Before You Record: Acoustic Guitar

Before you even begin to ponder microphone placement, there are a few things that you have to do to get the best possible sound out of your guitar.

v  The night before you are going to record, remove your strings.

Ø  Older strings have a dull, darker tone and intonation can be kind of whacky.

v  Before you restring, wipe down your entire guitar.

Ø  Oils from skin contact on your guitar can build up and can begin to deaden the sound

Ø  There are guitar cleaning products and I recommend using them.  I like Dunlop Formula No. 65 because it both cleans and polishes.

Ø  Make sure you clean and completely wipe down the entire guitar.  I usually do this is in the same order so I know everything has been completed.

§  Back of body

§  Sides of body

§  Neck

§  Back of headstock

§  Front of headstock

§  Fret board

§  Front of body

Ø  Give everything one last wipe down with a microfiber cloth.

v  Now, restring your guitar

Ø  Keep in mind that new strings are more prone to finger screech

§  To battle this, I like to use coated strings.  You can also use string lubricants.

v  Make sure you give your strings a really good stretch.

Ø  If you don’t stretch your strings, they will not stay in tune.

§  There are multiple methods to doing this and I will be doing a post on the best methods in the near future.

Ø  After stretching, make sure you play a quick song to make sure everything sounds good.

§  Don’t play for more than five minutes.

Ø  Put your guitar back in its case, close it up, and don’t even look at it again until you are ready to record the following day.

Note: Make sure that your guitar is set up properly before restringing.  This is incredibly important for overall sound, intonation and ease of playing.

As always, just press record; you never know what may come out.

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