strings usually have their strings quite high and as long as pressing them is comfortable enough, your guitar probably is fine. Action is very important in electric and acoustic guitars.


Basic guitar maintenance:


Never-Do's


Never subject your guitar to extreme heat or cold, or very moist or dry conditions, which can damage or destroy your instrument. Heat and moisture, for example, can loosen glue joints to the point where they separate or come apart. Dry or cold air can crack wood or the finish.


Always Do's


These simple guitar maintenance tips should be followed every time you touch the instrument. 


Keep it clean
Natural oils, dead skin, lotions and soaps... all transfer from you to your instrument. Fine particles in the air from air fresheners, cooking, deodorant, hair spray, etc., also adhere to the surface of the strings and body. As part of a sound guitar maintenance routine, start by washing your hands before you play or practice. Then, before putting your instrument away, wipe your strings and instrument off with a clean soft cloth. 


Wipe your instrument off every time you use it. Clean every nook and cranny when you change the strings, or more often if you like.


So, what if you don't have time?

At our shop we offer full selection of services for your guitar (or any other instrument), so if you are unwilling to invest in cleaning solutions or find time to clean your instrument yourself just ask us about available services.


Expect to pay:


change of strings: you pay only for the strings - change is free of charge


basic service: clean & polish the body, oil fretboard - 15Euro


service: clean &polish the body, clean&oil fingerboard, polish frets - 25 Euro


full cleanup service, adjustment, rewiring, fret job, and a selection of other repairs are available - click here to see full service price list - for most of jobs we will need to see the instrument in order to quote a cost of the job



And if you do have the time, following Dunlop cleaning solutions are available from our store:



Dunlop Polishing cloth - Dunlop polishing cloth - 100% soft lint free cotton flannel, perfect for applying lemon oil, polish and string cleaner.

Dunlop Formula 65 Polish & Cleaner - Dunlop Formula 65 polish & cleaner - Cleans totally and quickly. Restores any finish to its original luster. Leaves a micro-thin, resistant protective layer and won't build up. Perfect for daily use.

Formula 65 Fingerboard Cleaner - Dunlop Formula 65 fingerboard cleaner - Removes buildup from crevices to restore tone, clarity and original intonation.

Formula 65 Fingerboard Conditioner - Dunlop Formula 65  fingerboard conditioner - Prevents warping and cracking while replenishing the proper oil balance of the wood. Conditions with a protective layer while bringing out the rich wood look.

Formula 65 Bodygloss - Carnauba Wax - Dunlop Formula 65 Bodygloss Cream of Carnauba - The highest grade carnauba wax, in a proprietary formulation. Polishes and beautifies, while hiding and sealing small cracks. Leaves a moisture and stain resistant barrier.

Formula 65 Lemon Oil - Dunlop Formula 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil - Ultimate Lemon Oil will remove grime and return your fretboard to its original luster quickly and easily.

Formula 65 Ultraglide - Dunlop Formula 65 Ultra Glide - Shields strings against tarnish and corrosion, extending their playing life. It delivers a silky smooth conditioning to string surfaces, eliminating finger squeaks.

* None of the cleaners are suitable for maple fingerboard.
** Always carefully read directions on a bottle before use.
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