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I like to leave my guitars out, otherwise I don't play them. I have a couple of wall hangings and stands all over the place too. Will hanging a guitar from the wall damage it at all? Warp the neck? etc.

  • 11
    A guitar that's left in its case and is in excellent shape is a far worse problem than a guitar that's played and loved, but is a little worse for wear because it's left out. You can always rotate which guitars are on the wall and which are in their cases in the closet. – neilfein Mar 5 '11 at 17:17
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    Electric or acoustic guitar? I've recently become aware that this makes a huge difference. "Acoustic guitar rooms" in guitar shops are often humidified. – neilfein Mar 29 '12 at 15:11
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I doubt it. Every single music store I have ever been in hangs instruments from the headstock. If it caused damage I don't think use of them would be so widespread.

15

It won't warp the neck. The force of gravity on the neck is much less than the force asserted on the neck by those strings under tension.

I would still not advise long term storage of guitars by hanging them on the wall.

The safest place for your guitar is in its hard shell case.

While hanging on the wall your guitar is far more susceptible to changes in humidity and temperature. And these changes can definitely have an adverse effect on the wood your guitar is made from.

You can also experience finish issues with some nitrocellulose-based finishes when they're left in contact with rubber and foam, such as you might find covering the guitar hanger's hooks, for any period of time. It can discolour the finish and even rub it off the guitar with little effort.

And then there's the accident factor: a guitar hanging on the wall is far more likely to be bumped, banged, knocked, touched, dropped, sneezed on, puked over, drooled on, viewed by potential theives...you get the idea. It's just not wrapped in the layers of protective foam and plywood that a case provides.

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    +1 for the issues with nitrocellulose finishes. I've hung my archtop on the wall for ten years, and over time it's gradually pushed the finish up from the neck/headstock joint, so that the finish has pooled a bit at the base of the headstock, and the top of the neck is a bit bare. I still leave the guitar hanging, though, for exactly the reason Neil mentions above: it's an incentive to play it. – Alex Basson Mar 6 '11 at 15:16
  • I disagree, the force of gravity is still a force and when added with the weight of the guitar and your placing that weight on the headstock then it adds up to quite a bit of force. Force=mass x acceleration. Even if you leave it in a case the neck can still warp, that is if you leave it flat. Either upright or on a floorstand. In the case you can control the humidity better with humidity packs and such. – JPM Feb 25 at 18:11
  • @JPM a = 0 here so where does that leave your argument? :) – Ian C. Feb 25 at 20:47
  • hah your talking to a Physicist here. Hey slightly misinformed person, a != 0, and F=ma is the basic equation the real equation is F = (Gm1*m2)/dd So do the math on a hanging object. The force on the neck for a 6Kg guitar is roughly 58 Newtons. So condensing the equation its not F=ma its F=mg m=6Kg and g=9.8m/s2, so 6*9.8 = 58 Newtons. – JPM Feb 26 at 21:25
  • @JPM note in my answer I never said it wasn't a force, just that it was less than the force from the tension of the strings and therefore negligible in the calculus of answering the question "all the things that will warp a guitar" -- I stand by that and your 58 N number really makes that apparent. Feel free to provide your own answer if you think you have an improvement that can be made. Your comments haven't really brought anything productive to my answer but thanks for sharing! – Ian C. Feb 28 at 0:56
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It won't except for the effect of weather. But no matter what you do, don't let it lay flat on a surface without supporting the neck.

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It'll do less damage than your kid running into the guitar on its floorstand and knocking it over, then falling on your precious instrument.

  • I suspect this comment comes from personal experience? :P – Jasarien Sep 8 '11 at 15:37
  • +1 My acoustic ovation fell victim of my little kid running around. That was 7 years ago and I still miss it. – the Reverend Nov 16 '14 at 20:56
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I'm doing it for many years now, without any problem... except the kids issue mentioned before of course :-)

0

Left mine in a stand that hung by the headstock when it transitioned to summer it caused a slight twist in the headstock. Gave the truss rod a small twist and it corrected some after a week in its case it's mostly back to where it used to be without any affect on tension and intonation. Be careful.

  • Yep this is what I was commenting about in the answer Ian C. left – JPM Mar 5 at 5:11

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