Understanding and being aware of facts about humidity is what meteorologists refer to as "relative humidity." This applies to the air’s ability to take in water or retain or to dry up objects that contain moisture that air surrounds.

The best or perfect level of humidity for a guitar changes from one musical instrument to another, subject to the humidity situations in the workshop or factory where the guitar was assembled.

The humidity at the time that the instrument was being assembled set up the primary dimensions of your guitar. This configuration of dimension is permanently sealed into the entire structure when it is being assembled. Therefore, when humidity changes, each component will expand or shrink unevenly and yet the dimensions of the guitar’s structure will remain uniformly constant.

The most frustrating problem in the care and maintenance of a guitar of high quality is the wood’s tendency to either expand or shrink with humidity changes. Damage brought about by humidity changes requires costly repairs because high quality guitars are made from solid wood. These guitars are expensive the sound is superior compared to the lower priced instruments. However, solid woods are very susceptible to changes in humidity because of their propensity to expand or shrink.

High humidity connotes a “waterlogged” sound from your guitar; it will lack projection and volume having a lifeless and damp tone. The guitar can also be damaged structurally by high humidity.

Usually "bloating" at the back is a problem, most specifically when the back of the guitar is made of extremely hard wood - particularly rosewood. This problem is brought about by the expansion of wood causing the glue on the brace’s edge to detach.

When a guitar is kept in the basement, a problem that may occur is wood deterioration triggered by the intense humidity

The problems brought about by extremely low humidity levels are even more severe. Excessive loss of moisture in the wood makes the sound of the guitar brittle and at some point stress on the wood due to uneven shrinkage results in cracks.

Here are ways to fight humidity:

1. Watch your guitar closely. Examine it every so often so you can watch out for signs of humidity damage. Observe its back; when there is a drop in the humidity it will sink a bit and you can notice this clearly. When humidity rises, backs grow an arch. If the back becomes very, very flat, introduce some moisture, such as placing a dish of water in your storage area.

2. Store your guitar in its case away from any heat, especially in winter. Keep the case lying flat on the floor and never let it lean or hang it on the wall.

3. During periods when the humidity is extremely high, keep your guitar in a room where there is an air-conditioning system as it dries out the air.

When outside conditions are not too hot, such as in spring or on a rainy day, keep your instrument in a warm room, but avoid the basement, as it tends to cool a great deal.

4. There are many available devices to handle extreme dryness. When low humidity occurs in your area during chilly or cold weather, the use of a furnace-mounted humidifier can be very effective as well as hassle-free.
There are also console humidifiers that have rotating belts that are very efficient and space saving which are ideal when your space is limited.

"Dampit," is a very effective product that is placed inside the guitar to absorb any moisture that is inside your guitar.

A guitar that has a good sound now can be a wonderful sounding guitar even ten years later when it cared for properly and carefully.

The sound of a guitar is created by the echoing of wood. When the wood matures the echoing quality will improve, increasing your guitar’s worth. This, plus the model, make, and style of a guitar that will no longer be produced could be of much more value (often many times your purchase price) in 15-50 years.

Just keep in mind that a good quality guitar is also an investment worth your trouble.

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Learning how to strum is one of the most basic steps in guitar playing. After a beginner learns to do the basic 4/4 strumming, he can then move on to learning the 3/4 strumming technique.

If one wants to play a 3/4 song using a guitar, he must first know what 3/4 means: 4/4, 3/4, 2/4 are what musicians call time signatures. The time signatures are usually placed beside the clef sign. The upper number (or numerator) indicates the number of beats per measure and the lower number (or denominator) indicates the kind of note that will receive one beat.

3/4 Chord pattern

In playing a 3/4 guitar riff, one has to count 1-2-3 and use this count as a guide when strumming the guitar. In practicing the 3/4 guitar strumming, one can use the chord pattern: D- A7- G.

This is a variation of the 4/4 chord pattern D-A-G-A. Again, this pattern is recommended because of the playability of the chords. This allows the player to be able to concentrate on strumming and chord formation simultaneously without prioritizing one above the other.

The strokes in practicing the 3/4 strumming pattern can be varied, depending on the player’s preferences. He can practice the pattern using only downward strokes, or upwards strokes or he can use both alternately to get the feel of the guitar.

The traditional song “Down in the Valley” can be used by beginners to practice strumming the guitar with a 3/4 time. Another song which could be used in 3/4 strumming is the song “Time is on my Side” by Jerry Ragovoy.

Chord Shifting

Another important thing that a beginner must learn in 4/4 strumming is chord shifting. This becomes an even harder thing to do in 3/4 strumming but it is not impossible to learn; it just takes time and patience. Don’t let frustration get into the learning process.


Let’s go back and review some of the important basic things one has to know in guitar strumming.

Playing position

When a beginner first holds the guitar and tries out some chords, he usually does these things in an awkward looking position. This is acceptable because beginners will always look at the fret board, put their heads closer to the left hand, etc. But when you want to get serious about learning further things about guitar playing, he needs to be able to play the instrument using the right position.

Here are some few tips for playing the guitar in the proper position:

-position the body, legs and arms in so that tension is avoided
-if tension is present, reassess the playing position
-tilt the neck of the guitar upwards and never tilt it downwards
-keep the body of the guitar as vertical as possible
-avoid slanting the top of the guitar so that you an see better

Holding the pick

If you are using a pick to strum the guitar strings, hold the pick in such a way that the hand is stress-free. So do not hold it too tight or too loosely. The pick should make good contact with the strings but should be done in a moderate way.

Reading tablatures

When you are comfortable with playing some chords and chord patterns, you can then shift into reading guitar tablatures. Tablatures or tabs are great tools in learning how to play the guitar as they translate the musical notation into readable symbols that reflect the way to play a musical piece using a guitar. The lines that are in guitar tabs represent the strings of the guitar. If you place the guitar adjacent to the tabs, you can see what this is all about. The numbers in the lines represent the fret number which is to be pressed by the player. This is basically all you have to know to be able to start reading tabs. Tabs are comprised of symbols and signs other than lines and numbers. More advanced tabs also indicate the type of plucking or string bending technique that should be used for striking each note.

Learning how to play the guitar is an arduous process, but it’s also fun. One must take it step-by-step and must not rush to learn more techniques if he still can’t master the preceding technique. Have fun!

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