Tips From the Tech: Humidity Pt. 2

I thought it might be good to add a part two to our humidity discussion, since it’s such an important part of keeping your acoustic guitar as good as the day you bought it!
You may be asking—-at what level should the humidity be? How can I tell? When should I use a humidifier? Should I always have it in my case? How can I maintain a good humidity level? What should I do if the humidity level is too high? Let’s address these issues a step at a time.

Your guitar’s humidity level should rest right around 45%. We all know nothing is perfect, so between 40-50% will keep you in the sweet spot. If your guitar is below 35 or above 55 percent, then you know it’s time to take action.

“But wait,” you’re thinking, “how can I even tell what the humidity level is?”
Well, one easy way is to buy a hygrometer. A hygrometer measures the humidity in a small space, like your guitar case (see your hygrometer’s manual for more detailed instructions). But for right now, if you don’t have one, take a look at your guitar’s top. There should be a very slight radius (curve) to the top. If the guitar has too little moisture, the bridge will begin to sink lower and start to cause fret buzz. If there’s too much moisture, the wood will begin to swell and your bridge will raise and start to give you some unruly and unpleasantly uneven action.

If the guitar lacks moisture, use a humidifier of course! Too much moisture? Well here’s a trick—-Put some paper towels in your guitar’s case to help absorb the moisture. 

Finally, the most important thing—-keep your guitar in its case when you’re not using it. I know, we all love to hang our guitars up or let them sit on the stand for convenience or for aesthetic’s sake. But if you don’t have a humidity controlled environment, and you don’t want to mess around with your guitar any more than you have to, the safest bet to keeping your guitar in a consistent environment is to use your case and monitor the humidity level!