Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Guitars - Long Term Care Input


uncle fester
 Share

Recommended Posts

Folks - I got my (1st) Gibby, loving it to death and hoping (some day way down the road) to pass it on to someone who would appreciate it. My intention is to play it like you read about, so knowing that, do folks have input on long term care items I should be aware of to help avoid pitfalls down the road?

 

What I've got on my radar:


  1.  
  2. Humidity management
  3. Oil the fretboard every once in awhile
  4. Keep your fretting fingernales short (to avoid digging grooves into the fretboard)

 

The third is what got me thinking about posting this question (I had seen it in a post explaining to someone how they got the divets. I'd rather not have something happened that will be explained to me why, if I could avoid it).

 

Are there any other things people would recommend I pay attention to over the long term?

 

Rgds - billroy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not really worry about my guitars all that much. Maybe it is because they are all old enough that I have a faith in their ability to survive. The only thing I do regularly is wipe the strings and guitar down with some cheesecloth. As a rule, I also do not leave guitars out on stands even for a short time but throw them in their cases. And never ever close the lids leaving them unlatched.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others, just use some common sense and enjoy the guitar. I got my first Gibson in 1974 and didn't do anything to protect it. Stored it in the original POS chipboard case for almost 40 years, never even knew that "humidifiers" existed. Never oiled the fretboard. Never got a manicure. Now granted, this didn't help preserve it and a few years ago it finally became unplayable. After a $400 trip to the luthier, it literally sounded and played better than the day I bought it. My son in law loved it so much, I gave it to him.

 

I'm not suggesting that you completely neglect your guitar like I did, but I also don't think you need to worry unless you are subjecting it to some serious abuse. I don't practice "case management" with my newer Gibsons. They sit on stands in my little studio area. I keep an eye on humidity, which I keep in the 40 to 50 percent range during the winter. Summers are no problem here, even with the AC on, it rarely drops below 60 percent. My 1965 and 2008 Gibsons seem quite content with this.

Edited by Boyd
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine are, to me, works of art as well as instruments and I think the amount of work put into designing and making them deserves some work on my part.....

 

So every light build guitar has its own Humidipak system in the case which I wipe the guitar down every time I play it and put in its case. I have just got it the habit of doing it....the dog knows when it hears the strings being wiped.......it can come in and wag that deadly tail while sniffing the closed guitar case!

 

Things still happen, oh well.....a tiny screw fell off something, no idea what yet and went unnoticed in the cradle for the neck in the old L-0 case.....when I took the guitar out to play, there were fresh little deep gouges in the back of the neck and I did Not remeber knocking the guitar and then I saw the screw when packing up.

 

I am also jammed up a bit in my music room full of gits and stuff and I carelessly have got in a habit of leaning a guitar against my desk instead of putting it in a guitar stand. I have knocked some over, but caught them....most times!...

 

So enjoy them and look after them and learn more stuff up the dusty end of the neck to spread the divits more evenly!

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is what I do to take care of mine:

 

Always case them when not in use

Never lean them on anything

Keep them away from vinyl, rubber, and plastics

Oil fret board about once a year

Humidify during winter

Always close all case latches

Tune down one full step when not being played for a while

Avoid shirts with metal buttons or zippers

No keys in pockets while playing

No bug spray on arms while playing

Cut fingernails on fretting hand

No hard rock

Don't lend to friends unless they know above

 

I guess that's about it. Mostly common sense...

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine hang off the wall from wall hangers, get leaned up against the cabin, go for rides to the cabin in the truck without the case, heck I took the J-45 to Louisiana without a case once because of space limitations.

 

I try not to bang em' up against stuff, but they've been used and will continue to get used.

 

I don't baby anything, including my kids when they were babies.

 

Common sense, but they get used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds gross to write, but it’s true. Use some light polish on it after you you play outdoor gigs and if wearing a short sleeve shirt and if sweating up like a sieve while playing it. So you remove the gook on it after you get home. Otherwise it builds up. If you do it after a sweaty short sleeve shirt gig, you’ll keep the instrument’s finish new looking. Other than that, just play it and enjoy it, managing the humidity if needed depending where you live.

 

Enjoy!

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a fun little sidebar if you please. It was 101 degrees in Bozeman yesterday. Not so impressive? Well add to that a Relative Humidity of 6% and you have a real problem with your guitar's well being. Yup it sent all of us running for our humidifiers.

 

We have a lot of smoke from California and we do have a fire down around Big Sky but all is fairly well for the time being. If you are traveling to Yellowstone Park or Bozeman anytime soon be very careful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

101 degrees and only 6% rel. humidity - this a hard. We had a very long and hot summer in Europe going up to 95 degrees but always around 50% humidity.

 

I have followed this discusson and there are many interesting points. My oldest dreadnought is 40 years old and when I bought it we did not even know that the fretboards needs some oil. Just cleaned it ... Had sme medium strings on it, going back to light, the guitar was never in a case, hanging on the wall of the rehearsal room at the moment. I can see no negative influence besides some fading of the red colour (it is an Ibanez Concord) and the dust which has to be removed from time to time. Transporation has always been in gigbags, but I have never sent it by plane for example. was always under my control.Surprisingly the top has still no belly and it did not Need a neck reset which would cost much more than the guitar is worth.

 

The item with the "manicure" is a good point as I have "pits" between the frets of the well known cowboy-chord positions.

 

It think the guitar would look better after 40 years in a case. On the other Hand - the worst damages which really hurt me have happened in the first 2 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone will have a different answer here Bill

 

What works for ME..

 

Acoustics are in their cases unless I'm using them. and I humidify in the winter. as you know, it's dangerously dry around these parts in the cold weather months for instruments

 

Fretboard conditioning.. that's a debatable topic, but I usually just wipe a dab of some F1 fretboard oil or Guitar honey when I change strings. (Use Elixir Nano Web, I can get about 4 months out of a string change.) if the fretboard doesn't look dry, I don't use the oil.

 

I try to keep em clean, but I'm not OCD about it. Fingerprints are gonna happen, dings/dents and "Ah sh!t!" things are gonna happen. But in their cases, it reduces the % of risk.

 

Check your fret wear and find someone who can do a level ever few years if you notice serious fret wear happening. It's gonna happen, no way around it especially the first 6 /7 freats.

 

Beyond that, these are pretty hearty things if you keep an eye in the climates. The casing helps a lot, it seals the guitar from the extremes, and it's in a safe spot..

 

I have a 1978 Alvarez Yari (back when these where hand made). I had some frets replaced a few years ago, the nut has been replaced twice, and I've worn out 2 saddle pickups since I've had it, (I got this one sometime in the 80s..) It is still an excellent guitar, and it's 40 years old in about 2 weeks.

 

I think if you just take some basic common sense approaches, these thing can last forever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Folks, Lots of good take-aways, so just wanted to summarize what I've got:

 

Must Dos (IMO):


  •  
  • Humidity Management
  • Oil the fretboard
  • Trim your fretting hand fingernails
  • De gunk the guitar after sweaty gigs
  • Beware bug spray

 

Should Dos


  •  
  • Common sense handling - if not cased, then be careful
  • Beware rowdy kids, and dogs, and other commotion creating creatures
  • Expect the most painful dings to happen in the first 2 years
  • Only travel to bozeman with proper humidification capabilities - but travel to Bozeman!
  • Play the cr@p out of it
     

 

Thank you again for the input, some good stuff to keep in mind!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All been said Bill...

 

Humidity control is about it in my view. And if you have a pickup with a 9v battery, make sure the battery doesn't corrode in the guitar.

 

I dont oil the fretboard. I just wash it down with a damp cloth when I change strings. I also sometimes use Virtuoso polish because it makes me feel good, and is part of a ritual - not because the guitar needs it. My 2012 J50 looks new, and I gig with it fairly often.

I do remember not knowing about humidifying. I had an early 2000s J200 that I left on the stand in my living room. One day - I heard POP. The top cracked and the bridge came loose.

 

Oh, and by the way... I keep my guitars out hanging.

 

QfAcRPc.jpg

 

From about December through April I run a Vornado Evap40 humidifier. I use tap water and a bacteria-static additive, and change the filters each month. Its easy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others, just use some common sense and enjoy the guitar. I got my first Gibson in 1974 and didn't do anything to protect it. Stored it in the original POS chipboard case for almost 40 years, never even knew that "humidifiers" existed. Never oiled the fretboard. Never got a manicure. Now granted, this didn't help preserve it and a few years ago it finally became unplayable. After a $400 trip to the luthier, it literally sounded and played better than the day I bought it. My son in law loved it so much, I gave it to him.

 

We used to call this folly of youth relicing. I played in a lot of bars in the day and not only did I sweat all over my guitars but there was a cigarette smoke haze constantly wafting through the air. The electric that was my constant companion was a 1958 Tele. Over the years the maple board had turned kind of an amber brown. I thought the thing was just aging. Then one day I dropped it off for some minor work. When I picked it up I did not even recognized the thing. The repair guy had actually cleaned it. He showed me the cloth he had used. All I can say is it was pretty yucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...