DIY: Fixing minor problems in your acoustic guitar

The best way to keep a guitar playing well and sounding good is good maintenance. Taking good care is always a must to keep quality. Guitars could last for so many years with proper care and maintenance.

However, there are common problems that could be easily fixed with the right information and proper care. Why spend money when you can do it yourself at home? Sometimes, it’s just a matter of knowing the right steps to keep your guitar as good as new.

Here are some common problems in acoustic guitars and how to solve or minimize them:

Bad Intonation

This is terrible. Bad tone makes a guitar out of tune. Every next chord creates a fear: is it going to sound okay? Some tones may just be played by using other chords to keep the tone, but really, there’s no need to go through this trauma for every chord change. This could be caused by a lot of factors, but the easiest way would be to try and lower action (string height).  Bad tone is usually caused by a high action. If the distance of the strings from the fret board are too high, they may be stretched and produce an out-of-tune sound. One may either replace the saddle, or lower the strings.

Too much buzzing

Too much buzzing may also be cause by bad action. This buzz could really be annoying, and most people would have to go to a nearby guitar shop to have this repaired. It wouldn’t be bad to try if some “first-aid remedies” would work at home first before consulting with a professional. If this is a problem with tone action, you may want to be more familiar with what difference it makes whenever you raise or lower the distance between the fret board and the strings. Now, for too much buzzing, the action must be too low and needs to be raised. Lift strings a little higher from the fret board and see if it helps in eliminating the buzzing sound.

Low humidity

Sometimes, no matter how carefully we carry our guitar when we go out, or how we put so much care in lowering it at its place at home, odd physical changes would happen. Mostly, this would require professional help, but keeping your guitar humidified could make a big difference. Winter and autumn months may cause top cracking, body bowing, or neck shrinkage. This often needs professional help, but it would be best to learn to keep your guitar humidified, or buy a humidifier for your guitar for the dry season.

Others

Keeping your guitar free of dirt, foreign materials, and unnecessary moisture must also be a habit. Guitars are made of wood and are prone to wear. There are also holes and knobs that may be hard to turn and use once dirt accumulates. Nobody wants that to happen. When dirt gets into the tone and volume knobs, scratchy pots could occur and create bad sound output. Simply make sure to keep your guitar away from dust, and if it can’t be avoided, dust it off as often as you may.

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