Maintaining your guitar is an essential aspect of becoming a guitar player. Your guitar is a valuable asset. Don't wait until it's too late to learn to properly take care of it. A beautiful guitar is a beautiful thing, and it shouldn't be taken for granted.
In this article, we will tell you how to properly take care of the fingerboard of your guitar. The fingerboard (or fretboard) is the part of the guitar where you play chords and scales. The fingerboard is composed of the guitar neck and the frets, which divide different parts of the fingerboard, allowing the guitarist to produce different pitches.
How often do I have to clean the fingerboard?
Fingerboards need to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent excess dirt and bacteria, which can damage the surface of your guitar. You should, in theory, clean the frets and fingerboard at least every time you change your strings. If you play very often and, therefore, change your guitar strings often, this rule may be overreaching.
The first thing you must do before properly cleaning the fingerboard is remove the strings of your guitar. For this reason, it is a good idea to just get in the habit of cleaning the fingerboard every time you change your strings. That way you won't be unnecessarily wasting a good set of strings.
Now get a clean, dry cloth or that is not abrasive. Try wiping the dirt off without water and without chemicals. Often, especially if you clean your fingerboard regularly, this will suffice. However, if your guitar has not been cleaned in a long time, it may not do the trick.
If you need more drastic measures and need to resort to using abrasive materials, you may use the finest steel wool available. Only use this in the extreme case, however, as you may end up scratching the fingerboard unnecessarily. When you scrub the fretboard, scrub between each fret individually, in a motion that is parallel to the frets. Make sure that you are careful to not allow the steel wool to scrape the top or bottom of your neck. Stay in the lines (something musicians aren't necessarily good at)!
Once you have gotten all of the dirt and gunk removed from your fretboard, you may wish to apply oil to the fingerboard. Some people believe this helps to the preserve the fingerboard. Lemon oil works well. So does furniture oil.