It doesn’t matter whether your guitar is an old beat up bang box or a top of the line brand spanking new dream machine, it deserves respect. By following some very basic tips, your guitar will continue to provide ongoing service and enjoyment for many years. But most important of all, you must learn to keep your instrument safe. I have seen far too many instruments lost, badly damaged and even destroyed by owners not adhering to some basic guitar safety rules.
Read on to see how you can learn from the mistakes of others.
1, Don't let gravity have it's way, be careful where you rest your guitar
Never lean or rest your guitar on or against whatever is close at hand. There is a good chance that with very little help, gravity will have its way and your guitar will be headed for a nasty fall. A guitar is under considerable tension from the strings, and even a light fall can easily break a headstock or neck join. And if you have a guitar stand, always make sure you use it. If you don’t already have a stand, now might be the time to get one.
2, Don't forget to check your case latches are secured
Another good habit to get into when giving your instrument a rest is putting it back securely in its case… but don’t forget to do up the case latches. I personally have had guitars take a tumble when an unsecured case is lifted. Shop Cases & Bags here.
3, Guitar bags offered limited protection so be careful where you store them
Guitar bags are popular, but remember they only offer limited protection, and if used when stowing away your swag of gear in the boot or back of a station wagon, it’s a recipe for disaster.
When you get you guitar out down the road you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
4, Check that strap locks are secure before you play
Another cause of damage from falls is when the strap is not properly fastened to the strap pins. Strap locks are a good investment, but I advise you to always check that the strap is secure every time you play no matter what system you use. Shop Guitar Straps here.
5, Extreme temperatures are bad news for your guitar
Never leave your guitar exposed to extremes in temperature. Even a case will not help protect a guitar from heat and cold. And just like children and pets, you must never leave your instrument locked in a hot car for any length of time. Heat will warp and kill a guitar’s tone in no time at all. And when storing your guitar, keep it away from direct sunlight and do not place it close to heaters or air conditioning outlets. If you live in an extremely dry or moist environment, I suggest you look into keeping a humidifier in your case to stop the instrument from either drying out or absorbing moisture.
6, Do a double check for your guitar before you leave a venue
You may find this next tip hard to believe but it has happened more often than you would think. After the gig or rehearsal is over and you’re packing the gear into your vehicle, always make sure you do a double check of your guitar. I have seen guitars left on the curb of a dark street and in most cases they are never to be seen again. In fact, never leave your guitar unattended no matter how cold the beer or how ardent your admirers. There is a strong possibility it won’t be there when you get back.
7, If you get an electric shock from equipment you should stop playing and let someone know
And one final tip for personal safety. If you are playing at home, at a rehearsal studio or performance venue, and you receive an electric shock through either your instrument or when touching a microphone (or both), you are in a potentially lethal situation. Stop using the equipment and bring this immediately to the attention of the sound crew or venue owner.