How to Take Care of Your Classical Guitar

take care

Written by Diego Cardini from TheMusicianLab

It is a bit funny to say but classical guitar is nowadays more popular than ever. People love the bright and complex sound along with the skill that is required in playing the instrument well. Whether you are just a beginner, looking to switch from electric guitar to classical or a master plucker, it is essential now that you bought a good classical guitar to keep it in good shape. This short guide will explain the steps on how to take care of your classical guitar so that it sounds great for years to come.

Temperature and Humidity

These days, classical guitars are more durable than ever. That said, they are largely made of various kinds of wood, and that makes them strongly affected by temperature and humidity.  Both of these things will have an effect on how the wood contracts and effects and can either harm how well the instrument performs or even cause it to become unplayable.  The best way to minimize the effect of humidity and temperature is to be sure you always keep your classical guitar in a moderate temperature. Do not store is somewhere that is not climate controlled like a basement, crawlspace, attic or somewhere like that. This shouldn’t be a concern if you are playing consistently, but even if you just take a long holiday that is enough time to cause some problems.

Transportation and Storage

Most people invest anywhere between several hundred and several thousand dollars on their classical guitars. For this reason, you really should go with a hard-shell case. Hard-shell cases are a great investment because even if you decide to switch guitars, you can use it for another guitar. They also hold their value well if you just want to sell the case.

Likewise, when transporting the guitar you again need to be keeping track of any differences in temperature and humidity. The climate-control rule applies so be sure to get it with you in the car, not in the trunk especially during summer and winter months. When you arrive to a new destination, if you have time then open the case and allow it to get used to the new environment for roughly an hour before you play or tune it. This can be difficult to do if you are pressed for time, but a little planning ahead will greatly extend the life of the instrument.

Breakage: Accidental or Otherwise

The worst thing that can happen to a guitar is breakage of the neck or head. One short fall is enough to break it in half. At home, try to keep in on a stand and never lean it against something. It is even better if you have wall-mounting so you can prevent anybody from running into it. Just make sure it is always in a secure place.  Some people just keep their guitars in the case, which is a great idea but then lean it up against something when they are taking a rest. Spend the money for a stand or mount so you can safely rest your investment!

How to Clean the Body, Strings and Fretboard

Even the cleanest people still have oil and dirt on their fingers and hands. This can negatively affect both the strings and the wood of the guitar. It is a good idea to change strings once every three months or more.  When you are changing the strings, take the time to do a little inspection. Check the fretboard, tuning pegs, the neck and make sure everything is looking good. This is a good time to wipe everything down. Use a soft cloth and a guitar cleaning solution. Don’t go with furniture polish or something like that. Just pick up some guitar cleaner online or at your local shop. It’s worth the few bucks and the stuff lasts forever.

Keeping Your Guitar Sounding Good

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Guitars are one of the few things that you can buy and use frequently, and still have them increase instead of decrease in value. A guitar is both an investment for both your wallet and your skills. If you follow these easy tips, you will be able to keep your classical guitar in great shape and sounding perfect for a lifetime.


Diego has a passion for music since he was 12 years old. Enjoying jamming and teaching, he runs The Musician Lab, a space to learn and get involved with music.


One Response to How to Take Care of Your Classical Guitar

  1. Paul Reed says:

    I found out temperature and humidity effect the hard way…I once kept my guitar in a trunk of a car for a long time, and the changes of temperature did a number on not only my strings, but the wood as well.

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