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MK guitar damage? (28) RE: guitar damage? 30 Sep 00


I cut and pasted the following from Fret's website. It is run by Frank Ford, one of the most respected luthier and stringed instrument repair person in North America.

Here's what he has to say about instruments and storage.

For most instruments, the safest storage is in their cases. There, they are protected from dust and accident, and to some extent, from temperature and humidity fluctuations. But, there they are also more out of the way and less likely to get used for a casual tune.

I prefer to keep mine hanging on the wall. I just use a leather thong tied to the tuners and hang it on a picture hook firmly mounted on the wall. I check behind the instrument to see were it touches the wall and I use double stick tape to attach a small piece of felt, about 4" square to protect the back from scratches.

On the wall, staring at me, my guitar and mandolin are free to make me feel guilty for not playing enough music! They are free from the accidental kick that can send a guitar flying out of its stand. They do collect a bit of dust, but I can keep them wiped off easily enough.

Our old friend, Barry Olivier, has been teaching guitar to individuals and groups in Berkeley, California, for over 40 years. Barry just told me that since the very beginning he has given each of his students (thousands by now!) a leather thong to tie around the pegs so the guitar can hang on the wall. He tells his students to keep the guitar out so they can take advantage of a short playing break of only a couple of minutes.

"If you have two or three minutes to spare, you can play a tune. That is, you can if your guitar is handy." Barry describes the case as a "barrier to playing." He offers this quote from Shakespeare ("Timon of Athens" Act 1, Scene 2) "Sweet instruments hung up in cases. . . keep their sounds to themselves."

Before you ask, I don't believe that exterior walls pose any threat unless you live in a single wall building like a cabin. If I lived in a one-room wood stove heated house or in the swamps or other harsh environment, I'd rethink keeping them out.

In the winter, some houses get really dry when heated, especially if they're in cold parts of the country. If the ambient relative humidity is really low and you don't humidify your house, you probably use a case humidifier and shouldn't be keeping your instrument out.

Direct sunlight is an absolute no-no!

My least favorite place to keep instruments is in stands. They are more in the way because they take floor space, they can fall, and they may have some problems if the finish interacts with the protective vinyl or rubber on the stand.

We all agree that you should detune any instrument that's going into storage for a long time without being used. Only problem with that piece of advice is that usually we intend to play it tomorrow. . .


I think he pretty well summed it up.


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