temperature changes (hot and cold) and moisture. To prevent damage, care should be taken during storage, short or long term, to ensure a clean, temperature controlled environment for your electric guitar. With proper care and maintenance, your guitar will provide you with many years of enjoyment.
The instrument should be kept in a hard guitar case or gig bag. Obviously, a good hard case is desirable, but more expensive. A padded vinyl or leather gig bag offers little or no protection against structural damage, but will keep the dust and grime from collecting on the instrument and it’s components, with leather providing more protection. The guitar, being made of wood, is very sensitive to ambient factors such as direct sunlight,
After the cleaning and polishing, storage is the next issue of electric guitar care. As to loosening the tension of the guitar strings during long term storage, there are two basic schools of thought. One opinion states that the constant string tension during storage will damage the guitar neck and the strings should be loosened. Another popular opinion is that relieving the string tension will damage the neck, so the guitar strings should not be loosened unless absolutely necessary to perform maintenance or repairs. You’ll have to decide which opinion you think is valid and act accordingly.
Dust particles can collect on the finish, around the magnetic pickups and inside the volume and tone controls. This can be prevented with regular
cleaning with low pressure compressed air, a soft brush or a clean soft cotton polishing cloth. Remember, the guitar pickups must be kept dry. Any moisture, such as from liquid polish, has the potential to short out the pickup and disrupt its magnetic field. The guitar strings should be wiped down individually with a clean, untreated polish cloth after each use to prevent corrosion, which will extend the life of the strings.
One of the most important parts of electric guitar setup and maintenance, yet is often overlooked, is regular cleaning and polishing. The majority of
electric guitar bodies and necks are made out of wood and have metal components. Deposits of oil transferred to the instrument and strings from the hands of the player, temperature, humidity, heavy cigarette smoke and other corrosive substances in the guitar’s environment aggressively attack the finish of the instrument and its components. To counteract these elements of destruction and save your instrument, regular cleaning and polishing is a necessary component of guitar care.
The player should wipe down their electric guitar after each playing session, especially the strings, the fretboard, tuning keys and the back of the neck. The gloss finished parts of the instrument should be polished routinely to protect the finish. Only a good quality guitar polish, specifically formulated for wood instruments, should be used. Do not use common furniture polish as it is designed for a completely different application and quite possibly will damage your guitar’s finish. Use only a soft, clean, non treated, dry, cotton flannel polishing cloth on the fretboard and the finished surfaces. Do not use any polish on the guitar fretboard or strings. For the metal components (except the magnetic pickups), a nonabrasive metal or chrome polish should be used. It should be noted once again that is critical to use a clean, non treated, soft cotton flannel polish cloth to keep from scratching the finish. Cloth made from abrasive materials such as polyester will scratch the finish and must not be used!