If you own a guitar, you know that it’s treated with the utmost care– usually– because you want it to last a long time and continue to be in good shape, right? If you’re the kind of musician who likes to play outdoors, whether it’s at the beach on a summer’s night or around an autumn campfire in the country, how can you weatherproof your guitar?
Keep in mind that since guitars are mostly made of wood, temperature and humidity affect them. For instance, when wood gains moisture it expands. Ideally, guitars do best when the humidity is in the 45-55% range, and the temperature falls between 65 and 75 degrees. If you can avoid having your guitar in extreme temperatures/humidity, do so. Also, simply keeping your instrument out of direct sunlight helps prolong the life of the guitar.
To weatherproof your guitar, keep it inside of its case when traveling and/or when you’re not playing it. A hard case can protect it from all sorts of weather, including rain, wind, and snow.
Where you store your guitar matters, a lot. Keep it away from overtly hot, dry areas as well as cold, damp areas. Don’t store it in the trunk of a vehicle when it’s really hot or cold out– bring it inside with you instead. Utilize humidifiers and/or air conditioning at home so that the place you keep your guitar when not in use doesn’t get too hot/dry or cold/wet.
It’s also a smart idea to clean your instrument regularly, using the appropriate cleaning solution for your finish type. Use wood polish for the wooden parts and metal cleaning compound for the metal parts. Keep in mind that guitars pick up sweat, oils, dirt and grime over time– so keeping them clean is important.
Finally, check to make sure all your guitar screws are tightened up properly. The truss rod, in particular, will need regular adjustments, as will the intonation screws on the pickups.