Being a music lover and passionate guitarist often leads to owning a guitar. And having a guitar leads to some storage issues. Many people wonder how they should store and place their guitars. Therefore, some common question among string enthusiasts appears: is it okay to lay guitar flat?
Laying a guitar flat is not a good option, as it can get stepped on. The other general problem is temperature variation between the surface and the bottom of the guitar, because the temperature changes may damage the instrument.
So, today, we will cover some useful topics regarding guitar storage methods and maintenance.
Table of Contents
- 1 Common Issues Due to Bad Guitar Storing
- 2 Is It Ok To Lay Guitar Flat?
- 3 What Is the Best Way to Store a Guitar?
- 4 Ways to Care for Your Guitar
- 5 Don’t Forget to Play It Once In a While
Common Issues Due to Bad Guitar Storing
Storing your guitar wrong can cause some damages to the instrument. So, check out some of the most common issues that can occur.
- Fret buzz
- Physical damage
- High Action
- Shrinking frets
- Swollen frets
- Warping neck
- Glue failure
- Intonation and tuning problems
- Sharp fret ends
- Cracks on the guitar finish
Is It Ok To Lay Guitar Flat?
Lying a guitar flat on the floor is not such a good idea, that way the guitar can be easily stepped on and damaged. Guitars are also temperature-sensitive (especially acoustic ones) so if the floor is cold that can damage it too.
Besides placing it flat you should also avoid leaning it on something (a wall for example) as it can easily fall over. The best way to keep it safe and sound is to use a guitar stand, or hang it on the wall if you use it often.
What Is the Best Way to Store a Guitar?
Storing your guitar properly is very important. That way you’ll be able to keep it in good condition for many years to come.
Damage is often a result of lousy care and bad storage conditions. So, take a look at some easy storage methods for your music buddy.
If you are planning to store your guitar for some time, it’s best to do that in a hard case. Hard cases provide the best protection, as they are, well, hard. They are also very heavy which is a good thing, that way they protect the instrument from physical damage.
One more great thing a hard case can give you is protection against temperature and humidity variations. The downside of hard cases is that they’re very bulky and not so easy to carry around, and you can’t display the instrument in them when not using it.
So, if you don’t plan to use a guitar for a while, or you plan to go traveling, a hard case is for you. They are great for airplanes or some shipping needs.
If you love carrying your best friend everywhere with you, a gig bag might be a good choice. It’s very lightweight and therefore easy to carry around.
Gig bags can’t give you a high level of protection like hardshell ones, but they can still help to protect your guitar from some damage.
But, you should bear in mind that these bags can’t secure the instrument from temperature and humidity, so never leave your guitar in them during harsh weather conditions.
You are probably going to get a gig bag with the instrument, so it’s a plus you don’t need to buy it aside.
Remember the story from the beginning? Instead of lying your guitar flat, use some good old stands. They are a nice option if you need easy access to the guitar, and if you play it regularly (which we hope you do). 🙂
It’s nice having a stand for your favorite instrument, that way you can show off a bit, and enjoy the view every time you pass by it. The downside of a stand? Well, it doesn’t protect the instrument from climate change.
One other thing you should pay attention to is that your guitar is placed properly in the stand, otherwise, it can fall over and get damaged. It might be better to choose tripod stands instead of regular ones.
They seem to be better at supporting the body and neck of the guitar better, and not just the body.
Wall mounts are a very similar option to stands. And they are also a better option than flat laying. They offer a nice way to display the instrument but don’t provide too much protection. The main advantage of wall mounts over stands is that they save up a lot more space.
Plus, you won’t have to worry if someone is going to knock over the guitar, and that can happen with stands.
Wall mounts can be a bit more work when it comes to installing, as you will need to drill some holes in your wall, and they are also a more permanent solution, unlike a stand.
So, if you need a display stand that uses less space, and you don’t plan on carrying it around with you, try some wall mounts.
Ways to Care for Your Guitar
Assuming you are pretty passionate about your guitar, you want it to last as long as possible with the best imaginable sound. So, to make sure that happens, or at least to know you’ve done everything you could to give it a nice treatment, check out some important tips.
Don’t Let It Standing Upright
Very often guitars get damaged due to falling over. The main cause is that they were standing upright against something. So, don’t leave it against any objects or a wall after using it, even if the guitar is in the case.
If you need to place it on the floor horizontally, make sure it’s in the hard case always, and don’t leave it in that position for a long time. If it is not in the case, place it on the stand or wall mount.
Clean the Guitar Before Storing It
Playing your guitar daily leaves oil and grime from fingers on it. These things can make the metal parts on it rust and corrode over some time. Because of that, you should make sure to clean your instrument thoroughly before storing it away. This doesn’t mean you should just clean your guitar with Clorox wipes and hope for the best. You need to do it properly.
Also, don’t forget to take care of the fretboard. You can do that by using some lemon oil or fretboard conditioner and prevent it from drying out. So, be sure to nurture your instrument by cleaning, polish, and restoring it.
Pay Attention to Humidity Levels
It’s so important to watch out for humidity levels when storing your guitar. Guitars are often made out of solid wood, and by that, they are very sensitive to damage from high humidity.
If you leave it in an extremely humid place, you can come across various problems with the guitar. From warping of the neck to cracking, fret buzz, fret sprout, and many more. Leave your guitar in a very dry place and you will have to rehydrate it in order to keep it playable.
The ideal humidity level for guitar storing is between 45%-55%. But, generally speaking, you should try to store it in a place where humidity isn’t too high or too low.
So, it’s best to keep the instrument in an environment that has a consistent level of humidity. Also, avoid moving it from high to low humidity in a short time, because the wood of the guitar will react to extreme and sudden changes.
How to Check On Guitar Humidity Levels?
If you want to be sure that your guitar is in the right humidity place, you can buy a digital hygrometer. It’s not expensive, and it’s easy to use. If you live in some dry climate area, you can opt for an air humidifier also.
Note: Make sure to keep the guitar out of direct sunlight. Long exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to drying out, and might even crack the wood. Sunlight can also damage the guitar’s finish by making its color fade.
Keep the It in Temperature Controlled Room
Just like humidity, temperature levels can affect your guitar. That is why it is essential to store it in a room with optimal temperature. Low temperatures can cause the frets to shrink, and high ones can cause the wood to warp, or even melt the glue.
The best temperature to keep your guitar in is around 65-75 °F. You should avoid instrument exposure to any extreme weather conditions or constant temperature changes.
For example, never leave it in your car trunk overnight when it’s hot, or cold. If you wouldn’t expose yourself to certain weather conditions, don’t do that to the guitar either. Simple as that.
Note: If you plan on storing the guitar for some time, try loosening strings a bit. Do that by turning the tuning pegs for one or two steps down. But, be sure to leave some string tension, so don’t totally loosen the strings.
Don’t Forget to Play It Once In a While
Guitars are meant for playing. So, even if you’re storing the guitar for a longer time, be sure to play it from time to time. You should also take it out for some basic adjustments. That way you prolong its lifespan. As time passes, the guitar neck can start to warp, but you can do some maintenance to prevent it from warping beyond the repair point, and that way you can enjoy jamming for years.