Care Tips for Guitar

Tuning machines:
  • The metal parts of the machines (snails, gear wheels) remain smooth-running with a drop of acidless oil once or twice a year (on the plastic string rollers or the wood drillings however no oil may arrive).
  • Occasionally it can be necessary to pull tight the mounting screws of the baseplates.
Strings:
The strings of a correct tuned 6-string classical guitar sum up to a tension load of approximately 40 kilograms, but the spruce or cedar top on which they are fixed is only about 2,5 millimetres strong.
  • In case of changing strings it preserves the construction when they are changed individually successively, while the remaining ones stay in tune.
  • Should it be necessary to remove them all at the same time (e.g. during long playing intermissions or transports) a dangerous one-sided tension load to the top can be prevented by stringing them up and down symmetrically pairwise (that means e.g. first E-string and e-string, afterwards A-string and b-string, finally D-string and g-string).
  • Knots at the ends of the nylon strings secure them against slipping through the bridge drillings.
  • By wiping of the strings after playing (e.g. with a cotton cloth) humidity and dirt are removed. Thus the corrosion of the metal wounded bass strings is reduced and their durability is extended.
  • Sharp edges of nuts, saddles or frets can destroy the string. Occasionally it will be necessary to work these over.
Shellac:
Shellac reacts sensitively to acid and heat and it is relatively soft. Its scratching and abrasion resistance is only small.
  • The polish should be protected against intensive exposure of the sun or other strong heat sources.
  • Underlayed cotton cloths or soft leather rags help to avoid scratches by buttons, zippers etc. and a possible reaction of the shellac with the acid in sweat.
  • During changing strings a leather rag placed at the lower edge of the bridge protects against nail scratches.
  • To clean the polished surfaces usual household dust cloths may be used, if heavily soiled also cotton cloths easily dampened with warm water. Then however the surfaces should be wiped off with dry cloths afterwards, and no cleaning agents should be added to the warm water.
  • Other polishes or cleaners first must be examined to their compatibility with shellac before used.
Storage:
Wood is hygroscopic, i.e. it can deliver or take up humidity. The delivery and/or admission begins, if there exists a gradient between the humidity content of the wood and that of the wood surrounding air. By delivery or admission of humidity volume and form of the wood can change. It may shrink and shorten or swell and expand. This is the reason why extreme climatic conditions (particularly dryness or abrupt changes of air humidity and temperature) lead very fast to deformations and cracks. Warm air can adhere much more water (in form of invisible water vapour) than cold. Therefore danger threatens in winter by dry heated air, in areas with air conditioning, during strong exposure of the sun or near strong heat sources (e.g. heating elements).
But also too high air humidity (over 75 % relative humidity) can impair the static condition and thus the sound and durability of the guitar.
  • The relative air humidity can be observed with a hygrometer, and at values under 45 % water should be evaporated, e.g. by wet towels which are put over radiators, or air humidifying devices.
  • Special humidifiers can be placed inside the guitar cases or even inside the guitar.
  • Against too high air humidity dehumidifying devices may be used.
German Musical Instrument Prize 2008
category classical guitar, awarded to Sascha Nowak, Guitar Construction by the Ministry of Economics and Technology on 13.03.08 at the Franfurt Music Fair
more...

Festivals / Dates:
Internationale Gitarrenfestspiele Nuertingen
Meet me there from 30.07.08 to 02.08.08 at the guitar exhibition and try different models.
more...

Theme:
Concept and „Philosophy“ of my Guitar Construction

more...

Theme:
Care Tips for Guitar
Useful tips about strings, humidity, storage, tuning machines, etc.
more...

Theme:
Shellac
Information about origin, grades, care, etc.
more...

More Themes:
Intonation / Temperature /
Resonance Profile / Fourier-Analysis /
coming soon ... ...