Where Should I Keep My Guitar At Home?

Many people love their guitars or dream of owning a great guitar for enjoyment. However, owning a guitar means you need to take care of it, and not many people are good at taking care of their guitar. 

As it’s most basic, you need to consider where to keep your guitar at home, as it is a large yet sensitive object that can be easily damaged. Where should you keep your guitar at home?

Keep your guitar in a container, preferably a hardshell case, with a soft inner lining to protect it from physical damage. Keep the guitar and the case in a dry area with a stable temperature year-round to prevent damage from humidity and temperature changes. Finally, take your guitar to a luthier for maintenance every 6-8 months.

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This article explores where you should keep your guitars at home and how you should keep them. We will also look at several tips to ensure your guitar is in tip-top condition.

Why Should You Keep Your Guitar Properly?

Keeping your guitar properly ensures it from being damaged. The most common damages that can happen to a guitar are physical, humidity, or damage from frequent temperature changes. These damages may result in loss of performance and resale value of your guitar.

Guitars are sensitive stringed instruments. If you think about it, they are essentially thin wood and have a neck, pulling guitar strings very tightly. As a result, they cannot be treated harshly and need care when handling and storing.

Keeping your guitars well prevents them from being damaged in the following ways:

Prevent Physical Damage

There is a reason things such as guitar cases, bags, and stands exist. They prevent your guitar from picking up physical damage.

Guitars are not made of metal or hard, impact-resistant objects such as titanium. Many also are given clear coating on the outside, which may show scratch marks if scratched. As a result, they can be easily scratched or pick up dents when impacted. If you drop your guitar, you better hope it does not crack. 

Storing your guitar properly prevents these things from happening. At least when it does, the bags may help to reduce the physical damages that may occur. 

Prevent Environmental Damage

Guitars are commonly made of materials such as wood and metal. Some parts of your guitar may be made from plastic-based materials, but only in small numbers. 

Your guitar may be damaged if you do not control humidity or temperature changes.

If you store your guitar in humid areas, the humidity can be absorbed by the wood, causing it to become a little softer. This may affect the structural rigidity and integrity, making it easier to break. 

Humidity can also cause the metal parts of your guitar, such as the strings, nuts, and tuning pegs, to discolor and, worse, rust. Parts of your guitar may be secured using glue, which means humidity may soften the glue, causing parts to lose holding strength and possibly detach.

Constant temperature changes may also affect your guitar since metals and wood may expand in hotter temperatures and shrink in cooler temperatures. Expansion and contractions may cause stress on the joints of your guitar and cause cracks or breakage. 

What Can Happen To Poorly Stored Guitars?

Poorly stored and maintained guitars usually suffer from physical and humidity damage that may result in loss of aesthetic beauty, performance and resale value. You also have to spend more money to repair and recondition the guitar.

Guitars may no longer look as pristine and nice as they once were when damaged. Damaged guitars may also not play and sound as nice as when they are new, and if you try to sell a broken guitar, the price may not be good too.

Aesthetic Damages

Guitars that have not been handled well will suffer from bumps, knicks, scratches, and falls. Aside from that, humidity may damage the guitar in other ways, such as causing rust on parts of the guitar. Your sweat may also, over time, eat away the clear coating on the neck and palm rests, especially if you have acidic sweat.

These may appear on the guitar as ‘battle scars.’ Argue as you may, call it ‘patina’ or a ‘guitar with stories’. They are still damaged guitars. In the eyes of many guitar players, aesthetic damage could even be called an eyesore.

Loss Of Performance

Damaged guitars may never play as well as when they are brand new. This is because for a guitar to work well, it needs to keep its structural rigidity and ability to keep the strings on the right tension. 

The most common performance issues with damaged guitars include the following:

Fret buzz: Fret buzz is an issue where the strings vibrate against your guitar frets instead of over them. This results in the buzzing metal sound that may affect how your guitar sounds overall.

High Action: Action refers to the distance between your guitar strings and the fretboard. Guitars damaged by humidity may have warped or bent necks, causing the strings to have higher action. As a result, the strings become further away from the fretboard, making the strings harder to press down. 

Swollen/Shrinking frets: Humidity and temperature changes could cause the neck of your guitar to swell, or shrink, causing the frets to follow along. This means you may get inconsistent action across your fretboard, making your guitar harder and less predictable to play.

Glue failure: Some parts of your guitar may be held together by glue. Humidity can cause the glue to soften, which means that the part may lose holding strength over time. The part may detach or fall off if you play your guitar harder than usual.

Tuning and intonation problems: Damaged guitar may be unpredictable in performance, which means things such as tuning hard. Strings may become out of tune faster as well. On top of that, the guitar may also not transfer the sound frequently well, causing intonation issues. This may be much more prominent on electric guitars.

Sharp fret ends due to shrinking neck: The neck and fretboard are two pieces of wood commonly glued together. They may shrink at a different rate if exposed to humidity or temperature changes. If the neck shrinks faster than the fretboard, you may have issues such as sharp fret ends that may cut into your finger webs as you play.

Loss Of Resale value

When reselling something, they are generally cheaper than buying brand new. The same can be said about guitars. But if your guitar has damage and performance issues, it may lose more resale value. 

This is because the new owner needs to spend time fixing the issue or spending money at the luthier to sort out the problems and have the guitar set up again. As a result, they may offer you a lower price, so they have the budget for such work. 

If you want to keep your guitar’s resale value higher, you may want to take good care of it. 

What Should You Keep Your Guitar In?

To protect your guitar, keep it inside a protective bag or at least on a stand where it would not fall. A guitar case with soft lining inside provides the best protection, although a gig bag would make it easier to bring around. A guitar stand or wall mount can make it easier to reach your guitar but offer little protection.

If you are to only do one thing to keep your guitar, consider keeping it inside a storage container, such as a guitar case. This may be the simplest way to store your guitar, yet it provides the best protection. 

There are several other things you can use to keep your guitar:

Guitar Cases

A guitar case is basically a case for your guitar. It commonly has a hard shell outside, and the inside is made of soft materials such as suede. A guitar case can protect your guitar from bumps, scratches, and other damage during travel or when the guitar is not in use.

A guitar case can also provide security for your guitar, preventing it from being stolen or tampered with when it is not in use. A guitar case makes it easy to transport your guitar, as you can pick it up and go. This is especially useful if you need to travel with your guitar or if you need to take it to a gig or rehearsal.

However, guitar cases can be expensive, especially if you are looking for a high-quality hard case. This can be a significant investment. Guitar cases can also be heavy and bulky, making them difficult to carry around. 

Depending on the type of guitar case you use, it may be harder to access your guitar. For example, you must open the case whenever you want to play your guitar. This can be inconvenient if you need to play your guitar frequently.

Guitar Bags

A guitar bag is another option for you. It is usually a soft bag made of canvas, leather, or polyurethane, with some padding to absorb impacts. It may not be as sturdy and tough as a case, but it can still prevent scratches, dents, and other damage during travel or when the guitar is not in use.

Guitar bags are usually much lighter, making them much more portable. This can be especially useful if you need to travel with your guitar or if you need to take it to a gig or rehearsal. 

However, guitar bags do not provide as much security as hard cases. This means they may not be suitable for preventing your guitar from being stolen or tampered with when unused. Guitar bags also may not be as durable as guitar cases, so they may not last as long over time.

Guitar Stands

Guitar stands are simple structures that keep your guitar upright without tumbling over. A guitar stand allows you to keep your guitar within easy reach, so you can grab it and play whenever you want. 

A guitar stand can help to protect your guitar from accidental damage, such as scratches or dents, by keeping it off the floor or other surfaces. It also can help to save space in your home or studio by allowing you to keep your guitar upright and off the floor.

A guitar stand can also be a visually appealing way to display your guitar, especially if it is a decorative or custom stand.

However, a guitar stand does not provide as much protection as a guitar case or bag. It does not protect against direct impact, humidity, or temperature changes. You may also be surprised that some guitar stands can be more expensive than gig bags or gig backpacks.

Wall Mounts

Wall mounts resemble guitar stands but are mounted to the wall instead. Its main benefit is that it is space-saving. It allows you to keep your guitar off the floor or on other surfaces, which can help to save space in your home.

A guitar wall mount can be a visually appealing way to display your guitar, especially if it is a decorative or custom mount. Since it keeps your guitar away from the floor, it can protect your guitar from accidental damage, such as scratches or dents, 

However, like stands, wall mounts leave your guitar unprotected from direct impact, humidity, and temperature changes. A guitar wall mount is not as portable as a guitar case or bag, so it may not be suitable if you need to transport your guitar frequently.

Guitar wall mounts may also cost more in money, time and effort. You will need to install it, with complicated wall mounts requiring more effort. You may purchase additional hardware or tools to install a guitar wall mount properly.

Where Should I Keep My Guitar At Home?

There are no specific areas to keep your guitar at home. Still, your guitar should be kept in places with low humidity and stable temperature year-round and generally do not see much traffic or movement. This helps to minimize the odds of your guitar picking up damages. 

Keeping your guitar safe is not rocket science, to be honest. It is more about using common sense and ensuring the potential problems are managed before they hurt your guitar. 

When keeping your guitar at home, keep these pointers in mind:

Low Humidity Areas

Start with identifying low-humidity areas. We have explained in detail how excess moisture can harm the guitar. This means looking for drier places at home where your glue will not soften, or guitar wood will expand. 

This means you want to stay away from places such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or anywhere adjacent to it. Since these areas may see more water use, they would have higher moisture than usual. 

Your study room may be a great place to store your guitar. You could also consider dedicating a corner to your living room since these places are generally drier. 

Areas With Stable Temperature

Aside from humidity, another factor that may damage your guitar is temperature. We have also explained how constant changes in temperature may result in your guitar expanding and contracting frequently, bringing in a lot of stress to the joints and the wood itself. 

As a result, look for a place where you can have a more stable temperature. This would mean somewhere insulated. The garage would not work here since most garages are typically not insulated. 

Another thing to consider is to avoid placing the guitar directly on the wall. This is because the heat from the sun or the cold air outside changes the wall’s temperature. These temperature changes may also transfer to your guitar. 

You also want to avoid placing your guitar near the fireplace or heater of your house. Fireplaces and heaters may also alter the temperature of your guitar, resulting in expansion and contractions.

Low Movement Areas

Another aspect you can consider is to store your guitar in areas of the house where there is little or no movement and traffic. This minimizes the odds that people may introduce any impact to the guitar or drop things that may hit the guitar.

This could be a corner of the house nobody goes to or right beside the TV. Consider pets as well, since they may do unexpected things that damage your guitar. Place it somewhere your pets cannot reach.

Another option you can consider would be the wall. However, you want to make sure your wall mounts to place your guitar far enough away from the wall to prevent it from absorbing the temperature changes outside. 

If possible, set up the mount at the inner wall of the house. Inner walls are walls with both sides inside your house. 

How Do I Keep My Guitar In Good Playing Condition?

To ensure your guitar remains in good playing condition, consider always cleaning it before storing it. You also may want to loosen the strings if you plan to not play them frequently. You should also take your guitar to be set up by a luthier every 6-8 months.

Suppose you have a guitar collection and are looking at ways to keep several guitars in good playing condition. You can implement some of these steps to ensure your guitars are kept in tip-top condition.

Clean Before Storing

Whenever you finish playing, give your guitar a wipe-down before storing it. This is because when we play, we may leave behind sweat, grime, or oil on the guitar, which may, over time, damage it. 

This can be done easily with a dry microfiber cloth. If you want a better cleaning job, use a damp microfiber cloth and then wipe again with a dry one before storing. 

Loosen The Strings

If you do not play your guitar too frequently, consider loosening the strings before storing them away. This reduces the stress on your guitar’s strings and the neck and body.

This means your strings may be out of tune the next time you play it, but you can always sort that out with a tuner. 

Play Them Once in A While

Guitars are meant to be played upon. The strings should dance happily, and the guitar box vibrates, amplifies sounds, and produces great melodies. This means you should also pull out your guitar from storage once in a while and play it. 

If you need a more logical reason, you can think about your guitar like a car. If not started and driven on and off, an old car may develop issues later. You can assume the same with your guitar. Play them on and off to ensure they functions and works well.

Regularly Maintain Your Guitar

One last thing about keeping your guitar working well long term is always taking it to its doctor. Professionals that maintain and set up guitars are called luthiers. Your guitar should be checked out by one every 6-8 months. 

A luthier may check for damages, helps you to fix if there’s bending on your guitar neck, and adjusts things such as string action or bridge height. A luthier can also fix any physical damages. This ensures your guitar remains in tip-top playing condition.

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