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Sandy V.Jun 26, 2023 6:48:36 AM4 min read

Taking Care of Your Guitar during High-Humidity vs. Low-Humidity Seasons!

Taking Care of Your Guitar during High-Humidity vs. Low-Humidity Seasons! The Different Effects the Seasons Can Have on Your Guitar

As guitar enthusiasts, we know better than anyone the importance of keeping our beloved instruments in optimal condition. While the areas of regular maintenance we tend to focus on include string changes and proper storage, it's extremely important to consider the seasonal changes' impact on your guitar, especially high humidity, and low humidity. 

While we often focus on factors like regular maintenance, string changes, and proper storage, it's crucial to consider seasonal changes' impact on our guitars, particularly high and low humidity. In this blog post, we will explore the different effects these seasons can have on your guitar and provide valuable tips for taking care of your instrument during these periods.

 High-Humidity Seasons and Your Guitar

During those high-humidity seasons, like summer, the moisture levels in the air rise significantly. This increased moisture can lead to several issues for your guitar:

  1. Swelling of the Wood: Excessive moisture causes the wood in your guitar to swell. This can result in a higher action, making it difficult to play and affecting the overall tone and intonation.
  2. Fretboard Expansion: The fretboard, typically made of wood, has the potential to absorb moisture and expand. This expansion may lead to a fret sprout, where the fret ends protrude from the sides of the neck, causing discomfort while playing.
  3. String Rust and Corrosion: The last thing any guitar enthusiast wants is for their strings to rust and corrode. High humidity accelerates the oxidation process, leading to faster rust and corrosion of your guitar strings. This affects the tone, playability, and lifespan of your strings.

Combat Issues During High-Humidity Seasons

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If you want to protect your guitar during the high humidity seasons, then follow these essential steps! 

  • Utilize a Dehumidifier: Invest in a guitar-specific dehumidifier or humidity control system for your guitar case or room to maintain an unchanging humidity level.
  • Store Your Guitar in a Hardshell Case: Before you invest in a guitar case, consider one that is hard-shelled. A hardshell case provides an extra layer of protection against changes in the humidity. It acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between your guitar and the surrounding humid air.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperature and Humidity Fluctuations: Rapid changes in temperature and humidity can be particularly harmful to your guitar. While you can't always predict the rapid changes in temperature and the level of humidity, make sure that you always store it in a controlled environment and avoid leaving it in harmful places such as a hot car or a damp basement.


Low-Humidity Seasons and Your Guitar

On the other end of the spectrum, low-humidity seasons, such as winter, present a variety of different sets of challenges for keeping up with the maintenance of your guitar. 

  1. Wood Drying and Shrinking: During winter, the moisture content in the wood of your guitar has the potential to decrease the moisture, causing it to dry and shrink. This can result in fret sprouts, buzzing strings, and even cracks in extreme cases.
  2. String Tension and Intonation. As the air becomes drier, the tension of your guitar strings can increase. This affects the overall playability and intonation of your instrument. 

Combat Issues During Low-Humidity Seasons

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If you want to protect your guitar during the low-humidity seasons, then follow these essential steps! 

  • Use a Humidifier: As you use a dehumidifier during the high-humidity seasons, a humidifier during the low-humidity seasons does wonders. Utilize a guitar-specific humidifier to maintain an appropriate humidity level. 
  • Keep Your Guitar Away from Heat Sources: We completely understand that you'll be cranking the heat up to stay warm during winter. However, you should avoid placing your guitar near heating vents, radiators, or any other heat source, as it will dry out the instrument.
  • Regularly Moisturize the Fretboard:  Apply a high-quality fretboard conditioner or lemon oil to keep the fretboard hydrated and prevent it from drying out.

It's extremely important to remember that every guitar is unique. Factors such as the type of wood, the construction of the guitar, and its finish can impact how it responds to the various changes in humidity. Therefore, it's essential to observe and monitor your instrument's condition regularly.

Take Care of Your Guitar with the Help of Our Experts

When it comes to taking care of your guitar, the guidance and expertise of professionals make all of the difference. At Twelve Tone Music School, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest level of guitar care assistance. Our team of experts consists of experienced musicians and guitar technicians who have a deep understanding of instrument maintenance. 

Whether you need advice on humidity control, string maintenance, fretboard care, or any other aspect of guitar care, our experts are here to help. We take the time to analyze the specific needs of your guitar and will provide you with personalized recommendations to ensure that your instrument always remains in optimal condition. With the help of our knowledgeable experts, you will be able to have peace of mind knowing that your guitar is receiving the best care possible. Don't hesitate to contact us; we will be more than happy to help you with any questions or concerns you may have.