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Basic Care & Maintenance of String Instruments
ALFIERI GUITARS Long Island, NY USA Don Alfieri
HUMIDITY: In dry conditions (in the northeastern USA, when the heating system gets turned on in the fall and throughout the winter until the heat gets turned off) some sort of device should be placed in the instrument case to keep the humidity level acceptable (see Storage below). Check every couple of days! Do NOT use an apple or some other biodegradable object (yes, I have heard of this being done). POLISH: Use a high quality, white cream polish designated for guitars, furniture or lacquered wood objects. Do NOT even think about using any substance that contains silicon. Avoid any product that contains silicon. RESTRINGING: When changing strings it is advisable to replace all the strings for the best tonal balance and intonation. But do NOT remove all the strings at one time. Instead, remove one string, replace and bring the new string up to correct pitch before loosening another string for removal. STORAGE: Ideally, instruments should be stored at 42% RH / 72°F. Ranges of 30-70% RH and 60-80°F are acceptable. Extremes past these numbers are dangerous. Avoid under 20% humidity and freezing or over 100° temperatures. NEVER leave an instrument in an attic, damp basement, trunk of a car, or hanging on or in a closet of an outside wall, etc.. If you wouldn't be comfortable somewhere, neither would your guitar. The best advice I can offer, after being around guitars for over forty years, is, if it isn't in your lap it should be in a closed and locked wooden case. OTHER QUESTIONS: Clients are always welcome to telephone or write with questions. Non-clients are requested to write (and include a self-addressed. stamped envelope) for technical assistance.
"A fine guitar isn't expensive...it's priceless!" TIPS ©2000, 2005 For more fretted instrunent care click on Site Contents above and see the menu for more info.