Questions tagged [maintenance]

For questions about keeping an instrument or related gear in playable condition.

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67
votes
21answers
42k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
30
votes
10answers
52k views

What is intonation and how can I find out if my guitar has correct intonation?

What is intonation? What is the best way to check my intonation and fix it if necessary?
22
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I set up an electric guitar?

How do I set up the pickups, neck, etc. in an electric guitar? I'm not concerned with producing a particular sound as I am with keeping the neck from warping, prevent string buzz, improving ...
22
votes
12answers
18k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
26
votes
8answers
20k views

Cleaning the fretboard of an electric guitar

I have had my electric guitar for several years and I noticed that there is some "sweat dirt" on the fretboard of the guitar, so the inlay is less shiny. I'd like to clean that without taking the ...
18
votes
4answers
8k views

Acoustic guitar - how to wind strings on the tuning posts

While writing an answer to this question, I did a little web searching and found that the way I was taught 29 years ago to wind the strings isn't necessarily the best. On an acoustic guitar, I tend ...
64
votes
21answers
70k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
19
votes
6answers
63k views

Do I need to have my guitar re-set up if I change the string gauge

I'm a newbie transitioning to intermediate and I have a rather nice strat with 11 gauge strings. I'd like to try lighter strings but someone told me changing gauge will require the guitar to be re-set ...
18
votes
6answers
672 views

How do you care for your guitar?

A guitar that is used regularly will sooner or later show signs of wear and tear. How do you best care for your guitar and make sure it stays as good as it is for as long as possible?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Insane amounts of fret buzzing on my lower strings

This may have been addressed before, but I can't really find a thread that targets this problem. Whenever I play on my low B, E, or A string between open and fifth fret inclusive, it always buzzes ...
19
votes
6answers
59k views

Cleaning a tarnished flute

My flute is tarnished and needs to be cleaned... I was afraid if I polished it, I would break something on it. I read online that it's a bad idea to remove tarnish on a flute yourself as you can ruin ...
16
votes
10answers
17k views

How can I stop my electric guitar strings from rusting so quickly?

I suffer from hyperhyrdosis which means my hands sweat quite a lot. The problem is that because of this my electric guitar strings seem to rust quite quickly because of this. Is there anything I can ...
6
votes
3answers
210 views

Piano Maintenance

What should be done to maintain an upright piano? I am not asking about tuning it, but what can be done so it does not have to be tuned as often? I heard someone once say about a particular piano ...
15
votes
2answers
22k views

What is the proper humidity range for an acoustic guitar?

What is the range of relative humidity, in percentage, that is optimal for storing a guitar, cello, violin or the like in its case? I live in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, which is a humid environment year-...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

How to Calibrate / Setup an Electric Guitar?

Even with new strings, my guitar makes some sort of buzzing noise on higher strings. I was told it needs to be set up. What are the steps or where can I find a good guide to do this?
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How should I tune a 12 string acoustic guitar?

I've bought an Ibanez 12 string acoustic brand new online. Do I tune the 12 string guitar like all the 6 string guitars I have.
6
votes
3answers
12k views

Piano sustains when the pedal is not pressed

I noticed this on a piano I played recently - a small amount of sustain with no pedal and much more with it pressed. It wasn't unpleasant, actually, but is it likely to be: A feature of the piano A ...
1
vote
2answers
432 views

Is there a chance for heavy violin strings to harm the instrument?

Is there anything like that that heavy or other kinds of violin-strings should break down the instrument?
29
votes
7answers
2k views

What tools should every guitarist have?

What tools should every guitarist have to do most small/medium projects for their guitars? (change strings, tuners, knobs, pickups)
20
votes
5answers
9k views

Will my wind instrument be damaged if I leave it assembled?

Almost every teacher, expert, and book has informed me that I should disassemble my (clarinet / recorder / saxophone) each time after I practice. However, it is difficult for me to see how this would ...
18
votes
3answers
6k views

Should I loosen the tension on the bow for a break?

According to Violin for Dummies, we should loosen the horsehair before put violin back in the case. However, I always give myself about an hour break after I play violin for 1 to 2 hours. Should I ...
31
votes
7answers
122k views

How do I know when it's time to change a tube on my amplifier?

I think this would be a wonderfully instructive question to people who are new to tube amplifiers. In short, how do I know that it's time to change a tube, and what's a good strategy for figuring out ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Adjusting clarinet or saxophone reeds

How do various techniques and equipments for adjusting reeds compare? e.g. (blade perpendicular strokes) (Tom Ridenour's Tools + DVD) ...
13
votes
6answers
15k views

Is it a good idea to leave my guitar tuned over night?

I have an acoustic guitar and I always leave it tuned over night until someone told me that it ruins the strings and the neck of the guitar. Is that true and should I leave it tuned overnight?
10
votes
4answers
4k views

Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?

Obviously acoustic and classical guitars don't have external pickups that need to be setup, but are there any other adjustments that need to be done on a regular basis? There doesn't seem to be a ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Acoustic Guitar Intonation Adjustments

Simply put, how does one adjust it. I have a low-end acoustic where the intonation seems to be out by quite a bit and I'd like to adjust it. It comes down to adjusting string size or length, so I ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator?

Do instruments get out of tune when you place them near a radiator when the radiator is hot? If so, why? Also, is there anything else that happens when you place an instrument near a hot radiator?
6
votes
4answers
10k views

Best method to clean guitar?

After a month or two of playing, the strings will often have grime and skin oil stuck to the underside, and the frets will eventually start building up dirt. Add to that all the dust that accumulates ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can Adjusting the Truss rod of the guitar crack the neck?

I wonder if anyone can help me here. I bought a used guitar from Ebay and it looked fine at first sight. The action needed adjusting and I tune to Eb so I decided to adjust the truss-rod. I turned it ...
4
votes
13answers
32k views

Strange guitar warble sound

I have a Jackson Dinky DK2M with two Seymour Duncan Humbucker pickups and a floyd rose tremolo on it. It is producing a strange `warble' noise on G string, especially on higher frets like 12th, 15th, ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I lubricate a slide whistle?

I got a slide whistle for my birthday. I notice that it seems to stick a lot. When I try playing it, it is always hitting my teeth and I can't really practice. This is my first non-percussion ...
3
votes
6answers
15k views

Using coconut oil for electric guitar fretboard?

I have an ESP Ltd H-101 fm and the fretboard seems to be drying (maybe?) Can I use coconut oil on the fretboard instead of lemon oil or other oils specifically used on fretboards? Also what are the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I lower a plastic acoustic guitar saddle?

I got an acoustic steel-string guitar, the nut's height is perfect. Now I want to lower my saddle. It's made of plastic – a bone synthetic for making sure – which I think it's a bit hard to get it ...
13
votes
4answers
42k views

What's causing this buzzing sound on the high e string?

My Takamine acoustic has a tendency to buzz when I play the high e string fretted around frets 2 and 3. I figure it's something to do with the neck and tension rod. Are there any other parts of a ...
12
votes
4answers
20k views

Factors in choosing a replacement saddle for an acoustic guitar.

I saw this in the comments section on the question "Do acoustic or classical guitars need to be set up?" The saddle material makes a difference in the sound of an acoustic too. I have a bit of a ...
11
votes
4answers
578 views

What is a guitar truss rod?

What is the "truss rod" on a guitar? Do truss rods vary for an acoustic, electric, or classical guitar?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Upgrade tuners or get a new guitar?

I have an Ibanez V70CE Acoustic-Electric guitar. While it was not expensive, I like the way it feels and it sounds just fine. The problem is it doesn't like to stay in tune. I always use high quality ...
9
votes
4answers
15k views

Do pianos really need to rest before tuning, after being moved?

I'm new to real pianos and just having bought an old 2nd-hand one, it's obviously gone out of tune being moved to my house. I've heard from a few people, including one tuner, that they need to 'rest' ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

12-string acoustic guitar - how do nut and saddle materials affect tone?

I'm doing some work on a 12-string acoustic guitar, and am planning to replace the nut and saddle. I need to raise the action a little bit for the E and B strings, and also want to change to a ...
7
votes
6answers
16k views

What is the best way to remove a broken bridge pin?

I decided to give my guitar a well deserved clean, but when I came to remove the low E string, the bridge pin was a bit stuck so I resorted to using pliers, which turns out to have been a very bad ...
6
votes
8answers
2k views

What to have in mind when traveling by plane with my guitar?

I have to travel by plane to another country in a few months, and I want to bring my guitar with me. I have doubts with what should I do to ensure that my guitar arrives safe and in perfect condition. ...
6
votes
4answers
197 views

Should I worry about this strap pin?

I recently bought a Fender Stratocaster that came stock with Schaller straplocks. This is great, because I pretty much always play standing. In shows, I jump around and do all the tricks in the book. (...
5
votes
2answers
556 views

How to disassemble a tuba for cleaning

When I remove the valves of a piston tuba, do I remove the spring also?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Guitar less resonant than when new; humidity problem?

Several months ago I purchased a folk-size acoustic guitar. It's not top-of-the-line but it had quite a nice sound up until a few weeks ago. Previously, it had a rich, resonant tone and was capable ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

How close to a radiator is too close?

While ideally a piano would be kept in some special room with controlled humidity and temperature, that's rarely possible. For many of us in small houses, finding Any space big enough is a challenge ...
1
vote
2answers
511 views

Oil in Drum wooden shells to prevent wood to dry out

I've been reading about using tung oil inside drum shells to help keep the wood from drying out and moisture to get into the wood. The obvious concern is how does the oil affect the tonality and pitch ...