Maintaining your instrument: 6 things you need to know

Over the years, I have noticed that many of my clients regularly come to me with problems like tuning issues and changes in the intonation of the instrument or even the the appearance of the neck.
These problems can be avoided, or at least made less frequent, through careful maintenance of the electric bass or guitar (acoustic, electric or classical).

To help, here are 6 essential steps to take good care of your instrument:

1. Clean the strings well both on top and underneath, because dirt can affect the sound.

2. Do not store the guitar or bass in a damp environment as this could lead to problems with the wood or cause the strings to break.

3. Clean the pickups carefully before putting the instrument back in its case.

4. Clean the body and the surface of the bridge.

5. Change the strings whenever you notice they are dirty or don’t feel smooth under your fingers. As a general rule, I recommend doing this every 2 to 3 months, although it depends how much time you spend playing your instrument each day.

6. Give the instrument to a luthier at least once a year for a complete setup and overhaul. This involves checking the intonation of the instrument, cleaning the fingerboard, adjusting the neck (if necessary), polishing and humidifying the wood, and carrying out a general inspection to see whether the guitar or bass requires any other work.

If you think your instrument needs a setup and overhaul, email me at [email protected]. And don’t forget to follow the few steps I’ve listed above to avoid damaging your instrument.