A classical guitar demands a little care and attention from time to time to keep it in the optimum condition for playing. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you to keep your classical guitar in the best shape for years of outstanding playing.
Polishing The Guitar Body
New guitars shouldn’t need an awful lot of polishing or cleaning. More often then not, the worst a guitar can pick up is a little dust. However, it’s hard to avoid the marks from greasy fingerprints. These are unlikely to cause damage to the finish, but if ignored, can lead to greasy build ups.
After each use, a quick rub down with a cloth can get rid of these marks. There are cloths designed for the removal of grease from guitars, but any cotton cloth will do. In fact, a lot of people like to keep an old t-shirt for just that purpose.
Cleaning The Fretboard
The fretboard, or fingerboard, will be exposed to much more grease and grime that the guitar’s body. Because the strings are in the way, this makes it hard to get to the fingerboard and the frets. After a lot of playing, this dirt will build up mainly around the frets themselves.
Many people suggest wire wool to clean frets, but be careful not to make contact with the fingerboard. You might wish to cover the board with masking tape first if you want it to avoid contact with abrasion.
Taking Care Of Guitar Strings
Depending on the kind of classical guitar you’re playing, such as an acoustic or electro acoustic classical guitar, you will need to take care of your nylon on metal strings. However, no matter what guitar strings you use, one thing remains the same; the older they get, the worse they sound.
You can tell when your strings need changing, as they exhibit the following signs:
- very difficult to tune,
- dull sound,
- feel more uncomfortable to play,
- appear dark or corroded,
- it’s harder for the strings to stretch, making notes sound sharp.
It’s impossible to downplay the importance of changing your strings regularly. Certainly if you’re using your guitar on a professional or semi-professional stage, you’ll probably need to change them every time you play. However, for non-stage playing and practice, every one to three months should be sufficient for changing guitar strings.
These tips should help to offer a good, basic guideline on the care of your acoustic or electro acoustic classical guitar. As with any specialist instrument, you will learn more over time, and if you have any questions, your guitar shop will be able to help.
So take care of your guitar, and it will give you many years of perfect playing.
Peter Shorney blogs about music, TV, film and other kinds of pop culture.