5 Guitar Care Essentials

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Taylor customer service manager Glen Wolff shares his recommendations for keeping your Taylor looking, feeling and sounding brand-new

Maybe you’re new to the guitar. Maybe you’re a seasoned pro. Maybe you’re looking for gift ideas for a guitarist in your life but don’t want to waste money on something they don’t need. At Taylor, we believe there are a few things every player should have on hand at all times. Owning quality versions of these essential maintenance tools opens the door to a premium playing experience, making each session with your Taylor feel as fresh as the very first time you picked it up.

Digital Tuner

No one wants to hear you play a guitar that’s out of tune — not your audience, not your bandmates and certainly not you. Digital guitar tuners are readily available from our online guitar shop as well as any physical music store or online music retailer. It’s also easy to get a good one without spending a lot of money. The clip-on variety, which attach to your guitar’s headstock, are among the most popular guitar tuners because they’re intuitive, compact and don’t require a cable. Several manufacturers also make tuners that include a metronome if you’re looking for additional utility for practice sessions.

Polish Cloth + Polish or Cleaner

Even the most diligent player ends up with fingerprints and oil on their guitar after a while, not to mention dust, sweat or spills. At Taylor, we suggest choosing your care products based on your guitar’s finish type. Gloss-finish guitars are best treated with a polish, while matte- or satin-finish models need a cleaner. You’ll find both, as well as ultra-soft microfiber cloths that won’t leave streaks on your guitar, at the TaylorWare online store as well as at your favorite local music shop.

String Winder/Cutter

Uh-oh — you just broke a string. It happens to every player, and while it’s certainly an annoyance, a broken string need not derail your performance or inspired writing session. A good string winder makes it easier and faster to replace a string, whether you’ve broken just one or it’s time to replace them all with a fresh set. Grab a string winder with a built-in cutter to make the process even easier.

Digital Hygrometer

Acoustic guitars are made from thin pieces of wood and are highly reactive to relative humidity (RH). Digital hygrometers, which measure relative humidity, are inexpensive and easy to find — just check the TaylorWare shop or your local music store. The sweet spot for acoustic guitars is between 45 and 55 percent RH. Keeping your guitar in drier conditions can cause it to warp and crack, while excessive humidity can cause swelling. Once you have a hygrometer, there’s one more thing you may need…

Humidification System

If you live in a relatively dry climate where relative humidity levels regularly drop below 45 percent (or in a seasonal climate where you heat your home each winter, which will lower the humidity level), it’s essential to add humidification to keep your guitar in great shape. Keeping your guitar in its case and using an in-case humidifier are the simplest ways to keep your guitar in the ideal humidity range and prevent damage. Simple sponge humidifiers or more advanced gel systems are easy to use and go a long way toward keeping your guitar damage-free and playing and sounding its best.

Bonus Tool: TaylorSense

TaylorSense is the modern Taylor player’s perfect solution to guitar maintenance. It’s a smart sensor box that installs neatly into the battery compartment of any Taylor model with electronics powered by a 9-volt battery. Once installed, the unit sends relative humidity, temperature and impact data to the paired app on your iOS or Android smartphone, alerting you if conditions change enough to require your attention. It’s especially useful for players who take their guitars on the road or in the air. You’ll find it at your local Taylor dealer or in our online TaylorWare store.