Prevent Damage to Your Guitar | Hub Guitar

Prevent Damage to Your Guitar


Tips for Protecting Your Guitar

Some players pamper and polish their guitars carefully, aiming to keep them in mint condition. Others carry them around outside without a case or leave them lying on the floor where anybody could step. If you want to protect your guitar from damage, here are a few tips.

Prevent Nicks and Bumps

Since guitars have such an awkward shape, even a professional will sometimes accidentally smack something with their guitar.

Be mindful when holding your instrument and put it away when you’re not playing it. Sit in a spacious area free from obstructions. And be careful not to whack the music stand with your guitar.

Traveling With Your Guitar

Your guitar needs a properly-fitted gig bag.

Get a good gig bag

A good gig bag or case can protect your guitar from the perils of travel outdoors. If you carry your instrument around naked, it will be exposed to rain, and all kinds of nicks and dents.

Unfortunately, many low-priced gig bags have minimal padding, leaving the instrument vulnerable to being dented. you’ll want to make sure to get one with thick padding if you’re concerned about the safety of your instrument. (Suggested: Mono M80 Gig Bag[?]Affiliate Link)

Be careful when traveling

It’s ideal to travel with a hard-shell case. But who wants to carry one around? The good news is that as long as you will keep possession of the instrument at all times, a good gig bag will do just fine in most cases. You can use a gig bag for travel by plane, train or automobile. The instrument is most vulnerable to damage when it is handled by someone else. Just make sure you always carry-on your instrument when traveling with your guitar. A guitar in a gig bag should not be stowed in the cargo bay.

A note about your carry-on guitar rights

In 2012, the US Congress mandated that airlines allow passengers to carry-on their musical instruments free of charge, providing that it will fit in the overhead compartment. See the full bill here. There are stipulations and exceptions, but essentially the airliner must accommodate the instrument if there is room for it in the overhead—so board the plane early, and if necessary be prepared to quote this law. Just remember that it’s important to be patient and courteous to both ground staff and flight attendants.

Protection From the Elements

Extremes in temperature and humidity can be devastating

Extreme heat can cause the glue binding the guitar to soften. When this happens, the strings can rip the bridge off. Extreme cold can dry the air and cause humidity problems. Extreme humidity can cause the guitar to warp, though most warping seems to come from extreme dryness. This draws the moisture out of the instrument and causes the wood to crack. In most cases, these cracks can be repaired—for a price.

Get a humidifier

Most guitar players should get—and use—a humidifier. The best place to keep it is in the guitar case, with the guitar. And you should refill at least once per week in the winter—don’t wait until you see the first crack. (Recommended: Oasis Humidifier[?]Affiliate Link)

Finding the Guitar a Home

A guitar properly at rest is a safe guitar.

Get a stand

One of the most important guitar accessories is your guitar stand. Leaning your guitar against a wall or a chair is likely to result in it taking a tumble, especially if you live with small mammals. Usually a guitar will not take serious damage merely from falling to the floor, but this will almost certainly leave small nicks and dents on the instrument. And it is possible for a fallen instrument to suffer a serious crack. (Pictured and Recommended: Hercules Guitar Stand[?]Affiliate Link)

Put a hanger on the wall

If you can, it’s even better to mount a guitar hanger on your wall. A properly-mounted hanger can easily bear the weight of any guitar, and the instrument will be much safer suspended at mid-height than it would be just sitting on a stand somewhere. Even better if you can mount a soft bumper behind the guitar on the wall, which will prevent it from smacking into the wall every time someone touches the instrument. (Recommended: Hercules Wall Mount Stand[?]Affiliate Link)

If you have a lot of guitars, get a guitar room

If you’ve got the means to build an extensive guitar collection, consider getting your own guitar room. It’s fairly simple. You just need a closed room with a thermostat and humidity gauge. Smaller rooms are easier to maintain.

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As the creator of Hub Guitar, Grey has compiled hundreds of guitar lessons, written several books, and filmed hundreds of video lessons. He teaches private lessons in his Boston studio, as well as via video chat through TakeLessons.

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