How to enjoy your guitar longer and get the most out of it

A guitar will last you at least a lifetime. And maybe even outlive you. That is, if you love it. For most of us the reality is that we fall in love with a new guitar. And then we love that one. Until we fall in love again…. We all know this feeling, the excitement of “new guitar day”. And it is a lot of fun. Getting inspired by an artist you saw perform and who had this awesome sound. Searching on Youtube for that guitar. Getting distracted by other guitars that appears on your screen and deep diving into those. Writing down the specs of you new dream guitar. Visiting stores online and browsing their catalog. Figuring out how we are going to finance it and thinking about how to sell the idea of yet another guitar it to your other half. Been there? So, it is fair to say that a guitar may physically last you a lifetime, it probably will not last that long in your collection. Unless

 

Revive the love

You know the feeling when you have your car cleaned. And I am not talking about the quick drive thru the carwash. But I mean deep cleaning your car. It smells all fresh, the body of the car feels all smooth and polished. And all off sudden your car feels like it is brand new again. I think this applies to a lot of things for which we tend to take good care. Maybe your house, your garden and hopefully your relationships. In this day and age, we start to think differently about buying stuff versus maintaining and fixing up stuff. And for good reason. We need to start acting in a more sustainable way. And looking for the more affordable option has always been a smart thing. It is not that different with guitars. You fell in love with your guitar at some point in your live. You spent money it. What can you do to fall in love with all over again?

 

Try not to fall out of love

If your take good care of your guitar it will play better, sound better and look better. And it is not that hard. Keep it at fairly constant temperature and humidity.  Change the strings regularly. Have it checked and setup by a professional once a year or maybe do it yourself, if you are able. It always surprises us to see how happy our clients are when the pickup their guitar and it feels like new again.  And even if we have just done a Strings & Bling, meaning that we have cleaned it and put a set of fresh strings on it, it feels like a different guitar. Something that can be loved again.

 

Fix it when needed

A guitar may last a long time, but occasionally it will need a repair. It might have crackling tone pots, string buzz, the playability is now what it used to be, worn out frets, dents and cracks. It is annoying when your guitar is not doing what it is supposed to do. The good news is that most issues can be fixed at a fairly low cost compared to the value of your guitar. Electronics can be replaced, frets can be leveled, and finished can be restored. There is long list of all possible repairs that we can do. And it is definitely worth talking to a luthier and hear what can be done to make your guitar great again.

 

Make it a better, more beautiful guitar

As guitar builders we know exactly what goes into a guitar. We know what makes a guitar great. More often than not, the difference is in the details. So why not change some of the details on your guitar? Wanna change the sound? Think of different pickups on your electric or different nut, saddle and strings on your acoustic. Wanna change how it plays? Have it set up, level the frets, change the neck, reshape the neck, think of different strings. Wanna look at something new? Think of a refinish and custom aging job. Over the years we have done many ‘make-overs’ on guitars. And getting their owners to love the guitar again. The possibilities are virtually limitless. The cost in most cases, are a fraction of the price of a new guitar. And it is a fun process in which you play a creative part.

 

Is my guitar worth the cost of the repair or upgrade?

Well, there are two ways to answer this question. If you look at it from an economical point of view there are a few points to be made. First of all your guitar will in most cases not be worth more because of the repairs or upgrades. In case of the repairs that is obvious, if you sell the guitar your buyer will expect a function instrument. The fact that it is actually function will not increase its value. With upgrades more often than not the guitar will also not increase in value. It is easier to sell the guitar in its original state then with the upgrades as many buyers will be unsure of what to expect of the upgraded and would rather trust the manufactures original specs. So we always advise clients to hold on to the replaced parts so they have the option of going back to the original. And then sell the guitar in its original state and the upgrade parts seperately. If you want to know if a repair or upgrade makes sence from an economical stand point, do ask your trusted guitar retailer what he thinks. They will have a pretty good understanding of the market value of your planned upgrade.

But fortunately, it is not all about economics. If you are not planning to sell your guitar anytime soon but intend to hold on to it, then all that matters is whether you think it is worth it.

 

Should I go or should I stay?

Sometimes when we want something new, we question ourselves ‘is it worth it?’. Should I go for it or should I just modify my present guitar. Your guitar retailer/luthier should be able to assist you with a part of the answer. And that is will your upgrade or modification achieve the same result as the new guitar you have in mind. And is the upgrade a good idea in terms of economy. But of course, there is more to this question and that is the matter of the heart. How much do you love your present guitar?

 

So, no more new guitars, never ever again?

Now, don’t be silly.

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