Today’s Tech Tip comes from Sweetwater Sales Engineer, David Hess.
If you’re like me you may like to have your acoustic guitar just arms length away when you have that moment of inspiration hit you. For me I’ve got a couple on the walls, a couple on stands and I’d probably have one in every room if my wife would let me :-), It’s great to have the guitars handy, but you need to keep an eye on your acoustic instruments in the winter time.
Forced air heating and lack of humidity will dry your guitar’s top and bracing quickly and you can cause the natural bulging of the guitar’s top to tighten up and drawl in. A good sign your favorite box is having this problem is the sudden rattling of string and frets above the 7th fret. This seems to come out of nowhere. It happens to one or two of my guitars every season – or it would if I wasn’t looking for it and taking steps to prevent it. What has happened is that the clearance your strings had when it was properly setup is no longer there. The top has sunk in a bit.
Buy a Dampit or simple humidifier and use it from the start and use it especially in the winter months to keep the dry heat from drying your guitar out. If she is still a bit finicky then you may go to your local guitar repairman and have a “winter” saddle made that is identical to the stock saddle, just a tad taller to allow for more clearance.
So don’t let those January rattles lead to frustration and using your guitar for firewood. Burn real lumber instead!