• 2022 Issue 3 /
  • On the Bench: Guitar Care Basics with Rob Magargal

On the Bench: Guitar Care Basics with Rob Magargal

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Taylor’s service network manager explains basic guitar care tools, how to change strings and proper humidity control.

Acoustic guitars are complex systems of interrelated parts, and the more we play them, the more they stand to benefit from routine maintenance. As a product made of wood, they’re also subject to the environmental conditions in which they’re kept. That’s why understanding the basics of guitar care will go a long way toward helping you keep your instrument healthy and in peak performing condition. And once you have a handle on techniques like changing strings and managing humidity, maintaining your guitar will be easy.

Taylor service network manager Rob Magargal has spent many years at workbenches in the Taylor factory and out in the field, fine-tuning guitars of every shape and size to perfect playability and rich sound. In these videos, Rob identifies the essential items for your guitar care tool kit, explains the basics of humidity management, and demonstrates proper string-changing techniques for virtually every type of acoustic guitar.

Basic Guitar Care Tools

Here, Rob identifies the essential tools for common guitar maintenance tasks such as changing strings.

Changing Strings: 6-String Steel-String Acoustic Guitar

In this video, Rob runs through the one guitar care skill that every player should know by heart: how to properly change strings. Note that this video applies specifically to 6-string acoustic guitars with steel strings.

Changing Strings: Nylon-String Acoustic Guitar

If you’ve ever played a nylon-string guitar such as the Taylor 312ce-N, Academy 12e-N, 812ce-N or a traditional classical guitar, you’ve probably noticed that the strings fasten to both the bridge and the headstock differently from steel-string guitars. Here, Rob explains how to put new nylon strings on a guitar. Remember that nylon-string guitars should never be strung with steel strings — the additional tension will cause damage to the guitar.

Changing Strings: 12-String Acoustic Guitar

With twice the number of strings as a 6-string guitar, putting fresh strings on a 12-string model might seem daunting. But don’t worry — the process isn’t much different, as Rob explains.

Changing Strings: Guitars with Slotted Headstocks

Models with slotted headstocks, such as our 12-fret Grand Concert guitars, blend the processes used for normal steel-string models and nylon-string guitars. Here’s Rob demonstrating how to swap out strings with your slotted-headstock guitar.

Guitar Care: Humidity Management

Relative humidity is one of the most important factors to consider in guitar maintenance. Wood is highly reactive to changes in climate, and excessive or insufficient humidity around your acoustic guitar can lead to playability issues and sound problems. Fortunately, maintaining recommended humidity levels around your guitar is fairly simple. Watch as Rob explains the basics.