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Guitar Maintenance for Beginners

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My guitars have been in the desert for a year now, and they need a bath badly. Gibson says don't let any oil get on the strings, but others have said clean them up as well. Which is ok? And the frets are poking out painfully on the strat.

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You only own electrics, right?  Just use a very slightly damp, well squeezed out microfibre towel on the surface of the guitar and its neck.  NO PAPER TOWELS!  The guitars have a polyurethane finish which will not respond well to either oils or most polishes/waxes.  Just a slightly damp cloth and then another to dry the guitar are all you need.  If you have a rather stubborn spot the damp cloth can't clean, one of the best guitar cleaners is a bit of spit followed by the damp cloth. 

 

Do not get oil on the strings.  The fretboard can be lightly oiled with a high quality lemon oil no more than once a year.  Most folks do this when they are changing strings.  Apply a few drops of oil to a cloth and rub down the fretboard paying attention to any grime around the frets.  After a few minutes, take another cloth to wipe away the excess oil.  Don't get OCD about any of this.

 

Strings can be wiped down after each use.  Once again, a slightly damp cloth is all you need.  Some people have very acidic body fluids which tend to deaden strings prematurely.  If your strings are turning groady after just a few weeks, then you might want to switch string types and become more attentive to washing your hands prior to playing and wiping down the strings before you put your guitar up for the day.    

 

Take your guitar to a tech and explain the situation with the frets.  Ask them to dress the fret ends and perform a proper set up on the guitar.  A good set up and once over will make the guitar play and sound like a more expensive guitar.    

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Thank you, JanVigne (how do you pronounce your name?) !!

 

That was extremely helpful. Most folks have forgotten that water actually cleans things and grab the nearest chemical !! It's terrible. Why is lemon oil better than mineral oil? All I have right now is mineral oil, but haven't put it on yet. I forgot the term for the frets doing this?? I thought it was pretty funny, but not the situation. I live in serious BFE; the grocery store and guitar shop {AMAZING they have one}-everything, is 35 miles away. 70 mile roundtrip for groceries, hardware, ANYTHING. I only went there once, with my Squier, told em strings and setup, and they charged me $10. Now, how much does ten bucks buy you ?!? So now I'm suspicious of them and want to start doing my own work. All I've done is change one string that broke due to my wonderful newbie tuning. And I played with the bridge on the squier. Why can't I take the sandpaper to the frets? Glad I have that thing now. I can practice everything on it (squier). It is actually couch decoration at the moment. Have wall hangers coming. I practice/play/learn on my Epi LP Special I P-90s (TV yellow), which I love, and it will soon be NGD !! A friend is selling me his Tribal Red Agile AL-2000, which I am SO excited about. He said it was the end of the last run of the AL-2000s, so it's already super special to me and I haven't even touched it.

So, these 2 I don't want to fup. I have the basic tools, but I need a radius gauge and what else? Also some advice on truss rod adjustment. I'm still training my ears and of course, everything else, so, truthfully, I don't know about tone.

thx

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"Thank you, JanVigne (how do you pronounce your name?) !!"

 

It's Northern Italian.  Think "lasagne" or better yet "vignette" and leave off the ending.  That will get you close to the proper pronunciation.   Since the Italian language has fewer letters than does English, close is OK and better than most.    

 

You can use mineral oil if it has no additives.  You can use 3in1 oil if you like.  Just don't use a food grade oil that may go rancid.  Lemon oil tends to clean the gunk out of the neck better than most other oils and is more easily acquired without additives.  But your guitar may not need the fretboard oiled at this time.  

 

Obviously, you didn't get a "set up", you got new strings with a slight charge for installation.

 

"Playing with" the bridge on a Fender can be a bad idea if you don't have directions and the correct tools.  Check the Squier webpage for details.  You'll need a very accurate digital tuner like this; https://www.petersontuners.com/  Make sure you're using the tuner without any "sweetenings" on.  

 

Sandpaper won't cut the frets easily.  You can mask off the sides of the neck and file down the fret edges; https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+dress+fret+edges+on+a+guitar&rlz=1CAACAY_enUS754US756&oq=how+to+dress+fret+edges+on+a+guitar&aqs=chrome..69i57.10846j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

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Oh, I can do that. Speak Spanish, and a year of Latin, so I can handle any Latin based language. I like to play russian and try to write with no vowels !! Who needs vowels? I have a shorthand that no one in their right mind could figure out, from so much schooling. There's no way you can write normally as fast as a professor speaks. I didn't know Italian had less letters. Cool. I was born in CT and spent a lot of time around Italian people. Oh dear-excuse me-Italian Americans. God I hate that s*t.  Whoever started this pc crap should be shot. In the gut. When it completely takes over I shall be a Cherokee Russo Texan American. Or I could just change my name to Off Topic.

Thank you for the links. Figures I bought food grade mineral oil for my chopping boards coz they all crack in half after a year max. Not Mom's.

Should I buy a set of radius gauges? With my lemon oil?

thx

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I don't see why,  just use the specs Squier provides.  There's some hotshots who can give you tweaks but for now just a set up is all you need.  Then play for awhile and determine what else needs to be done.    

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I just don't trust the $10 shop anymore. AND they said they give the guitars to some other guy (probably The Dude on the Couch) for stringing. WTF???

I'll try them again. Don't exactly have a choice.

thx agn

Gak. Gak, gak. Gak.    You speak Martian?

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Back again. Haven't done anything to guitars yet, but I called to ask you if I can put your advice in the new thread "Older Beginners". I feel like I've taken over and I don't like it, but I'm full of ideas and I think I have a bad case of PP: Practice Procrastination (copyright). I read all your advice over again just now. I have this food grade mineral oil + vitamin E. Nowhere does it say anything else, but that probably doesn't mean anything. So, everybody yelling "lemon oil", I'm thinking I can make my own with essential oils, then I read up a little on the acidity that you don't want. So, I picked an intelligent victim and said "Just show me a picture of what you use". Old English lemon oil. Got 4 pints of it (wood floors). Is that the stuff you recommend?

So finally, I hope I have a successful thread in Older Beginners, since only one or two (not here) have been too successful. There seems to be a lot of older beginners here. Like I said, Off Topic. Me. I have learned, anyway. Forgot that's what PMs are for. So I wanted to check with you before I said something stupid. Can you put just your posts in the thread for me?  Also, I realized after creating this one, there is already a permanent one on the forum that I just duplicated. Research, research, research. If you put your advice in, use a different title than I did here. And then I'll get 6string to kill this one. Please keep the links to fret sprouts and tuners, or I'll put them in there while you're doing other stuff. Already have 2-3 advisors, and will have at least 2 more, if you're interested. Just keep an eye on it and jump in when need be. Thanks, Tania

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I wouldn't use the mineral oil since the vitamin E will go rancid.  The Old English is fine since you should only use the oil about once a year.  I'd look at the warnings on line for Old English and wear nitrile gloves when you apply it.  

 

Give me a link where you want me to post.

 

And, you want me to start a new thread?  Or, just add to an existing one?      

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50 minutes ago, JanVigne said:

I wouldn't use the mineral oil since the vitamin E will go rancid.  The Old English is fine since you should only use the oil about once a year.  I'd look at the warnings on line for Old English and wear nitrile gloves when you apply it.  

 

Give me a link where you want me to post.

 

And, you want me to start a new thread?  Or, just add to an existing one?      

Crap. A whole paragraph gone. The wifi guy was here. we're in the big time now. Fiber optic. Thread is called Older Beginners. Be nice is you put some of your VIP advice there (it's under chit/chat), and answered future questions. I just put it there today. And definitely, put your opinions of the vids up. Thanks. Whenever goathead shows his face, he's gonna kill this thread coz I told him too. Love that guy. Thank you for everything !!

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I wouldn't use oil on any my guitars as for the Fender , carefully file the fret ends off with a mill file.

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