Summertime Blues... What do rising temperatures, high humidity and your guitar have in common? A guitar that plays too 'stiff' or too 'buzzy'. It's an easy symptom to diagnose and is sometimes the opposite of your wintertime guitar condition. Too much humidity isn't as destructive as too little, but of course, if you see your guitar floating in a flooded basement, that's a BIG problem! Here's what to look for: Your neck angle has changed the height of your strings, making them higher than usual-this is called 'fore-bow' and it happens when the truss rod (or in some cases like many classical guitars, simply wood movement) isn't tensioned enough to resist the forward pull of the strings. A quick turn or two of the truss rod can remedy this issue but proceed with caution if the guitar has never been adjusted or is very old. When in doubt, stop by WMC Monday through Thursday to visit the guitar bench and have your neck adjusted. In many cases, a truss-rod adjustment is about $20. The other common scenario for guitar string action changing is when your solid wood guitar top takes on too much moisture and begins to 'swell', causing your top to rise up along with it's bridge and saddle (some people call the condition behind the bridge 'too much belly'. Obviously, this has to be remedied with both moisture control and a saddle adjustment. Many customers keep their guitars in an air conditioned room to regulate moisture content and also to keep mold out of the air and inside of their guitars. If this isn't an option for you, keep your guitars in the coolest, driest place possible in your home like a centrally located closet or a room the shares a wall with another inside room away from direct sunlight and so forth. Some customers also keep silica gel in their cases with the guitar (similar to those packets your find with shoes and electronics). Keep in mind silica gel removes moisture from the air but needs to be replaced or dried out so that it can continue to absorb moisture, otherwise it stays 'soggy' and can't do it's job. Check your local hardware or dept. store for silica gel packets or 'tubs' that rest in a closet floor for example. In very extreme situations, guitar joints may fail and tops, backs, braces, and even necks can unglue themselves or soften just enough to pull the guitar out of alignment. These situations are usually the result of seriously swampy rooms like basements, garages, or very cool, north facing rooms that see little 'drying' sunlight. As always, our advice is: treat your guitar like it's a person-don't leave it in a car in the blazing summer sun or in any of the situations previously mentioned and you'll BOTH be much happier!
Did you know, we order special guitars for customers quite often? Below are just a few you weren't likely to encounter in the shop, especially when their excited new owners received a call from us!
A Martin John Mayer OMJM
A Martin 000-16T Left Handed
Taylor 614CE Maple
You might not think of a small shop getting some of the first models released by a guitar producer but this has been the case many times in the past. When we special order an instrument for you, the manufacturer oftentimes quotes a longer waiting period for shipment, yet we see special order instruments arrive a week to a month sooner.
Let us know what you're dreaming about, maybe we can arrange the guitar of your dreams? :)