Those of us who live in the Midwest know all too well the trials and tribulations of trying to care for our stringed instruments! The summers have what feels like 110% humidity, while the winters can feel like a negative percentage! Spring and Fall are great time to prepare your instrument for the coming extremes.
It is not unusual for a guitar to go through several changes during spring (and fall for that matter). One day can be 80 degrees while another day it can snow and be in the 30s! We keep our humidifiers running in the store until we sustain at least 50% humidity for a solid week. We recommend doing the same for your acoustic, it maybe a slight inconvenience to keep wetting down your in-case humidifier but it could save you from a crack forming in your all solid wood instrument.
The swings can be a little hard on the top and the neck of an acoustic guitar. As the humidity climbs, it’s not unusual for a neck to need to be adjusted. Typically you’ll see not enough relief during this time but a guitar neck is wood so you never know….it may end up with too much relief. This is true for both acoustic and electric guitars.
It’s also not uncommon for a top to return to its normal position (especially if your top dries out due to lack of humidity). This can cause your saddle to be too high. We recommend keeping two saddles, one for the winter and one for the summer. Sometimes it can be as easy as removing shims, if you’ve had to put some under the saddle during the winter. A 2 saddle system will prevent you from needing shims in the winter.
Keeping your guitar on a regular maintenance schedule is a great way to keep it playing smoothly, or as Brian likes to say, playing like butter! We’re always more than happy to offer advice and assistance on guitar issues. We can get you set up on a regular schedule and your guitar will always feel and play great!