Everyone starts off with one guitar. And then you need another. Before you know it, you have a small army of guitars hanging around in your music room, and you realize maybe you need a system.
Not to worry, I’m going to run you through the four things you need to follow to properly care for your collection and get maximum enjoyment out of them.
Put Some Of Your Guitars On The Wall
In every collection there’s a couple of guitars that are too beautiful to keep in a case. You want them up on the wall so everyone can see them. Plus, if you have one or two guitars that you play all the time, you want to make them as accessible as possible.
So, what do you do? Hang your guitars on the wall. If you put them in a floor rack they’re going to be at the mercy of dogs, kids, and who knows what else (ask me how I know that – my four year old won’t even look at my American Made Strat any more in case she knocks it over again).
Put Some Of Your Guitars in Cases
Another thing every collection has is the guitars that don’t get a lot of love but are for when the mood strikes you. So maybe you have a shred guitar that you pull out once a year – that does not need to go on the wall! Get yourself some good quality cases, box up the less used guitars, and find somewhere not too hot, not too cold, just right for those babies.
And here’s the other thing – one day you might want to sell that guitar, and you don’t want to have to explain to some one “oh yeah, I used to have the original hardshell case for that guitar but damned if I know where it went”. Keep all your cases together, and keep them somewhere they won’t get damaged. You’ll thank yourself!
Decide on a Maintenance Schedule
Let’s walk through a scenario here. You’re at home, recording a killer song on your DAW, and you realize you need a Les Paul to lay down a solo to set the song on fire. You reach for your favorite LP – but it hasn’t had any love in six months, the strings are dank, the neck is dusty, and there’s just no mojo.
This is why you need a maintenance schedule. Make a list of all your guitars and decide that each one is going to get taken down and cleaned up, maybe strings changed and some minor repairs, at least every three months. Maybe you pull the guitar down and realize it’s fine – that’s cool, just wipe it down and put it back. Really what you want to make sure is, when inspiration hits, at most you just need to change the strings, and then you’re ready to go.
Document and Insure all of your instruments
Some time in late 2016 I came home to find my front door open, my dog under a couch cushion, and my music room completely empty.
It took me about two weeks of going through every email and every photo I had relating to my guitars to piece together some serial numbers in order to convince my home insurance that I wasn’t like “my house got robbed, oh and I had like five grand worth of guitars in there. Proof? Whaddyamean proof?”
Right now – RIGHT NOW – go into your music room and take a picture of every serial of every piece of gear you have. Upload it to wherever you keep your pictures and documents (Google Drive, Dropbox, whatever) and keep them so that when the cops show up at your house and say “give me the serials so we can notify the pawn shops” you won’t be standing there red faced.
If you’re anything more than a casual player, you’re going to end up with a collection. You need an electric. You need an acoustic. Maybe get a bass for home recording. Well damn now I need a hollow body. I cold really use something twangy. Man a shredder would be fun. Next thing you know you’re picking up piles of laundry and finding guitars underneath you didn’t even know you had.
Get organized! Hang your guitars, store your guitars, clean your guitars and whatever you do, insure your guitars.
That way you and your guitars can have a long and loving life together.