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Ring Music

Torontos guitar specialists since 1969

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Travelling with your Guitar

By following these few simple rules, travelling with your guitar should be a breeze.

Summer

Never store your guitar in the trunk of a car. Temperatures inside the trunk may exceed 66 Celsius (or 150 Fahrenheit) which could cause tremendous damage to your guitar. Damage sustained from exposure to extreme temperatures can be costly to repair and are not covered by any manufacturer's warranty. Keep the guitar on the back seat to avoid hassles.

If you're travelling to your cottage, for instance, keep in mind that if you expose the top to bright sunlight, a yellowing of the top will most likely occur. Although this suntan is not a problem per se, you may not want the shape of your arm printed on the top of the guitar, so be careful playing in the sun. You should also avoid direct sunlight for long periods of time for the same reasons discussed earlier in reasons for not storing a guitar in the trunk of a car.

Winter

The same rule applies with respect to trunk storage. In addition, when bringing the guitar in from the cold, let it warm up slowly IN THE CASE for an hour or so. This will prevent the lacquer from "checking" (tiny, snaky cracks in the finish only, not the wood) thus preserving the appearance of your guitar. It also protects it from the sudden temperature change of 20 to 40 Celsius which could have many serious effects on the guitar's integrity.

Shipping

If you ever have to ship your guitar by plane, bus, etc., proper packing is essential to the continued health of your guitar. Since most airlines will no longer allow you to carry-on your guitar, I strongly recommend that you pack your guitar case inside of a large cardboard shipping box loosely stuffed with crumpled newspaper. Visit your local music store and politely ask them to save box for you as they are always receiving guitars in them. Just give them a week or two's notice before you need the box and I'm sure they'll be happy to help you out.

Many guitarists feel that they should loosen the strings off when shipping or flying with their guitar. The luthiers that I've spoken to, however, advise against this practice. They suggest instead carefully padding the case underneath the peghead area with crumpled newspaper. Their feeling is that the string tension balances the stress of the heaving machine heads and neck along the length of the body.

Plaster "Fragile" stickers all over the outer cardboard box and be sure to insure the guitar for its full value. When you arrive at your destination, get your guitar out of the box and examine it right there. Then if there is damage, there is no doubt as to who caused it.

Armed with this information your guitar should last a lifetime.


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