Is your guitar too dry?
Low humidity can be a problem – especially if you live in a dry or wintery climate – affecting the sound and potentially causing serious damage to your guitar.
Let me share with you five ways to tell without any tools, not even a hygrometer, that your guitar is parched.
Originally published on December 12, 2017, this post was republished on September 07, 2022.
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1. Fret Ends Begin to Poke Out
If your guitar is thirsty, the fretboard may shrink ever so slightly causing the fret ends to poke out. Your fretting hand will notice this immediately.
2. Notes Begin to Buzz
If you are experiencing guitar fret buzz that is of the mechanical nature (meaning not caused by technique) then your guitar might be too dry. When your guitar dries out, the top lowers ever so slightly causing the strings to be a bit closer to the fretboard.
3. You’re Hearing Weird Rattles
When the guitar starts to dry out the wood can shrink on the headstock causing the tuner bushings (metal rings around the tuners) to rattle.
4. Raised Hard Grain Lines
When your six string friend is parched, one of the tell tale signs is that the ridges of the hard grain lines become very apparent. I mean, you can feel them, and if you hold it in the light you can likely see them as well.
5. The Dreaded Crack
Most likely, a crack will appear on the center, but it can appear in other places as well. If your guitar is too dry, it will result in a crack – so be sure to humidify appropriately.
Take appropriate steps to ensure that your guitar is hydrated and in optimum condition, and you can have fun playing it for decades!
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How do I humidify my guitars that seem to be dry