Top 5 Tips to Make Your Acoustic Guitar Sound better
by Jessica Brandon
Whether you are playing a steel string or nylon string guitar, you may find yourself wanting to make your acoustic guitar sound better, or keep your acoustic guitar at the best sounding condition.
1. Experiment with Pins (for Steel String Guitars)
Most guitars come equipped with standard plastic bridge pins. The job of the bridge pin is to hold the string in place at the bridge, and while plastic pins get the job done, there are several other materials that can greatly improve your guitar’s tone. Bone, Ebony, Fossilized Walrus Ivory (FWI), Mammoth Ivory, Walrus Jawbone, and Buffalo Horn are just some of the better pins on the market today. Some of the improvements you can expect from a bridge pin upgrade are increased sustain, more clarity, and overall volume. Depending on which material you choose, you can also steer your guitar towards more bass or more treble.
2. Clean Your Fingerboard
Wipe clean with paper towels. Position the fretboard guard over each fret, scrubbing each surface with steel wool. Wipe every polished fret with a naptha-saturated paper towel. Spray guitar detailer onto a micro fiber cloth, and polish the entire neck.
3. Experiment and Try Different Strings
Changing nylon strings differs considerably from the process used for steel-string guitars, and there are right and wrong ways to do it.
Changing strings regularly is always a good way to keep your tone sounding fresh. But changing the type of strings you use can be a real and welcome game changer. Many players don’t realize how easily they can test-drive a totally new sound at a very minimal cost simply by changing the kind of strings they use.
If you’re used to playing with nickel-wound strings, which typically produce a rounder vintage-style tone, try a set of stainless steel strings for brighter sound with more prominent sustain. If your strings deteriorate quickly from grime and heavy use, try longer-lasting coated strings.
The type of winding also determines how strings sound. Jazz guitarists and blues bassists, for example, often choose flat-wound strings for their warmer, mellower and harmonically rich tone. Rock and country guitarists typically go with round-wound strings for their brightness and articulation.
Dry conditions may affect your guitars. Climate change, storage and even just everyday use can throw your instrument out of intonation. Making sure that your guitar is properly intonated is a fundamental way to keep its tone in good shape. A guitar humidifier will protect your acoustic guitar and keep it playing and sounding its best.
5. Keep Your Finish Clean
It is good for you to wipe down your guitar after each playing. You may keep a soft rag in your guitar case to wipe smudges off the finish and clean your finger oils off the strings. It will take less than a minute to wipe it down while you put your guitar away.
For more information on IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: https://www.inacoustic.com