Jeroen Hilhorst  Concert guitars

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Some tips to prevent damage to your guitar

I have seen damage by almost all these causes, so please be careful.

Every soundboard is vulnerable, so DON'T TAP ON THE SOUNDBOARD, whatever the composer tells you.
Keep in mind that the soundboard is essentially a very sophisticated loudspeaker.
The soundboard to the right and left of the bridge is very vulnerable, because it is thin there.
So never put pressure on the soundboard in those places.

If you really have to tap on the soundboard in a composition, do it on the upper part of the soundboard, to the right and left of the fingerboard.
You can tap on the middle part of the bridge, but don't tap too hard.

Always hold the guitar by the neck, not by the body.
You will damage the body by the pressure of your grip.

Avoid extreme dry air.
The soundboard may crack.
If the humidity is low use a humidifier in the room where you keep the guitar.
When you take it out of this room, use a humidifier inside the guitar or the case.
Note that when the temperature outside is below zero, the air will be very dry.
Lowering the tension of the strings can avoid cracks when the humidity is too low.

Be very careful with humidifiers inside the guitar.
If they leak water, the glue may come loose.
Also be careful with humidifiers in the case.
Put it as fas away as possible from the fingerboard. It will cause swelling of the part of the fingerboard that is close to the humidifier and may lead to fret noise problems.
If you put the guitar away for a long time, say a couple of months, don’t put a humidifier in the case. The humidity could climb to 100% and some of the glue could come loose. Better put the guitar in a plastic bag and then in the case, to protect it from low humidity.

You can scratch the soundboard very easily.
The soundboard is a soft type of wood, covered by a soft type of finish,
so touching = scratching.

 Immediately close one fastening of the case when you have put the guitar in it.
So the guitar can't fall out when you pick up the case and forget to close it properly.

When you have a bridge with two holes per string:
Always create a double stop at the end of each of the treble strings:
1. Melt a little ball at the end of the string, by holding it over a flame.
2. Tie a knot just before the little ball.
Otherwise the strings will slip through the holes in the bridge, and damage the soundboard.
Make sure that the string goes from the lowest hole to the saddle, when you put on a new string.

To avoid scratching the neck, keep the nail of your thumb short and avoid using your thumb sideways.
Often the wood of the neck is relatively soft.

Always try to take the guitar with you in the plane as hand luggage.
And then put it somewhere, where it can't fall over if there is turbulence.
The luggage handling and transport at the airports can damage the guitar.
Put the body of the guitar in a plastic bag if you travel by plane.
This slows down the drying out of the guitar. The air in the plane is very dry and the soundboard may crack. You can also use a humidifier.
Also lower the tension of the strings, this will lower the tension in the soundboard and so the chance for cracks.

Avoid prolonged extreme high humidity.
The glue may come loose.
This happened to someone who lived on a house boat. And to someone who put his guitar away for a couple of months with a humidifier in the guitar.

Avoid high temperatures.
The shellack may melt and the glue may come loose.
Never leave the guitar in a car in the sun.

When using Hiscox cases:
Avoid bumping into the metal rim of the case, when you put the guitar in the case. This can cause a dent in the edge of the guitar, because of the weight of the guitar.
If the lower bout of the guitar fits tightly in the case, put the underside of the guitar (not the back) as close as possible to the edge of the case. It will fit better this way.
Do not put anything under the guitar in the case (f.i. sheet music). This will increase the pressure of the lid on the soundboard, and may cause damage.

Do not to play the guitar when you feel careless (f.i. from alcohol or other substances).
There is an increased chance that you will damage the guitar.