How to store a guitar

The durability of your guitar, whether classical, acoustic or electric, is determined by how much effort you choose to put towards its maintenance. Storing your guitar correctly extends its durability and reliability levels. 

The guitar is a pretty sensitive musical instrument and it is susceptible to high levels of force and can get damaged easily.

To prevent any kind of damages to your guitar, you may need to start storing it safely.

There are multiple storage ways that can add to the durability of your guitar depending on the situation at hand.

Mainly, you can store your guitar on wall hooks, guitar stands, gig bags or hard shell cases.

Whichever you choose also depends on your personal preferences.

Before we begin, let us understand what happens when you do not properly take care of your guitar?

When you do not take care of your guitar, you may end up experiencing issues such as fret buzz.

Fret buzz is basically the annoying sound that is caused by a guitar string buzzing/rattling against the fret wire when you pluck the strings when playing.

Aside from that, high action on your guitar is sometimes caused by low maintenance levels of your guitar.

High action makes your guitar strings harder to press down and this tampers with intonation. High action also makes your guitar very uncomfortable to play.

Improper care of your guitar could also result in swollen or shrinking frets.

Your guitar frets can swell when the moisture levels are too high and a shrinkage occurs when the moisture levels are too low.

When the fretboard on your guitar begins to shrink, you will notice, fret sprouts which leave the frets on your bass jutting out from the board.

Other times, you may identify sharp fret ends on your guitar due to the shrinking neck.

Also, when you neglect your guitar, you will have to deal with issues such as glue failure and warping neck.

All the glue joints on your guitar are susceptible to failure in extremely hot or humid weather conditions and under cold weather.

You may notice the neck of your guitar rising above the headstock ends of your guitar which we call warping.

Tuning and intonation problems may also arise when you do not take care of your guitar and you may also begin to notice cracks in the top, back, sides, neck or body of your guitar.

How can you store your guitar?

To store your guitar, you can use the following;

Hard Shell Cases

If you are looking for a long term storage solution, you may want to invest in a hard shell case for your guitar.

Hard shell cases offer the best protection for your guitar as they are able to entirely protect your guitar from physical damage.

Should the case fall or gets knocked over accidentally, your guitar remains intact as it is enclosed in a properly sealed casing. Hard shell cases also shield your guitar from climate changes such as humidity and temperature changes.

Hard shell cases are the most ideal storage means if you are a frequent traveler and need to always carry your guitar with you.

The only problem with hard shell cases is that they tend to become heavy and sometimes they are too big to carry around at all times especially if you are heavily invested in gig performances.

A minor downfall to using hard shell cases for storing your guitar, you do not get the chance to display your guitar as often as you would want to.

You can however sort this out by finding a hard shell case that fits the exact measurements of your guitar to reduce bulk.

Gig Bags

Gig bags are simply one of the best storage solutions if you are heavily invested in stage performances and if you always have to carry your guitar with you everywhere you go.

Technically, gig bags are much lighter than hard shell cases and less bulky. As they do not entirely protect your guitar from physical damage, they still protect your guitar from scratches and cracks on your guitar.

Keep in mind that you should not leave your guitar in extremely hot or humid conditions because your guitar would eventually get damaged.

Guitar Stands

Generally, there are two types of stands, that is, tripod style stands and regular body stands.

Whichever you choose to store your guitar on entirely depends on your personal preferences but tripod style stands seem to be sturdier than regular body stands because they support the entire guitar including the neck.

If you need easy access to your guitar, you may need to invest in a guitar stand.

Guitar stands generally allow you to fully display your guitar and even have the potential to raise the aesthetic fabric of your room when need be.

Unfortunately, using guitar stands fully exposes your guitar and does not necessarily protect it from changes in the climate or physical damages.

When it gets too hot, the heat may get to your guitar and tamper with its structure or when it gets too humid you may notice a few changes on your guitar.

Other times, your guitar may get knocked over easily and break in the process. Also, your guitar remains susceptible to scratches when you place them on a guitar stand.

With this in mind, it is safe to establish that guitar stands have been designed to offer some kind of support that prevents your guitar from falling over.

They simply serve as a temporary solution and works best for low traffic areas.

Wall Mounts

Wall mounts are the best option for displaying your guitar in a room and keeping it off the floor.

However, it does not necessarily store your guitar entirely but it is a good way to prevent certain levels of force that could damage your guitar.

Wall mounts do not take up too much storage space and you wouldn’t need to worry so much about accidentally knocking over your guitar.

Unfortunately, to successfully install wall mounts for storing your guitar, you would need to drill holes on your wall which may tamper with the aesthetic fabric of your wall or it may leave cracks on your wall if not properly done.

Generally, wall mounts are often a temporary option and ideal for low traffic areas.

A Summary Table

Storage type
Condition
Best for
Hard shell cases
Permanent solution
Both high and low traffic areas
Gig bags
Temporary and Permanent solution
Both high and low traffic areas
Guitar stands
Temporary solution
Low Traffic areas
Wall Mounts
Temporary solution
Low Traffic areas

Final Thoughts

Properly storing your guitar goes a long way. It maintains the resale value of your guitar and it extends its durability levels which is an added advantage for your music journey.

FAQs

Can I loosen my guitar strings for storage?

Yes, you can.

Generally, your guitar strings do not need regular tension during storage but having no string tension at all may cause the neck of your guitar to bow.

Do I need to detune my guitar for storage?

If you are storing your guitar for very long periods of time, you would need to tune your guitar down ½ to 1 full step and ensure that you have kept in the right humidity conditions.

Cooper Green

Music we must say is complex but according to Cooper Green, with the right information creating good music is a breeze. Guitars are a single aspect in the complex world of music but which play a major role, the problem however, lies in finding the right guitar for the relevant application. There are so many brands of guitars, each of which are differently configured but offer the best sounds. Cooper has been in the music industry for over 10 years, he recently started interacting with enthusiasts in the various platforms and therefore, shares his knowledge on music in general and specifically on guitars. And with the markets now flooded with knockoffs, among his missions is to help upcoming musicians get good quality music instruments or guitars.

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