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Guitar care

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• The greatest threat is humidity or extreme dryness and above all, a sudden change in atmosphere, from a damp to a dry one. Fast evaporation of moisture may cause cracks, agedness of how aged the wood might be.

• Heaters and radiators of any kind create an extremely dry atmosphere. To counteract this hazard a small container with water may be placed alongside the instrument. This will avoid dryness of atmosphere.

• A further option is to place a damp sponge in the case under the head of the guitar, in a plastic bag containing pin-pricked holes, checking the sponge periodically to ensure that it does not dry out.

• Excessive moisture softens and spoils the glues employed, thus causing detachments.

• Do not forget that all wood is a hygroscopic material which easily absorbs or expels moisture, depending on how damp or dry the atmosphere surrounding it is. To keep the instrument under control against this hazard, the use of a well-regulated hygrometer is recommended, in order to verify that the instrument is maintained between 50 and 60% of the action hardens, and the ends of the metal frets jut out. Above 60%, the instrument undergoes a loss of sonority, detachment of parts, and slackening of the adequate action, thus producing «buzzing».

• The ideal action for a classic guitar is 4 mm for the 6th string and 3 mm for the first, taking the distance from the ridge of the 12th fret and underneath the string, once the guitar is tuned properly. Excessive moisture reduces these distances and dryness increase them.

• These instruments should never hung from a wall, since humidity, as a rule, accumulates in walls.

• A crack in the instrument is not too important if and when it is taken immediately to a good guitar repairman. If the crack is produced in the upper surface and in the vicinity of the bridge, it is advisable to quickly loosen up the string.

• It is also advisable to always have the guitar tuned in the same key. If a change of strings is desired, this should not be done all at once, but rather one by one. In other words, each old string is to be substituted by a new string one at a time, tuning each new string, during the process, in accordance with the old ones. The purpose of this procedure is to maintain always the same tensile stress to which the top surface and bridge of the instrument are accustomed; otherwise, there would be a decrease in the instrument’s sonority which would take some time to recover.

• To clean dirty spots on the varnish, rub with a slightly damp cloth.

• In the strings «buzz» when strummed without pressing the fingers on the fingerboard, this is due to a wearing out of the grooves in the bone piece located at the head of the guitar, thus causing and excessive depth of the grooves. This is easily remedied by placing a small strip of thin cardboard under the bone piece, and this normally suffices to compensate for the loss of height over the first metal fret. ANWEISUNGEN ZUR BESSEREN ERHALTUNG VON