Musician, Spare that Axe

By Tim Dennison

With spring upon us, repairs on wooden instruments rise with the humidity level. Dry winters and moist summers can limit the life of guitars, violins, mandolins, etc., etc. and with a little TLC, years of great playing can be added to your instrument.

Maintaining a constant humidity in your instrument case is important and can be achieved by devices known as dampits, humidifiers, or hygrometers.

Faithful use during the winter months helps avoid cracks occurring in the top, splits, bridge and neck adjustment and your instrument will appreciate the $5 investment When storing a wooden instrument at home, always leave it in the case when not in use. Never leave instruments on or near heater vents, wood stoves, humidifiers, damp basement walls, kerosene heaters, etc., etc., as I've seen many guitars looking like they've come fresh from a sauna.

Locked cars in the summer heat can cause many problems for violin necks, guitar bridges, braces and the like, as the extreme temperature actually loosens the glue joints that hold your instrument together. Always keep a can of guitar polish and a soft cloth handy, for perspiration stains and fingerprints contain sales and acidity which can eat through the best lacquer finishes.

Remember, Jimi Hendrix was under an endorsement contract with Fender and got his guitars for free.

I guess we could all burn a couple at that price.

(Tim Dennison is Manager, Sales and Repairs, Music Center, Downtown.)